• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Time to cut the cable cord. Help anyone?

Since the first time I watched the NCAA basketball tournament using streaming services, my selfishness has pined for the day when the rest of television makes the same transition. The simplicity of signing on and watching, without a contract, a high bill and still in HD, has made me wonder, when will the change happen universally?

HBO Go is a good example of this, bridging the divide between streaming and cable, while not currently committing to fully streaming without being a cable subscriber anytime in the future. My only hope for a more simplistic future where I choose only the channels I want rests in Apple or another company with enough brand permission to allow for such a drastic change.

Brand permission dictates what the customer is willing to believe about the claims a brand makes. Tablets, for example, seemed like a long shot at catching on initially. (They didn’t replace a phone or a computer, but instead added a new category.) Not everyone could have pulled it off, but Apple had the brand preference as well as the brand permission to prop up the category and facilitate the transition. It was a big idea and far away from the status quo, which is what Apple represents.

So this is my plea to the Apples of the world. “Please do something about cable.”

My second plea is to those without the brand permission for it. “Please don’t do anything about cable. In fact, stay away.” For change to happen, it must be an unavoidable wave of change. And it must be believable.

Until this change is tackled by a brand with adequate permission, the inertia of rest will continue, and I will have to keep using Time Warner Cable. Sigh.

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