Tom Dougherty

President and CEO, Stealing Share
Tom Dougherty is President and CEO of brand company Stealing Share. He has developed brands across all industries positioning them to grow and steal market share. Tom's unique perspective and opinions are often sought and quoted by The New York Times, FOX Business and CNN as well as many industry journals.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2018

    Will the maker movement inspire a new creative direction for malls?

    I think malls are over. They cannot compete with the convenience of online shopping. They were always controlled by anchor stores. Without them, the malls floundered. Is anyone assuming this "makers" approach is the new anchor store? Try it. I hope it works. But the old retail models are over and I have little hope for it.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2018

    Is Kroger following the Sears playbook for self-destruction?

    I don't think Kroger and Sears are equivalents. But both are struggling to find a new place in a changed retail landscape. Answers will not be the same for both chains — hopefully, that is. For Kroger the problem is a lack of investment in the brand. Brand meaning and loyalty in the supermarket category seems limited to location and familiarity. Funny, no one asked the same questions about Wegmans.
  • Posted on: 11/26/2018

    Will a radical transformation lift or sink IKEA?

    It concerns me a bit. IKEA is one of the few retailers that is a true destination. Customers are willing to travel hours to a store. Remember that the root of all value can be found in the idea of scarcity. Smaller and more urban IKEA stores erode that value. They need to be careful here.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2018

    Do retailers need more social media?

    Fish where the fish are. But the message is the most important thing. Retailers need to stop being process-driven. Be purposeful and never confuse activity with accomplishment.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    LabCorp deal brings blood testing to Walgreens’ pharmacies

    In-store healthcare services is not differentiating. CVS has made such things table-stakes. The real issue for pharmacies lies in reinventing their meaning in an important way. Currently, consumers don't know what the stores ARE. Sure, they sell over the counter and prescription drugs— but beyond that are they simply a convenience store? If you need proof of the category problem just look at their real estate investment. There are times when four different chains occupy the four corners of an intersection (at times the same chain might be on opposing corners). This means the prospective customer sees no difference between the stores. They choose one merely because it is in the direction they are traveling. Preference is lower than the effort needed to turn around. Contrast that with IKEA. Customers are willing to travel hours. Pharmacy. This is one of the WORST categories in retail. They all need brand work.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2018

    Eddie Lampert is the worst

    Many retail executives stick their heads in the sand. Pretending that everything is simply okay. That they have time to make changes. Eddie is self-centered in his comments. I believe he is lying, as you imply. But self-deception is a chronic disease in the category. CHANGE has happened. Everything is on the table.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2018

    Does anyone pay the full retail price anymore?

    Discounting has always been a slippery slope. Years ago, P&G recognized that when you discount a product the shopper believes that the discounted price is the REAL price. They have been trapped by that consumer belief ever since. So, does anyone pay full retail price anymore? Not many. And, that trend is not new. It's just that the retail industry is in such disarray that it is being noticed. The science of merchandising and retail needs a facelift. OK, maybe a transplant. In an era of information and the ability to price shop in real time, value needs a new definition. “The logical end to defensive warfare is surrender.”— Napoleon
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Will anything change for Sears after Chapter 11?

    Sears is dead in the water. They will not successfully emerge from this bankruptcy filing. The brand has taken the easy road for more than a decade and now it would require too much to catch up. The brand is not worth the investment. Sears squandered one of the world’s great brands. Stubbornly holding onto old models and aging meanings. Retail is undergoing a revolution and I am afraid many will follow Sears to that grave. What did Sears mean? Its only meaning today is deeply buried in nostalgia. Its brand is not vital. Sadly we can live without it. All they have had for a decade is vague memories of the Sears catalog and hopeful Christmas dreams. Sears was the Internet of the 1960s. Now it is a beached whale. Kmart won’t be far behind. What’s changing? In a word -- access. Retail traffic is eroding, and many retailers face the double whammy of online competition and of a demographic change. Consumers rejecting dependence on malls. Retail and online are the same noun today.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2018

    Is Eddie Lampert looking to save Sears or suck it dry?

    There is no chance for Sears to survive. It saddens me that one of the iconic brands in retail allowed its brand to die in neglect. The Sears brand had value, once upon a time. But management never grasped what that value held. Instead, they tried to hold onto a model whose time had past. Reinvention is necessary in branding. As the context of the customer changes, brands need to adapt and, at times, change radically. But rather than being fluid Sears tried to resist fundamental market changes. As Napoleon once said -- “the logical end of defensive warfare is surrender.” I worry that many retail pillars will also fall. The changes that doomed Sears were slight tremors compared to the quake we are experiencing today. The temple is about to collapse on the worshippers and they think they are safe by pretending the foundation will continue to support them. I write these dire warnings and lead the pack of BrainTrust experts in DISLIKES. I want to see clothes on the Emperor. But I fear he is naked and thinks that his clothes will magically appear if he just stands still. Think again. The challenges facing retail are shattering old models. Hold onto them at your own peril.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2018

    People don’t like being lumped into marketing segments

    Marketing segmentation is the lazy-man’s guide to cliches. Differentiations are the product of anthropological examinations. Not trite segmenting. Another example of how the customer is always right.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Macy’s expands in-store pop-up concept with Facebook’s help

    Not at all. This is just window dressing, no pun intended, that signifies a desperate brand. My real question: Why don't retailers face the real problem? What does its brand mean that's different from the competition? How do they fulfill that brand promise? Instead, retailers like Macy's think the keys exist in tactics that do little to create preference. Think about this. To use these pop-ups, customers have to go into the store. But the problem is that few are going into the store. They think this will draw them in?
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Walmart expands test of giant automated grocery kiosk

    I doubt it will make much of an impact. The problem is the 600-pound gorilla: Amazon. Specifically, Amazon Fresh which can get you grocery items right to your door. In this case, you still need to DRIVE to pick up your groceries. I'm not against this tactic. But I don't see it changing much shopping behavior.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2018

    Ellison won’t repeat Penney mistake, slams door on Orchard Supply Hardware

    I never understood the Orchard Supply acquisition to begin with. It did FIT logically with the Lowe's brand but there just didn't seem like a reason for it to exist. Especially because, frankly, Lowe's did nothing with it. Like they expected it to thrive by just being part of the Lowe's family, which consumers never really understood. Give it up. It's a lost cause. Focus on the Lowe's brand instead.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2018

    Maverick mattress e-tailer Tuft & Needle sells out to Serta Simmons

    It means more consolidation. Even with this purchase, it doesn't preclude Serta from buying Mattress Firm. And it won't matter much to consumers. They already see the mattress retailers as a blend of the same. Especially when there are several locations of them on the same street. The acquisition of Tuft & Needle just demonstrates consolidating is the next step, even if it doesn't create brand preference.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2018

    Sears faces Craftsman competition of its own making

    I just finished some market research that included Craftsman. It surprised me how powerful the brand still remained -- even with professional construction workers. Sears has NO brand. But, Craftsman still does. More bad news for Sears.

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