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Our approach... ...to retail “ T he difference between visionary retail brands and brands that have to fight for every dollar of margin lies in the fundamental understanding of the business they are in – great retailers do not deliver experiences in order to sell stuff. They sell stuff to amplify experiences. ”

Protean Strategies has focused on retail and transactional brands since our very first client ( Ontario Hydro ) . In the subsequent years we have made the rain fall on a such major Canadian retail brands as Holt Renfrew, Shoppers Drug Mart, Mac’ s Convenience Stores, Sears Canada, LCBO, GM Goodwrench, CIBC, Amicus, etc. Our approach to retail is unique, and results in an ability to view the store very much from the point of view of the customer, which in most cases transcends the merchandise the retailer sells. Fundamentally, we have found that purchase behavior is dictated by the intrinsic need of the customer ( the way he or she need the shopping exercise to play out) rather than their need for the goods they buy: if people were driven by the goods they buy, they would always buy from the cheapest, closest outlet. But they don ’ t. And we believe we know why.

416.967.3337 www.proteanstrategies.com

Protean Strategies is a Toronto based management consulting firm. Since 1997 we have been helping large and small companies convert brand value into higher margins and bottom line profits by understanding their stakeholders needs; building powerful strategies; and aligning business practices with marketing and sale to a common goal.


In it’s most fundamental form, luxury can be defined as “waste.”

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Call or email us today for more information on our suite of hospitality industry consulting services

Protean Strategies 80 Cumberland Street, Suite 1503 Toronto M5R 3V1 Canada 416.967.3337 Bernstein@proteanstrategies.com www.proteanstrategies.com

Laurence Bernstein is the founder and managing partner of Protean Strategies/The Bay Charles Consulting Group Limited. He has been a leading proponent of the “new order of differentiation� and has written and lectured on the subject of experiential branding and intrinsic/extrinsic research methodologies in Canada, the US and China. In addition to a highly successful 20 year career in advertising and marketing he held senior positions at Westin Hotels and The Canadian Restaurant Association. Laurence attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Cornell University in Ithaca , New York This white-paper is based on the original paper on the subject written by Laurence Bernstein and published in the Cornell Quarterly in April, 1999.


Protean Approach to Retail