The Art of Being Chosen: Secrets of Success from the Giants of Retail

DIAMOND
RATING
Senteo Rating 2.5
04/27/23
views 12792
comments0
Author:Martin Butler
04/27/23
views 12793
comments0
Author:Martin Butler
DIAMOND
RATING
Senteo Rating 2.5

The Art of Being Chosen: Secrets of Success from the Giants of Retail
Martin Butler, Management Books 2000, 2010
Senteo’s Review information

The retail industry encompasses much of our lives, and its presence is worldwide as seen by the constant drone of store after store along roads, within malls, and even online. Global exposure has been a double-edged sword, however, as the retail arena has seen a constant flow of competition step up to the challenge.

Lesser competitors have fallen under the feet of those who have been able to find success in the industry, but what it takes to achieve that success is not uniform – all companies have credited their survival and flourishing to a variety of reasons. Even the largest names – Walmart, Zara, M&M’s, and Starbucks – had to climb the retail ladder to become the paradigm of success in their specialty. But what can their success be attributed to?

Enter Martin Butler, retail specialist and advertising expert with clients from Swarovski, Burberry, Nestle to name a few. Martin has traversed the world, gathering insights from top executives and retail leaders to shed a little light on what it takes to be successful in the retail industry. Taking each of their responses and categorizing them into six categories, Martin delivers to us the guiding principles for retail success. Answers were compiled from 54 case histories to comprise a majority of the novel and allow readers into the private minds of the retail elite. Take the words to heart because the greatest and largest retail companies did not get there by chance – they used the knowledge and expertise of their leaders to make their way up.

The book provides a series of categories that falls in line with much of Senteo’s teachings and principles. Three categories stand out as stunning examples of how retailers, and in turn banks, can improve their offerings: Trust, People, and Being Different. These three categories highlight how businesses need to address the desires of their customers for an emotional connection and unique, memorable experience. Each of the three said categories emphasizes key business principles:

  • Trust: “Companies must adopt a mindset that views facets [of a business – not just the easy ones] as welcome opportunities to build trust”
  • People: “Delighting customers by satisfying their needs that hadn’t existed before.”
  • Being Different: “In a world crammed with options, being different delivers an immediate emotional connection with customers and builds brand equity in a business.”

Additionally, personal testimony by retail leaders provides the solid evidence that these categories and topics are valid and applicable in retail scenarios. Based upon these interviews, the book provides an interesting glimpse into what has made businesses successful, and these concepts can be adapted to suit other business ventures as well, namely those in the banking sector.

What this book is ultimately lacking is a sense of innovation and free thought. Effectively, much of the book serves as a compilation of the thoughts of retail leaders and their effective strategies; we were hard pressed to find a great deal of insight from Martin in regards to his personal thoughts on how to improve businesses. The categories stem from the interviews, but there are no formal methodology steps available to implement within another business. Rather, that information must be gleaned from the interviewed, scavenged from the dozens of retailer testimonies to understand what systems work and what the best ways to implement them are. What we would have preferred to see is more of a step-by-step approach that used the case histories to highlight companies that followed the model rather than summarizing the histories through a category. Yes, the first “Secret” offers a small step-by-step guideline, but that concept is absent in later chapters. Granted, the information can be inferred and methods can be synthesized, but it could be presented in a much simpler fashion.

Intimately affecting the lives of everyone on the planet, retail is the world’s largest business. But what does it take to be truely successful in this highly competitive and cut-troat arena? What makes some retailers successful while others fail? Discover the six guiding principles for retail success – no matter how large or small a retail business may be.

This book is best utilized as a tool for understanding the broad categories that all retailers must focus on. Case histories serve as prime examples to all companies of the retail secrets in practice. Management across the board would do well to understand these principles, but the most customer facing individuals must also realize that these skills and concepts are vital to business success at the store level as well. We would suggest marrying this book with Designing the Customer-Centric Organization to give a complete understanding of both what it takes to be chosen by consumers as well as what comprises an effective customer-centric organization.

Senteo Subject Category
Senteo

By blending case histories with personal insight and explanation, Martin causes his simple research to evolve to much more – a research book with practical application. Step by step he outlines how to use the information he presents, providing case histories as examples to follow.

The best book reviews in your inbox!
Subscribe now and receive a special gift with your subscription.


    Leave a Reply

    The Art of Being Chosen: Secrets of Success from the Giants of Retail
    Martin Butler, Management Books 2000, 2010
    Have you already read this book?
    Here, are people invited to rate the book?

    How useful was this post?

    Click on a star to rate it!

    Average rating / 5. Vote count:

    No votes so far! Be the first to rate this book.

    See content on this topic

    Ian Newman looks back on several years of rapid change in brand and communications in the Russian market, as well as offering his insights into future developments and trends.
    Miroslav Boublik examines three aspects of bank operating models - the organization of operations, the approach to business, and the management model, alongside the specifics of the Russian market.       
    Voice On Demand Retail Podcast: Part 3 – Leadership in the Retail Market
    Michael Ruckman talks about Customer Experiences & Customer Journeys, The three faces of Digital for Retailers and the state of leadership in the retail market today.
    Build a Tower, Build a Team
    Tom Wujec from Autodesk presents some surprisingly deep research into the “marshmallow problem” — a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow.
    How to Build a Business That Lasts 100 Years
    Join strategist Martin Reeves as he explains how executives can apply six principles from living organisms to build resilient businesses that flourish in the face of change.
    Senteo Rating
    The Infinite Game
    Senteo Rating
    Great by Choice
    Related Book Reviews & Education
    Working Backwards is written by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr, two veteran Amazon executives. The pair share insights into Amazon’s internal methodology and culture, especially the eponymous ‘Working Backwards’ approach.
    Call of the Mall focuses the concepts found in Paco’s book, Why We Buy, and applies them to the realm of shopping malls, taking in the customer’s perspective.
    Authors Lewis and Dart provide an analysis of principles that assess how retailers can combat the new retail environment, transformed by digitalization and a power shift in the consumer’s favor.
    In this updated edition, the author builds on the concepts of his 2006 book in more detail and provides more examples of how companies implemented the system.