LAS VEGAS — A day after the close of the NACS Show in Las Vegas, the words of advice and product news continued to echo in CSP editors’ heads. With that we present our final list of lessons learned and ideas conceived.
Great to Appreciate
Want to keep happy employees? Whole Foods ends all of its meetings–from store to executive level–with voluntary “appreciations.” “It’s really hard to stay mad at someone who just said how great you are,” said John Mackey.
Ask and You Shall Receive
Keep an open dialogue with your supplier partners about what’s needed to grow your tobacco business. After hearing about the problems merchandising OTP on an increasingly crowded backbar, we spotted numerous packaging innovations on the NACS Show floor, from Scandinavian Tobacco’s smaller bags of pipe tobacco made to seamlessly fit on a backbar rack to Swisher’s and Drew Estate’s c-store friendly single premium cigars.
The Cure for What Ails Ya
There’s a shot for everything now. While energy shots remain the most popular, liquid shots for relaxation, allergy relief and pain relief also were spotted at the show.
Use multichannel loyalty to drive engagement and create a 360-degree view of your customers, said CrowdTwist CEO Scott Matthews. Go beyond email and phone numbers with social media, rewards, under the cap promotions and more.
Women Unite (and Men, Too)
Joan Toth, head of Network of Executive Women, nailed it on one of the biggest obstacles women face in climbing the corporate ladder: “If women are too assertive, they’re bossy; if they’re not assertive enough, they’re too nice.”
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey loves capitalism. He said so many times during his keynote speech and credits it for reducing poverty, creating growth and enhancing global values. With free-markets facing scorn and cynicism, Mackey is co-founder of the nonprofit Conscious Capitalism, which espouses a market system driven not only by bottom lines but by ethical lines. “It matters how we make our money,” he said. “Business is not a game, business is not a machine … and it’s certainly not war.”
Some Publicity is Bad
While the ROI on data-security and antivirus software is hard to quantify, don’t let that scare you away from such a critical investment, says Phil Schwartz, IS manager for Valero: “You don’t want to be the next headline.”
And finally, three thoughts about business success and the future:
- “The only way to grow your business is to know your strengths and leverage them … and know your weaknesses and address them.” –Author and comedian Connie Podesta
- “To be successful in business, you need to know what’s around the corner–whether that corner’s across the street or across the globe. For example: In Argentina, 60% of transportation fuel sold is natural gas. If you want to know what’s around the corner in CNG, look to Argentina.” –NACS president Henry Armour
- “To be successful in the future, companies will have to exemplify a more conscious way of being. That’s thanks in part to the millennial generation and the way they view the world.” –Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey