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Brick and Mortar Stores Are Dead? Not So Fast!

The Younger Generation That Chooses Brick and Mortar Stores

You’re a part of Generation Z if you were born between 1997 and 2012. (If Z is the last letter of the alphabet… then what’s next?) This generation actually prefers shopping at old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores. Why? Simply put—because it’s fun and entertaining! Does this mean we’ve all exaggerated the death of retail? We think so.

According to a recent Morning Consult study, “(They) will be the largest, most ethnically diverse, best educated, and most financially powerful generation ever.” When Gen Z-ers started spending their own money, two-day delivery was becoming the norm. They made their first purchases when the convenience of online ordering and home delivery was the trend. So why didn’t they keep it up and hop onto the online bandwagon? Is ecommerce missing something? Or was it that, when looking at these different shopping experiences side by side, they found that neither was shiny and new? Why did they choose brick-and-mortar shopping over online?

We think it’s the spontaneity that comes with retail. There’s also a tactile experience that online shopping can’t provide. And we think shopping brick-and-mortar satisfies a social need, whether it’s just being out of the house, dressing up, or investing in “retail therapy”. They might find exactly what they were looking for, or they could discover something brand-new! Either way, they’re going out to interact with real people instead of clicking around online from the comfort of home.

The Beauty of Brick and Mortar Shopping

As producers who have built a major retail brand, we appreciate the power behind brick-and-mortar. We were lucky enough to offer our products in a large territory to retailers’ existing customers. Unlike the direct-to-consumer business where only a few items are sold at a time, we received one check for one big shipment of many different products. Our brand had the opportunity to be discovered on retail shelves and floor displays. When people buy online, they’re likely to repeat the same purchase of the same brand over and over again. There’s barely any chance of discovering something new! Convenience and time-saving triumph over discovery!

Price-wise, ecommerce is a race to the bottom. Price is always the determining factor online, rather than quality. Both the customer and the producer know that quality is hard to fake in a physical retail store.

Going Shopping—For Fun!

According to the report we mentioned earlier, two-thirds of Gen Z-ers shop for fun at least once per month. Among the list of their top “brands” were Wal-Mart and Target—two of the world’s largest brick-and-mortar stores.

“Free delivery” is a peculiar misconception that has boosted ecommerce as we know it. If everyone working for the USPS, UPS, and FedEx still gets paid to ship “for free”, where does the money come from? Either the online merchants factored shipping into their prices, or they “invested” in delivery costs to compete with brick-and-mortar stores. The customer ends up paying for delivery one way or another in the end. But a brick-and-mortar store will meet you halfway—You drive to them. They offer you prices that don’t include the cost of getting the product in your hands.

It’s been interesting to see Generation Z rediscovering what the Boomers knew all along about brick-and-mortar shopping. But don’t let them have all the fun—let’s go on a shopping trip! We’ll discover something new and meet people along the way!

 For more, read on: http://c-suitenetworkadvisors.com/advisor/michael-houlihan-and-bonnie-harvey/



Marketing Personal Development

Here’s what sucks about stock photos on your website…

Do you leverage stock photos on your website?

Read on to see why that sucks.

As a speaker, author and expert-based business owner, your website is the magical nerve center of your online presence. 

It’s the top level that all other areas of your digital footprint leads to.

When you drive them to your hub, you want to greet them with all things YOU. 

And it starts with your image content. 

When people view your portraits, they’re looking to subconsciously answer three main questions: 

  • Is this person approachable?
  • Will I get along with this person?
  • Can this person be trusted?

If you only post stock photography on your website, you’re impeding the qualification process of those who would otherwise be ideal clients for you to serve. 

This impedance creates doubt in the minds of those who visit your site and have them look for alternatives rather than contact you directly. 

Why create that doubt when you can simply invest in an image content portfolio created specifically for you?

Some people argue that it’s hard to capture certain types of image content and it’s just easier to buy something already done. 

Sure, I can buy that it’s hard to capture certain types of image content based on the types of audiences you serve…

…but does that mean your brain is broken and can’t think of creative alternatives that involve you in them?

There’s ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat.

For example, if you need photos of a boardroom meeting and your clients typically have you sign confidentiality agreements, then book a co-working space boardroom and have 3-5 of your friends show up for 30 minutes in their boardroom uniform best and instruct your photographer capture a wide variety of images:

  • You leading a discussion
  • Someone giving a presentation with slides
  • Attendees taking notes
  • Someone typing on a laptop
  • Shaking hands
  • People grouped together in discussion

This is a very generalized list, but you get the point. 

How many stock photos of the above scenarios have you seen floating around the internet? How easy would it be to simply capture images that you have full rights to and can do whatever you want with?

In collaboration with my clients, we’ve contrived a wide variety of lifestyle scenarios, including the above boardroom scenario, in order to get customized lifestyle portraits that they can use for their websites, including:

  • Webinars
  • Keynotes
  • Workshops
  • One-on-one consultations
  • Working on technology
  • Brainstorming ideas/mind mapping
  • Day-to-day activities

Some have argued to me that it’s cheaper to purchase stock images than to hire a photographer for a branded lifestyle portrait session.

