Step 2 of #RetailChampion 10-Steps to Retail Success: Positioning

As I explained in the post “10-steps to retail success“, this is a process / methodology I’ve developed for my 1-2-1 mentoring clients. Over the coming weeks / months I’ll be introducing each step with a little more detail. This blog introduces the second, positioning.

Positioning is about where you “fit” relative to your competition

Positioning is all about where you “fit” relative to your most likely competition around 4 areas – product, price, presentation and service.

The key to this is understanding who the most likely competition are – the market is so open and diverse; you have to pin point those businesses who are the most likely alternatives to your business that a consumer may chose.

Don’t compete on price, compete on service!

Smaller retailers can’t (usually) competing on price with the big players – so my advice is that when you can’t compete on price compete on service. That’s much easier to do – because smaller retailers do usually have the edge when it comes to great service. BUT if you’re not competing on price and you ARE competing on service you need to consider how that impacts your entire brand positioning.

Why your positioning impacts on your ability to deliver on you customer service promises.

The way you position your business creates an outward impression about your business to all those who come across it. In this way your positioning makes “promises”, explicit or implied, to your customers and your potential customers.  Positioning is pivotal to your ability to deliver a positive service experience. Why? Because through your positioning your business makes promises, implied or explicit, and sets expectations with your customers. If you then fail to match those expectations you’ll have created a customer service issue.

Introducing Step 3 of the 10-steps to retail success – Ideal Customer

In the next blog about the 10 steps to retail success I’ll be introducing step 3, ideal customer. If you can’t wait then don’t forget that I’m also offering the “Be a retail champion by next year” programme, which includes 52 FREE weekly retail tips by email.

To sign up for that visit


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
This entry was posted in 10 steps to retail success, positioning, robust repeatable processes, saleable business, scalable, Service, The Retail Champion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Step 2 of #RetailChampion 10-Steps to Retail Success: Positioning

  1. Pingback: Introducing the #RetailChampion10-steps to retail success… | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

  2. Pingback: Why the businesses who lost out on Groupon only had themselves to blame… | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

  3. Pingback: Is there hope for the small independent retailer? #indieretail | Independent Retail

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