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Phil Rubin

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rDialogue

Simple lessons from Starbucks in this case:

  1. Empower and support employees at a store level.
  2. Do the right thing for the customer.
  3. Things break. People fall. As Vince Lombardi said, "the greatest success is not in never falling but in picking yourself up after the fall."

Well done Starbucks, as usual.

...

Abercrombie & Fitch lost relevance years ago and, given the challenges in the category, it's hard to see it recovering anytime soon. Especially as a retailer, you don't win by alienating customers, certainly not over the long-term. For Abercrombie & Fitch, this is the long-term and they have probably...

Chat and customer care in general is all too vulnerable to cost-cutting pressures and reacting to customers indifferently (i.e., not in terms of their value...treating them all the same). Yet customer service is a huge component of the overall customer experience and the data supports that, especially for Millennials.

Just...

With nearly 30 loyalty program memberships per household, the last thing consumers need is another "more of the same" loyalty program. Not in spite of this growth but perhaps because of it, nearly 60% of consumers believe that the programs lack relevance. Whole Foods is taking a smarter approach...

Threats of terrorism in the U.S., whether explicit or otherwise, are nothing new and as we have known since 9/11, there are targets aplenty. As "great" as online shopping is, it's not going to replace physical retail, even with such threats. At the same time, increased security at shopping...

The AmEx relationship at Costco is made for a card portfolio comprised of higher-spending members. That's essentially what Costco paid for in its relationship with AmEx. The downside for Costco is that its new supplier is unlikely to deliver the same kind of value (translation: dollars) from the portfolio...

E-mailed receipts make total sense for retailers and for consumers, especially in categories that involve more considered purchases. However, like anything else involving relationships, it has to be based on trust and accountability. Consumers should get an explicit quid pro quo that the retailers will be responsible with their...

Nordstrom has long been a leader in terms of delivering a superior customer experience and without context, it's hard to say they are making a mistake. There have been some leadership changes, in some cases due to missteps and in others due to the company's leadership commitment, so without...

Perhaps Overstock.com is going to partner with the team that just shut down Sony's streaming business? While there is surely a strategy to being a "fast, less expensive, lower quality follower" to Amazon, I'd still buy Amazon and short Overstock.com.

...

This year's commercials once again were at best solid—by advertising standards—but very few stood out in terms of bold, new ideas. Much fewer bold, new ideas that will carry through to be highly relevant to consumers beyond the game.

Surprise & Delights from McDonald's? Hard to see that scaling or...

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