Much is being made about how online shopping on sites like Amazon killed the venerable department store, Sears. But you don’t have to be a Gimbel’s heir to know that what’s really at the heart of a brand’s demise is the customer experience. It’s not that Sears and its products weren’t relevant, it’s that the Sears shopping experience became not only less relevant, but frankly unpleasant in the waning years.

Additionally, the Sears brand became diluted as management tried everything they could to milk the loyal customer base of their hard-earned money: Come in to buy a pair of husky-sized dungarees? Let us interest you in a new house from Coldwell Banker! Love our Craftsman tools? We knew that – so much so that we decided to sell off the brand to the highest bidder just to make money off your brand loyalty!

The problem, in the end, is that Sears leadership didn’t give a whit about the brand. Nay, didn’t give a fig about the brand. In Chromium parlance, they subverted themselves to The Power of Eight, which is to say they made so many boneheaded moves they ended up behind the proverbial Eight Ball. They just wanted to cut costs and extract cash while they could. And it showed: The stores became dumpy, the staff became frumpy and, as a result, the relationship with the customer became bumpy.

The Power of Eight – staying relevant requires thinking ahead and executing perfectly, lest you find yourself in an unenviable position.

Is your leadership team truly living and effectively communicating the brand? Contact us today to learn how Chromium’s brand leadership coaching program can keep your leadership team – and your brand – from falling behind the Eight Ball.

Photo Credit: David J. Willis, Asbury Park Press