Earlier this week, Parker Avery sent out our quarterly newsletter – Retail Advisor – which features industry news, events and resources. Below you will find an excerpt of the newsletter, a note from our leadership. We encourage you to sign-up for the newsletter by emailing us at: newsletter@parkeravery.com

Many of you who know me are probably familiar with the fact that I do a fair amount of running. I also have quite a few colleagues and friends who run and frequently participate in road races. Most competitive runners typically follow some type of training plan to condition their bodies in the weeks leading up to a race; professional athletes and coaches with many years of experience design these plans, and runners who use them trust them. With the spring race season ending, the words “trust your training” echo in my head, and the attribute of trust has been high on my mind.

The very definition of the word trust: “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something,” holds broad and deep implications for retailers and brands to deliver on customer and employee expectations. It can also be very fleeting if not carefully nurtured.

We all know how difficult it can be to not just establish trust, but to maintain it over time. Most retailers have the admirable objective of making shoppers such loyal fans of their products and brand that they are not easily swayed to pursue a competitor’s attractive price promotion. Great importance is placed on continually delighting customers through delivery of desirable products, competitive prices, exceptional service and unique experiences – both digitally and in physical stores. This focus is critical because the time it takes to lose a customer’s trust can be unbelievably quick – a single bad decision or poor interaction can have severely negative impacts on that trust you worked so painstakingly to achieve.

Even within Parker Avery’s own business of providing strategic advice and assistance to support our clients’ initiatives, our firm is frequently referred to as “trusted advisor” – a title that we do not take lightly. We focus on building and maintaining trust by genuinely listening to our client’s needs and challenges and offering innovative, pragmatic process and technology solutions across a broad array of strategic retail areas: assortment planning, pricing strategies, product development, order management and fulfillment, sourcing, supply chain and others. We consider our model to be a bit different, using our deep, real-world retail experience in collaboration with our client’s unique business characteristics to help achieve their objectives and ultimately position them to solidify trust with their own customer base.

With most of our projects, we embody a change management focus to help client senior leaders build trust within their organization – especially during large, transformational initiatives. We talk about this critical component in our recently published Point of View, Change in the E-Suite, focusing on approaches that drive trust within the organization and result in the achievement of significantly better project outcomes.

If you’re thinking about new initiatives to establish or strengthen the bond of trust with your customers or that will impact your own team, and you need a trusted advisor to help guide your organization through the many challenges, give us a shout. We’d be delighted to learn about your initiatives and offer our insights. If we’ve never worked together, we humbly welcome the opportunity to learn about your business and the key things that make you successful, in hopes of offering innovative ideas to enhance your performance. For our past clients, we’d enjoy the chance to re-engage, strengthen our understanding of your company and provide our counsel and assistance.

– Robert