Those 10 million of us who watched the 4 x 100m relays at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday night could not fail to wonder at the British teams. Two medals, silver for the women, and gold for the men, who set the third fastest time in history at the same time! Having seen so many failures in the past mainly due to dropped batons, I watched with my wife and daughter, with a huge amount of nervousness. Watching the replay after the victory, it made me realise that winning and losing is entirely due to the baton exchanges. Play too safe and you will get the baton round, but probably finish 5th or 6th. To win they must push the exchanges to the limit, which runs the risk of disaster, but also gives a chance of a tremendous victory.
We were talking the other day in our sales meeting about the need for retailers to prepare themselves for the younger generation of consumers. By 2019, there will be 17 million millennials within the UK. That is a powerful consumer group, and, generally, that generation is more interested in good food than many in the older generations. Yes, the grey pound will still be important to garden centres, farm shops and delicatessens, and this is the market that these retailers have particularly focussed on. However, if they continue to focus on that generation to the exclusion of millennials they will start to go backwards.
It was encouraging at our Christmas Roadshows to see several farm shop owners and managers bringing with them a younger member of their teams for a second opinion on which products of our range to buy. Excellent news. What appeals to one generation could be abhorrent to another, so this was very good to see. The next step would be to let the millennials make the decisions. These will be the retailers that grow and prosper over the next few years. Just like the relay runners, passing the baton can be risky, but unless we push the limits to the edge, we won’t see success. Why don’t you, this week, think of something you could handover to a younger member of your team and do it!
Have a great week!