Tag Archives: business

Trust: A Meaningful Five-Letter Word.


Trust takes years to buildseconds to break, and forever to repair.” – Anonymous 


The Oxford Dictionary defines trust as:

[The] “Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. “

Whether it’s business or personal relations, trust is a five-letter word that holds a lot of
meaning. It’s the essence through which we build sustainable relationships and it’s the way in which we formulate countless decisions.

Trust is our ability to navigate safely through the decision-making process. When we ask
questions like: “Can I trust this person?” or “I have to trust that whatever is meant to be, will be,” we are mentally processing the reliability of the circumstance.

We use trust as a way to make choices that may not always have a definitive answer. Trusting your intuition, trusting the gut feeling you have.

For any individual, regardless of your industry, formulating relations is about building trust. It’s about understanding that the series of events, and the logical outcome of a situation, is built upon the strength in its foundation.

This means that as professionals in the workplace, we must work hard to gain trust in order to impact the outcome. In managing important relationships, we must create a sense of trust that what we provide is valuable and worthy of a continued interaction.

It is this sense of trust that builds a successful business. Without it, the future of a business is in limbo because trust offers a sense of stability to an organization.  It’s the idea that there exists enough faith in the desired outcome to progress the business forward.

Once trust is gone, it can never be fully restored.

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Target: What went wrong?


 “Your customers are responsible for your company’s reason for existing.” – Marilyn Suttle 

After billions of losses in the Canadian market, Target asks itself today: what went wrong?

According to the OECD Index people in the United States earn around $54, 214 US dollars
annually. Comparing this number to their Canadian counterparts, the average Canadian earns approximately $44, 017 US dollars per year.

The average disposable income in the U.S. is $39, 531 US dollars, versus $30, 212 US dollars in Canada.

So, what do these numbers tell us?

Americans and Canadians do not have the same spending habits.

Target Corporation initiated the transaction of expanding into Canada after the recognition that most Canadians do cross-border shopping, and in most cases, will make a stop at Target. So, why did the allure end so suddenly?

The failed expansion of Target Canada rests in the difference of cultural nuances between Americans and Canadians.

As a corporate communication consultant, our first point of reference in garnering consumer support is to actually understand who our audience is, and how they buy. Target Canada is an example where expansion happened so rapidly without truly stopping to think about consumer differences. After all, most of us will assume there isn’t a huge variation between borders – but that’s where we’re wrong.

There were subtle signs of an attempt to make Target Canada much like their U.S. chain,
including ramping up their Black Friday Deals – a usual draw for Canadian consumers. However, spending habits on Black Friday for the average Canadian is far from their American friends. Most Canadian shoppers are more than likely waiting for Boxing Day Deals, a larger draw for Canadians over Black Friday. Plus, the average Black Friday shopper is more than likely headed across the border to capitalize on better deals and a wider selection.

For a Canadian living in the United States, I see a drastic difference between Target U.S. and
Target Canada. Target Canada is met by higher pricing and minimal selection. The draw between the two stores were extremely different. The expansion of Target into Canada failed to account for a variation in transportation costs and supply demand differences. All relevant to the Canadian consumer.

Furthermore, the slogan “One-Stop-Shop” doesn’t resonate with the Canadian customer. The Canadian consumer tends to shop sporadically, searching for deals across a number of different stores. Where “One-Stop-Shop” resonated with Americans due to ease of use and logistics, the same shopping mannerisms don’t translate synonymously between the two countries.

The learning curve for Target Corporation here, and any corporation looking to expand either North or South of the border, is to remember who is buying the product. It’s not enough to
assume cultural similarities or spending habits. It’s extremely crucial to recognize the subtle variations in how people buy, and the difference in purchase decisions when targeting (pardon the pun) a new audience.

Tweet me your thoughts! @Sam__Dickson

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Failing Doesn’t Mean You’ll Always Lose.

image(10)“That was the day she made herself the promise to live more from intention and less from habit.” ~Amy Rubin

As the first year of my Masters comes to an end, I can’t help but think about where I started and where I’ve ended up. Not only did I uproot my entire life out of my home country, but I also landed myself into one of the most populous urban cities in the world.

It seems like just yesterday I was packing up my things and heading out into the unknown. Stuffed between a frying pan and a hard place, with my sights set on the New York City horizon, I knew I was destined for stories and adventures that would change my life forever.

So, what’s all the buzz about? This grad school thing, is it worth it? How’s New York? Is it really all it’s made out to be?

These are only a few of the questions that I seem to be getting asked as my first year comes to an end. Let me start by saying the risk was worth it. That “hard place” I mentioned, was leaving my friends and family behind. However, the outcome would be to fulfill a goal.

I found myself starting to piece together the puzzle of my life. After endless months of worrying in my last year of university about what I wanted to do, all those worries seemed to come to an end. I began to realize that all my energy and hard work was being rewarded with an
opportunity to discover a career path that I’m endlessly in love with.

Yes, you CAN love your career.

I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve taken away, but also the biggest piece of advice I can give. We all have limited weeks. We all have a life where we can choose to either make the most of what we’ve been given, or just let life take its course.

I say: go work your ass off.

Make a goal and fail at it. Choose another goal and fail at that one too. You know why? Because when you happen to stumble upon that one goal, where you’d be willing to do anything to fulfill it, THAT’S when you’ll know that you’re where you’re supposed to be.

Stop listening to all the people who tell you that you can’t do something. I can’t count the
number of professors who told me that my writing would get me nowhere. Now, I’m thanking them for making me work harder. Prove everyone wrong. Make a mistake. Who cares! When it’s all said and done, make sure that you’re happy and that you’ve chosen a path that was meant for you.

Be willing to push your limits. Step outside your comfort zone and into unknown territory. It pays to be uncomfortable because you’re learning something new. We have a chance to make our life how we’ve always imagined it to be. Now take that dream and put everything that you’ve got into it. Go work for the life you want to live.

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