The cooperative way out of retail strife

By Leon Gettler

Collaboration specialist and head of advice at the Harridge Group, Adrian Shaw, says the model could work well but family businesses need to be careful if, for example, they co-branded for a local wedding. “If a cake shop and dress shop got together, they could make a decision and implement it fairly swiftly,” Shaw says. “But it’s also about making sure they maintain their identity if that’s really important to the family business. “For example if the cake shop has been around for three generations, they don’t want its reputation to be tarnished by having something go wrong with the dressmaker or the photographer.

Consultant Roger Powell from Whitespaces Management and Marketing Services also thinks family businesses should tread with caution. “It’s hard enough to get a family to agree to something, but to get two families to agree might be even more difficult,” Powell says. “In the context of a marketing program it would be viable but I think there would be a whole heap of issues that you need to get around. “The biggest concern would be is it an equal branding arrangement?

Family business consultant John Stanley says it could be the future for family businesses. “One of the things we have to look at is the consumer and the consumer is looking for solutions, not products,” Stanley says. “By co-branding or networking, the small business can start providing the solutions rather than just the product. “A lot of family businesses are not in that space.

He says it also depends on the size of the business. “For some family businesses, the key issue is not only survival but legacy,” he says. “If they enter into a co-branding or joint venture, they have to ask what that means for their brand and reputation.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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