Retail Executive

JAN-FEB 2018

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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Why Self-Actualization Is The Future Of Retail Understanding your customer's basic, societal, and growth needs should influence your current strategies and offerings. L I N D S A Y A N G E L O Growth strategist, consultant, speaker As these two shifts (market evolution + societal evolu- tion) come up against one another, they cause us to seek out what's next in life – that is, the quest for purpose and growth. Enter Abraham Maslow. For those of you whose high school days are long past, let me provide a refresh- er. Abraham Maslow, in the 1940s, developed a basic model of human needs that looked something like this: s a strategist, I subscribe to the notion that context is key. That said, we've seen two shifts emerge over the past decade: a) a market evolution and, b) a societal evolution. The former can be best described as the democratization of retail; that is, the proliferation of competitive and innovative offerings entering the market over the past decade, a dynamic driven by re- tail doing away with the high barriers to entry that have existed to date. Factors such as easier access to capital (think: the likes of Kickstarter and equi- ty-based crowd-funding), easier distribution (think: the advent of marketplaces and the likes of Shopify), and the overall digital age have created a ripe land- scape for innovation and entrepreneurialism. Secondly, we've witnessed a societal evolution, one that is perhaps best described as Betterment. This re- lates to the progress we've made as a society, a notion that manifests in a global rising middle class (emphasis on global, as this varies regionally) and is enabled by a digital age that has widened the scope of people's lives, resources, and knowledge. A What is the future of retail? A question that has stirred up spirited debate — one we are reminded of with a simple walk to the grocery store or while mulling over a gum purchase. The notion of looking in unordinary places to answer ordinary questions has always inspired me. Triggered by a desire to pursue a consulting venture that provoked positive change and coming off six years in strategy at Lululemon, this trail led me to none other than the field of evolutionary psychology. If that phrase conjures up Psychology 101 and images of Abraham Maslow, you're on the right track. It is in the posthumous of Maslow's work and its iterations that lay an undis- covered truth that, if unpacked, can open up a world of opportunity. MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Grounded in the notion that hu- mans start at the bottom and work their way up, Maslow argued that first and foremost we strive to meet our most basic needs, such as safe- ty and security. Once met, we grad- uate up to our social needs – love, belonging, and esteem. Finally, we reach for self-actualization, defined as being our best selves and fulfill- ing our greatest potential. Growth / Purpose Social Basic Self- Actualization Esteem Love & Belonging Safety Physiological Needs Illustration 1 ROAD MAP operations By L. Angelo WHY SELF-ACTUALIZATION IS THE FUTURE OF RETAIL RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 32

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