Retail Observer

October 2020

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 45 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM OCTOBER 2020 46 Y ears ago I had the honor to work with the baseball legend Pete Rose. Pete was part of an investment team for a product I was helping to build and launch into the market. During our work together, I had the opportunity to have several conversations with Pete about his life, career and baseball philosophy. As we shared a meal, I remember him saying, "Most of my career in baseball – especially hitting – I tried to focus on a few small things." I leaned in as he continued, "There's too much glory in hitting home runs. They're overrated. I made a career out of getting on base, hitting singles and doubles. Add that up over time – showing up, working hard day-in, day-out for years – it makes a decent career." Say what you will about Pete, but I've been a long-time fan. As a kid I cheered for the Cincinnati Reds of the 70s ("The Big Red Machine") and I grew up not far from Philadelphia, home of the Phillies where Pete played for several years. For those who may not know about Pete Rose (aka "Charlie Hustle"), he has a long list of MLB records, including most career hits, singles, games played and at-bats. His team won the World Series three times, he was a 17-time All-Star and a three-time National League Batting Champion and won the Gold Glove award twice. Not a bad career at all. Showing up every day to give it his all was part of Pete's trade- mark brand. I received an email recently from a business colleague who thanked me for the "singles and doubles" advice I shared with him years ago. My colleague had imparted the same advice to one of his clients while they were thinking through a big business decision, and it was a game- changer for them. Lots of companies are focused on hitting home runs – the long-shot, the big win, the glamor or the glory of the big exit. The unhealthy start- up business mindset is built on the seduction of home-run ball. It rarely works. Conversely, much of doing good business is showing up every day to give it your all – to apply your passion, persistence and skills to their highest benefit. The winning strategy of getting on base was well documented in the movie Moneyball based on the book by Michael Lewis (who does a great podcast called Against the Rules). So much of the results that are lauded in business really boil down to focused effort, persistence and determination, day-in, day-out. Here are some important branded business takeaways from Moneyball: • "Adapt or die." As team manager Billie Beane (played by Brad Pitt) points out, the Oakland A's had to "adapt or die." As a small-market team trying to compete against big-market teams with much larger budgets, there was no way to survive unless they would find new ways of thinking and acting. Don't be afraid to be bold, to change and evolve – it's part of business. The ones who cling to the past and play the card that says "We've always done it this way" are the ones who'll fall behind the winds of progress. • Think "Right" Results The book and movie Moneyball wouldn't have been a compelling story if the A's hadn't achieve results. The same is true for your business. It's not about the site, the store traffic, or the likes, tweets, or clicks. It's about business wins as you define them. Customer loyalty and referrals, NPS scores, repeat purchases, even first-time sales are all winning metrics. Explore what works for your brand and business. If you haven't yet discovered what outcomes matter, keep showing up with solid "at bats" until the success that matters comes. It's easy to get seduced into chasing home runs. The media glorify them, but it's the consistency of getting on base with singles and doubles that wins games and seasons and makes a career. The small things matter. Consistency matters. Over time, they add up to make your business and your life thrive – and sometimes they end up breaking records. For the past 25 years, Steve has served as an advisor and consultant on brand strategy, organizational life, and humanized marketing strategy. He has worked with companies such as Samsung, Habitat for Humanity, New Balance, Sony, LG, Amazon, NFL and MLB franchises and is a regular speaker for TEDx, Creative Mornings, CES, HOW Conference, Social Venture Network, American Marketing Association, and AIGA conferences. Steve has published two books, Brand Love and Loyalty and Humanizing the Customer Journey, as well as a forthcoming book, The Evolved Brand: How to Impact the World Through the Power of Your Brand. He has been featured in Business Week, Brand Week, Ad Age, Conscious Company Magazine, MarketingProfs, and HOW magazine. Steve leads his own brand and business strategic consultancy, Mth Degree. Contact:, 619-234-1211 or RO Steven Morris On Brand SINGLES & DOUBLES

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