12:45 – 1:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Closing the conference as a keynote speaker on Thursday, February 15, Donald Cooper will examine strategies for agri-retailers to create, deliver and communicate compelling customer value and experiences.

“Value and experiences are what will “grab” our target customers, clearly differentiate us from our competition and grow our bottom line,” he says. “If we can’t be clear about our value, we have no value story.” 

The idea of clarity is a key concept Cooper will address in his presentation. No matter the size of your business, he says your first and most important job is to create clarity for your management team, employees and customers.

“If we, as a business, don’t clearly know who we are, where we’re going and what we stand for, how will our target customers know who we are? How can we be focused and intentional in running the business, and how will we know what talent we need to attract, develop and retain to make it all happen?” he says.

According to Cooper, one of the biggest complaints from business owners today is there’s no such thing as customer loyalty anymore.

“But that’s simply not true,” he says. “What is true is that people are loyal to what’s best for them – or what they assume is best for them. So, whatever we sell, we need to do the work to become the ‘wise choice’ for our target customers.”

To make that happen, Cooper says business owners must put themselves in their customers’ shoes and understand the realities they face and how that influences their wants and needs.

“Then, we have to communicate our value in everything we do. There’s no point in being the best if we’re also the best-kept secret.”

Cooper got his start working for the family business, Cooper Canada, in 1965. After 18 years, he left the company and reinvented himself as a visionary fashion retailer. He was the founder and president of Alive & Well, a “warehouse boutique” concept store in Markham, Ont. for 13 years.

After moving on from the fashion industry in 1995, Cooper began working as an international business speaker and coach, helping businesses, leaders and managers in 40 different industries achieve a more successful future. He was inducted into the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame in 2003.

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