My Top 4 Takeaways From the 2015 NACD Global Board Leaders Summit

I recently attended the 2015 NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit, a forum dedicated to exploring leading practices and emerging developments in governance and key committee issues. While there, I had the pleasure of speaking with retail industry leaders about the challenges and opportunities that exist for consumer businesses as the sector continues to rapidly evolve.

During each of these conversations, similar topics continued to arise, signaling to me how top of mind they are for both the retail leaders I spoke with and the industry as a whole. And because of how frequently they crept into the discussions I had on the floor at NACD, I will be covering the following topics more in-depth in the coming weeks as part of a special NACD blog post series:

1. Platform Proliferation
Thanks to technological advancements, companies can now connect with their customers in limitless ways. One channel that consumer product retailers are starting to explore more deeply is bypassing the retailer and connecting directly with the consumer.

2. For Brands, One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Sometimes, in wanting to be everyone’s favorite brand, consumer businesses lose out on creating a loyal customer base. To activate a community of dedicated customers, consumer businesses need to understand and embrace their brand ethos.

3. To Build The Bottom Line, Invest in Your Talent
Consumer businesses can spend countless dollars on marketing and developing strategies for growing market share, but it is the face of the company or its employees that can sometimes have the greatest impact on building customer relationships and, ultimately, the bottom line. To move this group from job-doers to brand builders, retailers need to invest in their talent, so their talent will in turn invest in them.

4. Who Ultimately Wins The Wage War
Many states and cities are passing minimum wage increases, and as a result, retailers are feeling increased financial pressure, forcing them to cut costs to accommodate these new salary standards. To minimize the future costs, retailers are evaluating talent alternatives, including kiosks and, in some cases, robotics.

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks as I explore each of these topics more closely and how they are shaping the future of consumer business.