Op-Ed: Maintaining Perspective and Backing Our Industry Causes
UNITED STATES - Our industry and our country are in uncharted waters today. While many of those of my generation have experienced and managed through severe dilemmas before, including major product recalls, financial meltdowns, H1N1, Bird Flu, hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.—what we are facing today is unprecedented and will require all of us, especially our industry leaders, to maintain perspective while keeping our industry and our country afloat.
The standard list of items like leadership, team engagement, and thoughtful strategic actions are still in play and must be a part of everything we do and the decisions we make.
But, we must understand and remember from all the crises we’ve encountered before, that how we respond to today’s crises, including the actions we take, must be done with a better understanding of how the ultimate customer—the consumer—will rebound and how they will resume normalcy after this event is over.
Here are some things we are all keeping in mind and should continue to:
- Today’s customers are reeling from information overload with much of that being inaccurate
- They are scared, paranoid, frightened, and isolated
- None of us have ever been “sheltered in place” or deprived of the exceptional benefits of living in a free society and quite frankly doing whatever they please whenever they want to
- Customer’s today are not used to going to a grocery store and not finding most everything they want or need–this is a traumatic change to their world view
Our industry is positioned very well to be part of the solution. Our message is “Food is your friend,” and we provide the best and most healthy food the grocery store. We are a solution–not a problem! As we work through the timeline till this situation is resolved, we should keep providing a solution and maybe even offer them a better balance at the end than we had at the beginning.
Yes, we need our leaders to be more visionary that yesterday. Yes, we must use the exceptional talent of each companies’ teams and, yes, we must make great strategic decisions both now to stay afloat today and tomorrow to grow and expand your company.
But, what else can we do? I believe there are four tenets of life that we can look to here—and you can put them in any order you like or consider them one tenet in itself:
Food – Fun – Family – Faith
The current world order is to stay in place, so how do we help our ultimate customers—the consumer—keep their families sheltered and use food to be engaging and healthful? Fun used to be doing whatever you wanted to do but that has changed for a time. Can we help position healthy foods (our industry) as something to do as a fun family event? I don’t have the answers. But, if I’ve given you something else to think about rather than not having an N95 mask or hand sanitizer and to help you channel your creative energies, then this is a success.
On the last note, which is personal, now is a great time to pray both for our industry and our country and world.
Companies in this Story
Reggie Griffin Strategies LLC
Reggie Griffin has over 40 years of experience in the retail grocery business, both in Merchandising and Operations...