In challenging times, it’s perhaps easy to follow your competitors and avoid standing out for risk of failure. But what if that was leading you down the wrong path to mediocrity and ultimately a demise? In this episode, Steve Dennis explores what you can do be remarkable, even in the challenging and uncharted moments such as the coronavirus pandemic. Steve Dennis is the author of “Remarkable Retail: How to Win & Keep Customers in the Age of Digital Disruption.”

Listen in to this podcast episode to discover:

  • The five forces that we’re seeing affect retail as a result of the coronavirus.
  • What’s caused retailers to become boring or average only.
  • What you can do to avoid becoming boring and stand out – or be remarkable.
  • The advice Steve received which is so relevant for all of us now.

As mentioned on the show, remember to sign up for the Retail Transformation Briefing – it’s free.

Introducing Steve Dennis

Steve DennisSteve Dennis is a consultant, keynote speaker, writer and author on the retail market, growth and innovation. He has been named a top 5 global retail influencer by multiple organisations. His thoughts and perspectives on the future of shopping are regularly shared in the media and in his role as a Forbes Senior Contributor.

During his 30 year career, Steve has been a senior executive at two US-based Fortune 500 retailers. Now, he’s a strategic advisor and works with retailers as well as consumer, luxury and social enterprise brands to inspire and design their strategy. Steve is currently the President of SageBerry Consulting. Prior to founding SageBerry, he was the Chief Strategy Officer and SVP, Multichannel Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group. Previously, he has held a selection of VP roles at Sears, including VP of Corporate Strategy and VP of Multichannel Integration. He also serves on advisory boards.

He has contributed commentary, perspective and insight to Bloomberg, Business Week, the BBC, CNBC, CNN, the Harvard Business Review, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, among many others.

Plus, he recently delivered the closing keynote speaker for the first Retail Transformation Live – the virtual conference hosted by Oliver Banks.

He has recently launched his new book: “Remarkable Retail: How to Win & Keep Customers in the Age of Digital Disruption.”

You can find Steve Dennis on LinkedIn.

Or follow him on Twitter (@stevepdennis).

Check out his articles on Forbes.

And remember to pick up your copy of Remarkable Retail by Steve Dennis- from all good bookshops.

The 5 forces of the present day challenge

In the podcast, Steve mentioned the 5 forces that are arising out of the coronavirus pandemic which will affect all retailers. They are:

Bifurication is the continuation of the death of the middle. This is a trend that has been seen over the past 10 years and will continue with renewed aggression, causing retailers that are stuck in the middle, with no defining characteristics to see a slow (or possibly fast) decline.

Acceleration is in recognition that the coronavirus has forced digital disruption at a faster rate and thus we’re seeing the pace of change increasing. Find out more by listening in to podcast episode 82: The Great Retail Acceleration with Carl Boutet.

Contraction is the overall pull-back in spending, owing to consumer risk reduction and lessened capacity to spend.

Reallocation is how they spending pie gets divided so more streaming, health and wellness, home office expenses, more casual apparel given WFH and the like.

Consolidation is spending and power becoming concentrated among the last men standing, so to speak, and stronger companies buying up the weak and wounded at fire-sale prices.

Go deeper on all of these in Steve Dennis’s recent Forbes article: The Five Emerging Forces Of Retail’s New Normal.

The 8 essential of Remarkable Retail

During the podcast, we also spoke about the 8 essentials of Remarkable Retail. This is a framework that guides brands to design and deliver highly profitable and intensely customer-centric growth strategies. Here are those 8 elements:


The 8 Essentials Of Remarkable Retail - Framework diagram


1. Digitally Enabled. Digital isn’t always first and isn’t always better. The key to understanding the role of digital in enabling, augmenting and enhancing the customer journey.

2. Human Centred. Deliver retail with a soul. Dissect the role of customers, community, collaborators and more to create more emotionally engaging business designs.

3. Harmonised. “Omnichannel” is dead. It’s not about being everywhere, but showing up in remarkable ways where it really matters.

4. Mobile. We don’t go online. We live online. Wherever the consumer is becomes the new location, location, location. Retailers must show up in remarkable ways in the context of their consumers’ journey.

5. Personal. No customer wants to be average. Organisations need to build and leverage deep customer insight to deliver more personalised marketing, products and experiences.

6. Connected. Boundaries between consumers and brands have evaporated. Brands must understand peer to peer influence, leverage new relationships and explore sharing economy models.

7. Memorable. People buy the story before they buy the product. Retailers must deliver products and experiences that are unique, highly customer-relevant, authentic and “wow-worthy.”

8. Radical. Too many retailers watch the last 20 years happen to them. Retailers need to take more risks and cultivate a culture of experimentation.

Find our more by buying a copy of Remarkable Retail now.

And remember to tune in for part 2.


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