I've worked on one or two supermarkets. Hard work, but then again. that level of intensity means you work fast.
It struck me then, as it does now, how contradictory people are about these kinds of places.
On one hand, we think they're the devil, ruining independent high street folks, making us fat and unhealthy while shafting their suppliers.
On the other, people still tend to agree that 'their supermarket offers value for money' and, let's face it, most people have spent and still spend most of their grocery money in these places, even if they shop around more.
Just like, if you read the papers, everyone thinks Amazon is evil (they don't) but everyone shops there (they mostly do).
What does this mean?
Firstly, don't assume what you read in the papers is what people really think. It usually isn't.
Secondly, don't assume people will put their money where their mouth is. We all go down the path of least resistance, it's just we try and feel a bit better about it.
Thirdly, it's pointless listening to what people claim to think or do, we are all liars in research. In fact, we all do contradictory things too. Most people that shop in farmers markets also go to a supermarket every week.
Finally, no one has a God given right to survive.
Back in the days of the independent high street, most of the shops were overpriced, gave bad service and didn't sell good stuff (and they also shut on Wednesday afternoons).
But it's true too, that many good businesses went under when the big boys came along. When markets move on, when culture does, those that haven't stayed ahead get crushed.
There are still some ace local retailers though, because, well they are ace and give people a reason to bother.
My local butcher has more business than he can handle because his stuff is better quality, keenly priced and his knowledge of his product is second to none.
In other words, if you want to survive as a business, don't ask people what they want or what they'll do.
If people will have a choice, they'll go with the easy option, not always the best - unless you're exceptional.
And finally, don't stand still. If you're not ahead of the market, eventually it will crush you.
Those creative agencies still churning out 30 second ads as 'the idea'? Yes, there are still some. It's not business as usual, it really isn't.
Those media folks only talking in terms of reach and frequency, you need a new act.
Digital agencies that don't get brands and how communications works? You won't get away with it for long.
Social media folks still talking about 'likes' and 'retweets' as valuable business metrics? Enough said.
Don't stand still, the market will always move on and crush