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: 04/05/2018

    Will Amazon or Walmart win the clash of the retail titans?

    Amazon wins the battle with Walmart. They are not stuck supporting brick-and-mortar with the commensurate overhead. Plus Amazon has the brand permissions to sell high-end goods. Walmart is about cheap. Amazon is about selection, knowledge and convenience.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2018

    Should retailers lower expectations around last-mile delivery?

    The bar has been set by Amazon. Anything less than being the same or better than Amazon is a failure in the consumer's eyes. The fact that there is any discussion at all about today's table-stakes in delivery is in itself disturbing.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2018

    Are Aldi’s upscale makeovers necessary?

    Form follows function. As Aldi set its brand in the U.S. the minimalist approach reinforced its discount pricing. But they are transitioning by adding the value of experience to the brand. This is a natural evolution and needed to remain relevant. This makes sense.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2018

    Starbucks shifts happy hour to invite-only

    This reeks of desperation, an attempt to save a failing program. While membership (and scarcity) are values, I can't see this doing much for Starbucks' bottom line. The brand of Starbucks isn't about exclusivity. In fact, it's probably the exact opposite.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2018

    Should retailers emulate or differentiate from Amazon?

    You will never out-Amazon Amazon. Differentiation is not an abstract idea. It is the space that prospects and customers see between your brand and that of the competitors. Without differentiation you are simply competing on price. However, you should learn and copy Amazon's best business practices. They have become table-stakes in today's retail world. But differentiate your brand in an emotional way. Do a better job of telling the prospect HOW they are different and better than the customer who shops at Amazon. This is where brands screw up. They think differentiation is a rational support and is about how they, the retailer, do business. It is not. It is all about the prospect.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2018

    Will return bans burn retailers that impose them?

    It does not matter if the return is handled in-house or by a third party. If a consumer becomes dissatisfied with a return issue -- the retail brand gets blamed. In a world economy moving at a hell-bent pace towards online purchases, limiting a return policy should be adopted at the retailer's own risk. It IS a cost of doing business.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2018

    Why does Lowe’s seem to have a problem turning shoppers into customers?

    A myopic view. Conversion of lookers to buyers is not as simple as having an "app for that." The days of the first iPhone are ancient history. Lowe's is having trouble converting because prospects are able to assess value in-situ. This translates into Lowe's becoming a great showroom for other retail venues. The investment in technology advancements is mandatory. It is the cost of doing business. As a brand guy, I have a simple question to ask and, not surprisingly, it is about brand. Who does the customer believe they ARE when shopping at Lowe's? It is the answer to that fundamental brand question that inspires loyalty and margins. This article started with a great statement of THE problem -- Lowe’s Hardware. That is the problem. It's a HARDWARE store and has done little else to differentiate its shoppers from OTHER shoppers.
  • Posted on: 03/08/2018

    A retailer’s Instagram-worthy packaging creates social buzz and sales

    Apple's packaging make a big difference. When I lecture on branding, I often ask the audience if they own any Apple products. Ninety-five percent or so raise their hands. Then I ask them, "how many of you have saved the boxes?" About half the group sheepishly raise their hands. The reason is that Apple recognizes that the packaging needs to reflect the brand itself. As a result, everything they sell comes packaged in a way that you can see they cared. it almost looks like a present. Don't believe me? Go look in your own closet.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2018

    Are photos of packages on doorsteps helpful?

    It's all about surety. And I don't mean preventing thefts. It gives the Amazon users the assurance that the package was, in fact, delivered to the right address. As usual for Amazon -- smart. They look at service from the perspective of the enduser and not from their own process.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2018

    Will all retailers soon go cashier-less?

    Anything that simplifies the customer experience has legs. This has the added benefit of being personalized. We are looking at the NEAR future, not the distant future. It is an economy and as such, will inexorably move towards less interaction. It's what shoppers want.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    Is AI the key to finding the right location, location, location?

    Everyone needs competitive advantages. Any metric that helps with picking the right location is a worthy investment for sure. But creating a brand that increases preference is equally important. Maybe even more so. Powerful branding turns a convenience-driven business into a destination.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2018

    No joke – Walmart asks CPGs for higher priced products

    The chickens are coming home to roost. If I wanted a high-priced product, I would not buy it from Walmart. This is good news for those trying to beat the Goliath of retail. As long as they don't try to out-Walmart Walmart.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2018

    What legacy did IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad leave to retail?

    He transformed retail from transaction to experience. It is a lesson still unlearned by the industry. IKEA is an event. Entertainment. Immersion. They don't need a store 10 minutes from your home as shoppers will travel hours to go there.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2018

    What’s holding retailers back from making workforce investments?

    This should not be a discussion on wages and workers. Talking about that is akin to eating your leg to avoid starvation. Not only will it hurt but it won’t change the final outcome. Retailers need a new model not new employees. The question they need to ask is, what on earth am I going to do with all of this unneeded real estate? They won’t survive without cannibalizing their young. Only the heartiest will survive. But survival means not sticking their head in the sand.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2018

    Which commercial won the Super Bowl?

    None of them for me. I think the clear winner was TIDE. P&G breaking new ground. Who would have thought?

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