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Catching the Chameleon [Paperback]

Lynn Allison
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

18 Feb 2011
Catching the Chameleon is the story of how, every day, retailers fail to grasp opportunities for sales, because they misunderstand customers' constantly changing chameleon-like needs.Juggling sales data, market information, stock control and sta˜, retailers act like managers and forget to think and act like customers. A straightforward and personal insight into real behaviour, Catching the Chameleon explains what the world is like accord-ing to customers, identifies the barriers that retailers unknow-ingly raise and shows you how to remove them. Catching the Chameleon includes an unique account of 'customer journeys', a method of understanding customers which traditional market research cannot reveal.

Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Ecademy Press Limited (18 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905823991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905823994
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,008,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


A fascinating insight into the mind of the retail customer which will completely transform your thinking around ways you can maximise your sales. -- Rachel Elnaugh, Award-Winning Entrepreneur A great book - addresses the need to focus on customer behaviour. -- Di Tunney, The Best Organisation This book serves in a no-nonsense way to concentrate the mind of the retailer on their customers' needs. It gives great examples where retailers think they have met these needs through being very product focused and yet have missed the motivation and criteria of their customers. -- John Mettrick, Retail butcher of the year Inspiring, with a very personal touch -- Shirley Johnson, retailer

About the Author

Lynn Allison has worked in the marketing profession since 1985. In 2005 she was elected as a Fellow to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, an honour given to only 40 women worldwide that year. In 2009, Lynn became a Chartered Marketer and continues to work in the business-to-business sector specialising in effective communications. Lynn lives in Derbyshire with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 17 Nov 2011
This book will inevitably be compared with the TV work of Mary Portas and the whole noise created about retail. And it stands up very well. Very well indeed. In fact Mary should be working with Lynn Allison.

It is full of sections such as 'what you could do', 'recommended actions' and so forth - this makes it very practical.

The basis of the book is understanding 1) the customer journey and 2) the customer experience.

It is in essence a refined version of 'Customer Is King: How to Exceed Their Expectations (Virgin Business Guides)' where I was quite general in my approach (ie grumpy old man complaining about rubbish service and why don't businesses understand that great service = great profits!!!).

This is more specific and more practical. if you are in retail you should read this book before your competitors do. Keep it your secret!

Well done, Lynn.

Robert Craven, Author of Customer Is King: How to Exceed Their Expectations (Virgin Business Guides) and Grow Your Service Firm
(via 'Anthony' because I can't get Amazon to change my nickname...)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for All Retailers 9 May 2011
`Catching the Chameleon' starts off with the author's personal story on how her spending and buying habits changed and this started her on a journey to discover why this was.

Using her background in marketing Lynn Allison maintains that the reason people are not buying a particular store's goods is because the owner is making it difficult for the customer and putting obstacles in their way. This book neatly reveals these obstacles and provides the retailer with a road map on how to boost sales and hence profitability.

The central theme of the book is that to be a successful retailer you need to understand your customer's chameleon-like moods, motivations and behaviours. Once you have understood you can then present your goods to match. The book helps retailers prepare for the day when the chameleon appears and customers suddenly change. With the insights this book presents the retailer should be on guard, ready to respond.

As customers we have a lot of internal conversations going on and unwittingly these are likely to affect our buying habits. Wouldn't it be good for retailers to be aware of what these internal conversations could be? Chapter Three delves in to this area and provides useful insights into the customer's constant stream of decisions, motivations, all of which make up their changing needs.

Allison says there is a natural flow to the way customer's buy but many stores are working against this flow in terms of store layout, signage and staff training. Contained in the book are two useful questions retailers can ask customers which will give insight into their criteria and needs, allowing the retailer to respond accordingly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'm a chameleon too! 25 April 2011
By Me
I immediately recognised myself as one of the chameleons doing battle with the high street stores on a daily basis to get what I want, and found myself applauding the author's common sense approach here. Internet shopping now has a place in my life, but in many ways it can't replace the shopping in person experience, especially the social aspect if I am with friends. Lynn's concise and direct writing style clearly spells out what the retailers need to think about to make our shopping easy, whoever we may be on the day in question - mother, friend, bargain hunter, carer, present seeker, man... and if they treat us badly, we will never forget it!

So although I'm not a retailer myself, I'm sure reading this thoughtful book can help many store owners and managers take simple and inexpensive steps to respond to our needs, and make us want to come back again and again. In these competitive times, it's a no-brainer!
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If you're one of the thousands of people that makes a living running a shop or working in some sort of retail outlet then you'll know what Lynn Allison is getting at in this book when she compares the constantly changing needs of a customer to that of a chameleon.
Far from insinuating the average shop customer is a boggle-eyed lizard, marketing expert Lynn has attempted to bring an element of clarity and decorum to the fast-paced world of retail by describing it from a customer's point of view.
For the shop-owner this book - which focuses on the mistakes often made by retailers - isn't the patronising attack at your competence you might fear at first and it's interesting to see a true expert take such a straight-forward and simple approach to what can be a very complicated and subjective challenge.
There's no doubt a barrage of other books and guides to attracting customers to your business or store, but there can be few that are so enjoyable to read and easy to digest. You really could pick up the gist of her tips and suggested approaches in a few hours.
Even seasoned business experts, with years of experience, might find some of this interesting guide useful, as trends change daily and customers attitudes are steered all the time by influences they see in the media. The aim of the book is to explain the best way to stay ahead.
When running any kind of business time is never on your side, but even the best of us might need a spot of advice now and then.
This small simple guide to the way a customer's mind ticks will leave you full of ideas, and hopefully a shop full of people.
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