WHY WE FOCUS ON BEST PRACTICES
Innovation fascinates me. I often wonder how today’s successful products and services were conceived and developed. Were they flashes of genius that immediately resonated with their target customers, or were they inspired over time by other things?
And how do some businesses adapt and thrive with innovation when others struggle to remain relevant without it? Is it better for entire industries to keep innovation tightly held or should they draw on the best practices from both within and outside their own markets to lift all boats?
A Case Study
Consider this case study from the retail and food industry involving convenience stores. Not long ago, the U.S. convenience store industry was experiencing a growth problem — it wasn’t growing. Fuel profit margins were negligible and more user-friendly pay-at-the-pump technology was reducing the time consumers spent in their stores. The industry concluded long ago that every minute customers are in-store results in a greater spend per visit. While most c-store chains began offering packaged and grab-and-go food to combat the problem, it was poorly received for its lack of selection, quality and nutrition.
Eventually, some forward-thinking chains placed a bet by investing in their foodservice offerings. But how? Their stores weren’t equipped, and their employees weren’t trained for such change. Furthermore, studying their national and local competitors was futile because nobody was doing it particularly well.
But why reinvent the wheel, they reasoned, when they could either partner with
established quick- and fast-service restaurant chains or replicate many of their best
practices and do it themselves. They also relied on industry experts like chefs, food and equipment suppliers, consultants and associations to accelerate their learning curves.
Fast-forward to today and the bet that the c-store industry placed on foodservice was a winner. Not only has it become its fastest-growing revenue generator (in-store sales increased about 30% in the past decade), but this high-margin segment improved the industry’s overall value perception among time-compressed consumers who constantly search for quick and healthy meal options to satisfy multiple day parts. Now, other retail channels like grocery, pharmacy and dollar stores are adapting c-store best practices to their own foodservice operations. These innovations are improving many retailer performances and consumers have more choice and convenience than ever. Win-win.
Why We Do What We Do
I acquired Knighthouse Media for many reasons, but mainly because it’s well-positioned to help our five closely aligned B2B markets share, learn and grow from each other. We’re not asking you to divulge trade secrets. But through an accumulation of shared high-level innovations, we aspire to help your employees, your company and your entire industry innovate and grow.
By the way, we’re taking our own advice and incorporating a lot of innovations at our company. Let us know how we’re doing.
Chief Executive Officer
Knighthouse Media Inc.