19 Dec Seven Tips from Tip Kindall – The Founder of The Container Store
I recently attended this talk at the Global Shop conference in Las Vegas. Global Shop is the leading in-store retail marketing industry conference and trade show.
Tip Kindall, the founder of The Container Store, is a fun, light-hearted and modest business leader, who emphasizes taking care of people and what he calls conscious capitalism.
This is a system that works for everyone involved; customers, employees, shareholders, vendors and communities (see the book “Conscious Capitalism” by the founder of Whole Foods.)
Motto of The Container Store: “Life’s more fun when you’re organized.”
I guess it is.
1. Communication = Leadership
Communication is leadership.
We believe in practicing consistent, reliable, predictable, effective, thoughtful, compassionate and courteous communication.
What we also call: Servant leadership.
Optimize all your relationships: Customers, vendors, employees etc.
2. 75% of Employee Productivity Is Voluntary – It Can’t Be Mandated
Founder of Darden restaurants says that 25% of productivity is mandatory at work, in other words it is required by your job. But the main part, the other 75% is voluntary. It cannot be required or mandated. People give the other 75% of productivity if they want to.
So leadership and communication are hugely important to bring out this “un-requirable” 75% of what your employees can bring.
3. Importance of Visual Selling in Retail – Perfect Product Presentation
Visual sales, because visual sells – critical importance of merchandising in retail.
Merchandising is the foundation of generating impulse sales; Fronting and straightening product.
Nothing less than perfect product presentation.
4. Man-in-the-Desert Theory of Customer Service
If you find a man stranded in the desert don’t just give him a a glass of water.
Don’t just provide the minimum solution they are asking for.
Provide a complete solution.
Put him in a lounge chair by the pool with a glass of lemonade and a massage.
The Goal is to have customers dancing in their closet.
It’s not just about upselling, it’s about providing a complete solution. Not just selling a product.
5. The 3 Steps Rule
You can tell 3 steps into the door of a place, whether it is a business, a store or restaurant, if there is an air of excitement in the place; if there is a positive energy, if people are engaged, excited.
The Container Store tries to achieve that.
6. Fill the Other Guy’s Basket Up to the Brim
Business is not a zero sum game, you lose, I win. It doesn’t work, it’s not sustainable.
Fill the other guy’s basket to the brim.
Making money then becomes an easy proposition.
We believe in creatively crafting mutually beneficial vendor relationships; they pay their vendors on time, for example.
The more you know about someone, the more you care about them; they get to know everyone they do business with.
Business is not a zero sum game – someone doesn’t have to lose for someone else to win.
Fill the other guy’s basket to the brim
7. Capitalism Will Save the World!
Former president Bill Clinton with his Global Initiative organization is travelling around the world teaching that charity won’t save the world; business will.
Micro loans and a start-up culture in third world countries are what develop communities, not only aid.