The Natural Connection

The Natural Connection

by Danny Summers

If you have been with us in The Group for some time I'm sure you think I am heading into either The Nature Fix or Emotional Marketing areas, shared in recent years.

The idea actually came from a totally outside source, but our two major programs have left their marks on my thinking. I guess you could call this a hybrid message. Or simply... an outside message with internal influence or flavor!

I have quoted research data published by McKinsey & Company in the past and seeing a new release last week, I saw some interesting similarities when they covered different retail segments. First, a quick "who-is" on McKinsey & Company...

McKinsey & Company is an American multinational strategy and management consulting firm that offers professional services to corporations, governments, and other organizations. Founded in 1926, they are the oldest and largest of the "Big Three" management consultancies (MBB). The firm mainly focuses on the finances and operations of its clients. This last line sounds familiar.

The latest news release was in an article for Luxury Retail titled, "Luxury retail is about emotions, not transactions."

The story is an interview with Scott Malkin, founder and chairman of Value Retail. Value Retail owns and operates about a dozen open-air luxury shopping destinations in Europe and China. Malkin says these retail destinations have among the highest sales per square foot of shopping centers in the world. Malkin starts by saying, “We want each of our guests to feel special. It’s about defending the soul of the experience,” he says, “and creating joy for our guests.”

During the interview, Malkin says, "What we’ve learned—as technology has disrupted so many things, including physical retail—is that the reason for physical retail, at any touchpoint, is the flagship experience: the presentation of the brand in all its glory. And it doesn’t matter where that takes place; it can be at an airport or in a mono-brand boutique.

But it’s increasingly clear that brands cannot acquire customers affordably online.

The direct-to-consumer model has not made anyone any money."

He then says, "High-quality online shopping is about speed, quick delivery, limited friction. It’s everything but the part that involves the soul and the human emotions. As the best brands in the world move toward distributing online, they diminish and commoditize their own product every time they successfully sell an item."

Later the interviewer asked, "There’s always something different and surprising [at your locations]. How do you think about this constant cycle of reinvention, and what’s next on the horizon?"

Malkin replied, "We’re currently enormously committed to the term “unreasonable hospitality,” which I love because no one can define it. It comes from my friend Will Guidara, who wrote a book called Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More than They Expect about taking Eleven Madison Park from a respected brasserie to the number-one restaurant in the world over five years."

Seeing Malkin's reference to Will Guidara's book led me to search for more about Guidara and his message. In one video I heard him say...

"People, these days, they don't like to collect things anymore, they collect experiences."

The McKinsey story (interview) with Scott Malkin, was focused on Luxury Retail. But so much of what was highlighted are areas and focus points we have seen, discussed, and emphasized as being important for creating the very best Guest Experience and Connections with your audience. It's the Natural Connection.

Then, Malkin's reference to Will Guidara's message was the "icing on the cake." These two share messages that point to why you have the unique opportunity to do something over-the-top, unexpected, and at a level that only you can provide. It is exactly what large retailers would like to do, but they have to settle for some level of "average."

The experience your Center offers can be the farthest from average.

Will Guidara's message was about "Unreasonable Hospitality".

Your message can combine the Natural Connection with Unreasonable Experiences.

PS: You can read the entire McKinsey/Scott Malkin-Value Retail article titled "Luxury Retail is about Emotions, not Transactions" HERE.

Here's the TedTalks video of Will Guidara titled "The secret ingredients of great hospitality.



Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

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