I’m fascinated by the recent explosion of smart gyms. Recently, there have been several articles written about Peloton, Classpass, and a host of other entrants into the smart gym space.

This should come as no surprise to retailers as today’s consumer is all-powerful, selecting winners and losers with a simple swipe to, or away from, a retailer. They use their smartphone as their personal mission control center, firing instructions from their device as they dictate the terms and conditions they require.

Consumers demand shared control of the process; consider Uber or Netflix. In both cases, the consumer selects what they want and when they want it, from the convenience of their phone. Peloton has capitalized on this. They provide users the ability to select the instructor, the length and intensity of the class, the genre of the music, and the time they would like to take it. Frankly, it is brilliant.

Today’s all-powerful and all-knowing consumer presents many opportunities and a few challenges for today’s retailers. It is indeed an incredible time to be in business. As a side note, I am sorry to see Jennifer Jacobs leave Peloton. She was one of the very best instructors and had a cult-like following. People matter.



There are several lessons that we can learn from the adjustments being made by supermarket retailers, and companies like Best Buy in order to offset Amazon’s incursion into our respective businesses. The good news is that several companies are making solid gains against the retailing behemoth.

1) Realize that Amazon is only gaining market share by providing better service to our customers, so it seems like a simple solution to simply think in advance about how we can improve our customer experience. It is much easier to keep your existing clients than to attempt to regain their trust after they have defected; do it now.

2) Supermarkets are now focusing on the special and the specific needs of the wealthier consumer by offering upscale product offerings and customization to this group of shoppers. It would then make sense to spread the customization to a larger group of consumers in different sectors providing “customized scalability”. By providing these services to our entire customer base we can increase our value proposition and retain/expand our customer base. Clearly, we can do this in our respective industries.

3) Provide better value in everything that you do. We have to disrupt ourselves by anticipating the needs of our customers from their perspective. Chances are the front line associates that work for us can provide great insight into how we could make things easier, better, faster for our customers; harness the brainpower of your staff! The more consistently we do this the less appetizing our respective business will be for Amazon to consume.

When we set out to create the Paragon Honda/Paragon Acura pickup and delivery service we considered a number of pricing strategies, from having the customers pay a subscription fee to offering it as a line item on their service bill. We decided to take a page out of Amazon’s book and to offer the service of picking up and delivering customers cars, for service, for free. The luxury car manufactures will be hard-pressed to provide better value than we are currently offering to all of our Honda and Acura customers. The response from our customers has been outstanding.

Thank you to Jim Fitzpatrick of CBT News for capturing the essence of the Google Marketing live meeting/ ThinkAuto2019.

We thought that Paragon Direct should bring all the services directly to the customer. Whenever, wherever, however, they access the Internet – 24 hrs a day

How do we create a play that can make us impervious to the competition? 

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have