The World's Unsexiest Business
adding a little sizzle to the convenience store industry
Let's call it a duel between brand iconography: a newsletter with unique typography set on a signature peach yellow colored paper versus a web 3.0 multi platform ecosystem replete with price scraping deterrent technology (yes, I've tried albeit unsuccessfully)
For the former, the business model largely relies upon a grassroots movement style heavy handed collective effort of an army of call center 'analysts' (I wouldn't want to offend anyone here by the relegation of staff titles) reaching out to hundreds upon thousands of convenience store owners and operators for supplier and retail prices to collect data to repackage and sell. Integrity seems to be maintained through human 'second pass' common sense and perhaps passive verification.
For the latter, let's call it decentralization at its best (or worst) with a contributor base that teeters between altruistic price informer and competitor manipulator. Sometimes the lines become blurred as evidenced by what seems to be none other than price sabotage while other times consumers simply need to be made aware of a hard to refuse deal at the pump. Revenue is measured in terms of views, clicks, downloads, and subsequent aggregate advertising dollar spend. The integrity of such a system is reasonably kept intact by a distributed self policing effort and something akin to open outcry: if you don't like it or think it's right, someone (human or perhaps bot) will eventually reign in the forces of 'checks and balances' to restore order.
Both company leaders ensure their respective public presence need no fanfare yet their ubiquity as de facto market authority personalities and experts on prices at the pump has largely remain unchallenged for years. But for the sake of dispensing accolades, a 'skin in the game' honorary award might very well be handed to Trilby simply for her longstanding family name having become synonymous with the data itself.
In some instances, I will refer to the people that work for you as team members while in other instances, they'll be your staff and CSRs. As for the precise nomenclature:
Staff / Team Members / Your People: any office or store level employee
CSR: store level customer service representative (employee)
While the above interaction may be slightly exaggerated, it's by no means far fetched. After all, your CSRs are human and can have bad days. You certainly cannot control their temperament nor should you feel the need to do so. But what you can largely influence is the environment of your (and equally their) workplace -- creating and then nurturing open communication and hopefully even (God forbid!) camaraderie. The skeptics might say there's no time for this frivolity or that the development of these 'softer' initiatives pave the way to an incessant stream of rants ultimately leading to possible workplace discontent. To which I'll retort with a reference to Walt Doyle's (CEO of GasBuddy) take on what I'll refer to as the a harsh reality for the Retail 1.0 crowd. (That being the generation of retail entrepreneurs that refuse to embrace digital marketing/communication/lifestyle. By the way, we're currently somewhere around the 4.5 release.)
You no longer own your brand