Here’s my two cents on that.

Depending on where you purchase the stock photos – Getty, Pond 5, Adobe, etc. –  the pricing might be considerably cheaper than a portrait photography session. 

But here’s the catch.

That photo isn’t exclusively for you – it’s for everyone else who purchases rights to it. Do you want to run the risk of posting a photo that 20 other people are also using? Specifically, people who also operate in a similar space of expertise?

In that case, buy the exclusive rights, you say?

Have you seen how much it costs to garner exclusive rights for one photo? If you have more than a handful of stock images on your site, that strategy becomes cost prohibitive.

At the end of the day, all roads point to you investing in an image content portfolio that has a wide variety of branded lifestyle portraits and other image content that uniquely illustrates who you are, who you serve, and why you do what you do. 

Your website is too important a marketing asset to be littered with images that can be found all over the internet. 

There is only one you, and you need to be front and center on your website!

If you would like to learn more about image content portfolios and the relationship between visual content and the written word, I invite you to subscribe to my blog, where I also share other storytelling strategies that help to create a memorable and referable online presence.

Ready to skip the reading and get down to work?

Are you ready to delete all the stock images on your website and start fresh with your own branded lifestyle portraits?

Let’s have a chat and see if we’re a good fit to work together on this.


John DeMato is a NYC branded lifestyle portrait photographer and storytelling strategist who serves speakers, authors, coaches and high-level entrepreneurs across the country. His 50+ page e-book, S.H.A.R.E. M.A.G.I.C.A.L. I.D.E.A.S., lays out the how, what and why behind creating a memorable and referable online presence – sign up to get your FREE copy today.

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“You Need to Stop Stupid Bad Decisions Now” – Negotiation Insight

Bad decisions can lead to bad outcomes. Stupid decisions can make bad outcomes worse.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)


Click here to get the book!

“You Need to Stop Stupid Bad Decisions Now”

He had a crucial meeting at 9 a.m. the following day. It was with his company’s largest client. Many months had gone into the preparation of what would be the biggest deal the company had ever had. And everyone was counting on him to land that big deal.

So why do you think he allowed his so-called friends to talk him into going out the night before the big meeting? He knew what was at stake the next morning. They asked him to have just one drink. One drink turned into two, and two turned into nine. Finally, being inebriated, he said to his friends, I must go. I must be ready for that big meeting tomorrow. By the time he got home and went to sleep, it was 2:47 a.m. When he awoke, it was 11:09 a.m. He missed the meeting. He also lost what had up until then been a good career – because he got fired!

Has anything like that ever happened to you? Your so-called friends, instead of supporting you, distracted you from a goal. Maybe it wasn’t to the degree of what occurred in the story. In that case, the decision to go out the night before the big meeting wasn’t just a wrong decision – it was stupid! More than likely, you’ve made stupid decisions too. So why do you allow that to happen? There are several reasons. The following are some of them and how to protect yourself from falling prey.


Friends Versus Associates:

Be careful with whom you surround yourself. And don’t associate with people that work against your goals. Understand the value of real friends. They help protect you from harm. And they support your ambitions.

Associates, on the other hand, are people that may be close to you – but they’re usually individuals that care more about their self-interest than yours. They may not share your goals or outlook that you possess.

Here’s the catch, friends can lead you into bad decisions. If they do so once, you may consider forgiving them. If they do so frequently, move them out of the friend category. And ultimately you might consider moving them out of your life.

Whatever label you assign to those that are friends versus associates, be mindful of who you let into the friend category. Those individuals will have a more significant impact on your life.


Strong And Discipline:

There is a strength of mind and a mind that’s disciplined. You more than likely possess either depending on what you’re contemplating. But when confronted with decisions of significance, you need to combine those two forces.

When you know you have a lot riding on the outcome of a decision, consider the consequences of not being able to perform at your best. If that doesn’t prove to be substantial enough leverage, think what you might lose. Most people have a greater fear of loss than they do for the power of additional gain.

To ascend to higher heights, you must possess an attitude that states, no one will stop you. Then, commit to yourself to stop making stupid decisions. Once fortified by that belief, you’ll become empowered. That’s when you’ll possess the ability to achieve more consistently. That’ll also be the time when you stop making stupid bad decisions … and everything will be right with the world.


What does this have to do with negotiations?


Everyone makes bad decisions sometimes. It may be due to erroneous information, fear of not wanting to confront a situation boldly, or misperceiving the severity of it. Regardless of the reason, when you know you can avoid turning a bad mistake into a stupid one, don’t turn it into one.

In a negotiation, the more time you spend in it, the higher the chance to make bad decisions. Most negotiators want to see a bargaining session to its conclusion. That leaves them vulnerable to turning a wrong decision into a stupid one.

First, be alert to how you’re making decisions when you negotiate. If you feel pressure leading the choices you make, view that as a warning signal. It’ll be the alarm that alerts you to the possible doorway opening that leads to worse decisions.



Remember, you’re always negotiating!


Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator


After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com


To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/


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