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Taking The Leap: Retail Speaker Douglas Stephens On Going First & Winning [VIDEO]
Sales | October 19, 2012

Taking The Leap: Retail Speaker Douglas Stephens On Going First & Winning [VIDEO]

"Brands that go first are brands that are winning," retail speaker Douglas Stephens said in a recent keynote. "The only way any of us are going to avoid the disruption, ultimately, in the marketplace, is if we are the ones that are causing it." As one of the leading—and one of the only—retail prophets on the planet, Stephens has been forecasting retail trends for the past twenty years. In this keynote, he takes us through a short history of the shopping experience, saying that between 400 B.C. and approximately 1994 there haven't been many major changes to the concept of the store. There has always been a destination in retail, he says, whereby the consumer needed to go to a specific location (whether a physical store or a website) to make a purchase. That, however, is now starting to change. And the retailers that adapt to those changes, and create new trends themselves, will be the most successful.

One of the biggest changes that he describes in the advent of the "third shelf." As he writes on his Retail Prophet website (the hub of his successful retail consulting firm), the third shelf is "the precise place, moment or opportunity, outside of the store or the home, where the consumer can consider, interact with or even buy your products." Augmented reality videos and interactive menus in train stations are but two examples of how retailers are moving away from the traditional destination mentality, and beginning to interact with potential customers in new environments.

It's this type of forward thinking that makes Stephens' keynotes so in-demand with today's top companies. He uses in-depth analysis of current trends to forecast what will be popular in the future—so that your company can jump on board before your competitors. "There is a strong correlation, a growing correlation, between the brands that are going first and the brands that are winning," says Stephens. "They're winning because they're experimenting."
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