On ‘Expert’

In a strategy workshop with a retailer last week, we started to describe our brand as ‘the experts in …’. And now I’m wondering about that word expert.

If you are a specialist retailer and regard yourself as providing expert advice, a carefully curated range and colleagues in store who can guide and support customers, ask yourself an important question: Is that actually true, in the real world, for actual customers?

In my video game retailing days a frequent frustration was that a lot of our store was essentially just plastic game boxes. It was often easier to find reviews and detailed information on a game by looking it up on Amazon, on your phone, whilst standing in store.

I was reminded of that by visiting Majestic for the first time in a while this week. I love the Majestic brand and business but in my local store a refit has seen them, incredibly, remove almost all of the ‘blurb’ cards giving details on different wines – reducing the experience of choosing one to being much the same as in a supermarket.

Which retailers deliver expertise really well (and not just through interaction with colleagues, but through POS and store design?). And which, on the other hand, only think they do?

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