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: 06/05/2018

    Is data-driven marketing holding back storytelling?

    It is absolutely a mix of art and science. It is important to remember that data is correlational and not causal. All too often we look to quantify complex human behaviors into an algorithm. Telling the right story is as important as who you tell. Purchase choices are emotional at their root. The narrative is a means to connect with those emotional triggers. Remember Napoleon said (to paraphrase), "if it were simple, it would be the providence of mediocre minds." Can we automate engagement? I hope your competitors believe so.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Publix pulls political funding amid anti-gun protests

    There is no right or wrong answer in questions like this. The hope is that Publix knows their customers well enough to understand their political bent. There is nothing new in pressure over social issues. What has changed is that their are so many more of them these days. I advise clients to avoid all political issues, if they can. In today's world trying to walk the tightrope means alienating 50 percent of your customer base.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2018

    New Brookstone concept brings makers to the mall

    It’s a great idea. But it means repositioning malls as a relevant destination. While conceived as a means to facilitate convenient shopping they no longer serve this purpose. The internet has replaced them. You will see more of this idea blossom from Brookstone. But I doubt you will see it in malls. At least not in the somewhat near future.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2018

    Macy’s latest acquisition is all about STORYtelling

    Finally. Macy's looks to the future. Kudos to that. But, most of the iceberg is underwater and they need to reinvent the retail model. If they don't, this might just be lipstick on a pig.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2018

    Chico’s decides to join Amazon, since it can’t beat it

    If the floodgates do not open soon expect everyone on the other side to drown.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2018

    Walgreens tests lower prices, membership savings

    I don’t think Walgreens has any choice in the matter. But the real issue facing Walgreens and all the pharmacy stores in the U.S. is having a brand that matters beyond the convenience of being on the right side of the street. They have almost no preference beyond that. Want proof? How many different brands do you find on opposite sides of the same intersection? Point made.
  • 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.

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