• 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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365 Whole Foods is not the answer

I was right, Whole Foods has lost its way. I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago where I made an argument that Whole Foods had lost a lot of its uniqueness because competitors were selling like products at lower costs. As a result, its stock price has nearly been halved over the past 12 months.

365 by Whole Foods
365 Whole Foods won’t fix its brand problems.

Now, Whole Foods is opening up a sub brand, 365 Whole Foods Market, which is “a smaller more curated selection at excellent price points” according to CEO Walter Robb. While a sub-brand in and of itself is not obvious problem, Whole Foods, which is under extreme competitive pressures where its same store sales and margins are down, it represents an all to common move to diversify rather than solidify.

365 Whole Foods is a non-starter.

Whole Foods as a brand needs to work on its main brand not divide it. Not only does the 365 Whole Foods Market concept represent drift from its main brand, it is confusing and appears as though it could actually compete with other Whole Foods markets. Further, 365 Whole Foods Markets hints at including some services that go way beyond the traditional grocery store concept like record stores and tattoo parlors.

Neither of which have anything to do with the traditional Whole Foods brand.

History is filled with companies that try to fix a problem by creating new ones. What Whole Foods does not understand is that its problem is not the lack of a sub-brand. Its problem is that the execution of its brand has not changed as market conditions have. Being first mover does not always guarantee success, especially over the long haul and certainly not when the brand fails to adapt.

For Whole Foods, 365 Whole Foods will do nothing to fix its brand.

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