The Instagram logo

The passion supply chain

Tim Radley
Strategist, creative developer and author

The fundamental purpose of any retailer is to bring together a physical customer and a physical product, irrespective of whether the sale is made in a physical shop or online. A successful supply chain is therefore a pre-requisite for any retail business.

However, managing the ‘beast’ of the supply chain to ensure customers and their products are ultimately in the same place at the same time, is not going to differentiate anyone in the saturated markets that we live and sell in. Efficiency is not a USP, it is an essential for the customer.

Brand engagement, loyalty and commercial sales are now built on the emotional connection with the customer. The ‘beauty’ and the passion behind the product needs to be delivered to them, just as much as the physical product itself.

That passion must be delivered through every touchpoint the customer experiences. Through the atmosphere of a beautiful shop and power of display, the enthusiasm of sales assistants, the punctuality of delivery, to the excitement of opening packages, and finally the discovery of the product itself.

The responsibility to deliver brand passion lies in the hands of many people. A passion that must flow from the drawing board to the factory, from the boardroom to the stockroom. The creation of a ‘Passion Supply Chain’!

Retail passion comes from a belief in the business that you work for, not only in what it produces and sells but in how it produces it, how it treats its people, how it views the wider world, and how it cares for its customers.

‘The Passion Supply Chain’ is all about people because only through people will passion be transferred to the product, and to the places where you work and sell to the customer.

It is no coincidence that many new successful retail brands are born from an initial and intrinsic passion, a belief in a product, a mission to improve the lives of customers.

They employ product designers and buyers who cannot wait for the reality of their designs to see the light of the retail day. They engage manufacturers and craftsmen who delight in the process of production. They nurture marketing teams who are fully engaged and fuelled with enthusiasm to communicate the unique stories behind the brand and the product. And they inspire store managers and sales assistants, where the opening of every cardboard box delivered is as exciting an experience as it is for the final customer.

From beginning to end… from conception to consumption… a supply chain that translates from many inspired individuals into a public passion.

Delivering brand propositions and commercial results requires both efficient functionality, availability, price, convenience, and emotional engagement, lifestyle, wellbeing, beauty and style, ethics and sustainability.

As part of your core business processes measure, monitor, and grow ‘passion’ in your people as though it were as precious as gold itself, because that ultimately is what passion will deliver for your business.

Tim Radley is founder of VM-unleashed and author of Meaning in the Retail Madness.

Read more articles from our latest issue...