If a job's worth doing......do it yourself!

One of the great students of retail, Australian adman Jon Bird, has just written a wonderful article for Inside Retail Asia on retailing excellence.

For me it's actually about great manufactures deciding to be great retailers in order to grow great brands - because currently there's no other way. Zara are the past masters of this, the founder hated the way retailers never listened to their customers and how they failed to create the appropriate ambiance for his products. And as Jon explains in his piece, Nike see an on-brand flagship environment as a massive opportunity for brand building and the pinnacle element of it's brand hierarchy (after the sponsored athletes). Many also believe the Apple stores 'retail experience' to be one of the finest brand building tools around, certainly making a significant contribution to its brand essence.

Truth be told, these manufacturers are 'doing retail' better than retailers - when I wrote my book: The art of being chosen, I found all the great retail leaders were all the same - they all aspired to be different (which is the good news) but somehow got ground-down by daily pressures and defaulted to the norm (that's the bad news) - customers around the world are ready for retail to do things REALLY differently. Because if retail doesn't start doing what they do, differently, the brands will do the job (properly) themselves - and the digital revolution is here to help them!

We're incredibly fortunate in retail, unlike most businesses we can experiment so easily without betting the business on it (by department, by store, by town, by region.....etc) and the really good news is, we are in direct touch with our customers for feedback without paying for research.

If the tag line wasn't already being used, I'd encourage the world's retailers to be brave:

Just do it!