PROFILE

Xavier Lederer

Business Growth Coach, Founder & CEO of Ambrose Growth

I work with mid-market CEOs and business owners who are frustrated because their business is not growing as fast as they want. As a business growth coach I help them identify and remove growth roadblocks, so that they can grow faster and with less pain.

I leverage my experience over the last 20 years as a high-impact, action-oriented entrepreneurial executive with successful track record of delivering profitable growth in retail, e-commerce, consumer goods, food, and energy:

  • Turned around a food business to deliver +10% growth within 6 months.
  • Grew a stagnant $70M ecommerce/franchise category +70% in 2 years.
  • Increased sales of an energy retailer +25% to $100M in 2 years.

Key characteristics:

  • End-to-end leadership from strategy development to company-wide execution in a multi-channel environment, including e-commerce, retail, key accounts/B2B, call center, direct mail, and other non-traditional sales channels.
  • Recognized as a creative and tenacious problem-solving change agent, driving change through vision, teamwork, performance management, and people development. Experienced leader of cross-functional teams, creating effective bridges across the organization.
  • Skilled at improving organizational effectiveness through talent development/coaching and team restructuring.
  • Full P&L responsibility and executive team leadership experience.
  • Able to team up with a visionary founder, who needs help to structure the business in order to fulfill their vision. Low ego, collaborative leadership style, calm under pressure, strong prioritization and strategy development skills, knows when to be assertive or accommodating.

To learn more, visit: ambrosegrowth.com

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  • Posted on: 10/15/2020

    Is YouTube a shopping powerhouse waiting to happen?

    YouTube is in a strong position: it is popular across all age categories (73 percent penetration among adults on average) and is strongest among the 15-25 years old (81 percent penetration). If they manage to offer a seamless experience to buyers and sellers to convert people interested to learn about a product into actual buyers, it has the potential to change the e-commerce landscape.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2020

    Has Walmart come up with an answer to Best Buy’s Geek Squad?

    This new service will only be sustainable if it makes economic sense. How will Walmart offset lower prices? Walmart's method of securing lower prices has traditionally been through higher volumes and more efficient operations. Will these competitive advantages transfer to the world of electronics and technology services?
  • Posted on: 10/08/2020

    Amazon rolls out virtual vacation tours that include shopping

    One of the big challenges of e-commerce is that it poorly translates the in-person shopping experience and personalized service. Some brands tried online bot assistants, with mixed results. This initiative seems to combine the best of both worlds: the comfort and convenience of your own home, and the personal service and listening skills that only a human can deliver. This can enable extremely talented craftspeople to reach more customers in a much more personalized way.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Can one site make men love, not hate, shopping online?

    Every e-commerce site should offer a dual experience - and most already do: a no-frills fast track with pre-made bundles for utilitarian shoppers, and an expansive browsing experience for pleasure shoppers. Who belongs to each group depends on each category: many men can be utilitarian shoppers when it comes to apparel - but put these same men in a wine aisle, and many will start browsing labels and enjoy it.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2020

    Is it time to hit the ‘panic button’ as women leave the retail workforce?

    "I cannot work in retail forever, because I want to have a family," is a phrase I hear mostly from female retail employees. Retail is a tough environment for people who want to combine personal and professional life: floor employees and store managers are expected to work during the weekend, in the evening, and to be flexible with their schedule when there is a no-show. So far the customer-first approach has led to very long open hours - should an "employee-second" approach lead us to reconsider this model and reduce open hours, in order to improve the quality of life for employees and enable us to keep our talents?
  • Posted on: 09/28/2020

    Do consumers need beauty products delivered within an hour?

    Most days it might not matter much whether products can be delivered in one hour. A few days per year, this can be absolutely crucial though: on Valentine's Day or on your girlfriend's birthday that you completely forgot. If Sephora can build a strong enough delivery system that can sustain high peaks (like on Valentine's Day), this can become a strong competitive advantage in the gifting category.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2020

    Walmart has changes in-store as the holidays near

    One way to look at things is: How do we avoid consumer fatigue about in-store safety procedures? Limiting safety procedures to only the most important ones makes it easier for consumers to keep following them. If one-way aisles don't make nearly as much difference as masks in terms of safety, then it might make sense to end one-way aisles.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

    Will 2020 be the year the holiday selling season changed forever?

    Amazon is facing a major challenge in Q4: many of its products are fulfilled by third-party sellers, whose logistics failed in March-April of this year. Shipping time, which is one of Amazon's key brand promises, became very long for many products (even sometimes for Prime members). Amazon doesn't have a choice: they have to guarantee some decent service levels to their customers this holiday season. "Flattening the curve" of orders through early promotions is a way to achieve this goal. However the trend over the past few years has been an increase in last-minute purchases. This "order early" trick might work this year because customers understand that the current situation is not normal - but in a post-COVID-19 world, it is fair to assume that customers will get back to their good old habits of last-minute purchases.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2020

    Will runners subscribe to a 100 percent recyclable shoe rental plan?

    This sounds like a very good way to drive customer loyalty, especially if they regularly innovate and improve their shoes - so that each pair of shoes that their customers receive is a little better than the previous pair - while helping reduce the sticker shock. I would assume that over time they will adjust the rate of replacement to the type of runner (not everybody needs two new pairs of running shoes every year).
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    Will Amazon’s new online store disrupt the luxury fashion and beauty business?

    Curation is indeed a question mark; another one is about personalized customer experience - which is a key element of the value that luxury brands offer their customers. Amazon's strength is in mass-marketing - they can most probably develop the ability to pamper these customers, but how sustainable is it to support two business models: a mass-market, "no frill" business model, and a highly personalized model? The next question is whether customers will trust that Amazon can execute high-end, luxury-type customer service.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2020

    How can indie retailers build lasting brand equity?

    Having a clear purpose, as suggested in the article as the "store's story," is definitely important. As a next step, I often recommend being crystal-clear on your core customer. Here are the steps to structure the thought process:
    1. Make a list of your top 5 customers - in terms of profitability (in $) as well as in terms of referral business that they generate;
    2. What are the common characteristics of these 5 customers? Not just socio-economically, but also emotionally;
    3. If need be: do the same exercise for your 5 worst customers. Clarify the difference between your best and worst customers.
    The next step is to define your brand promise. Start by defining and prioritizing the core customer's problems that you help solve. Based on this you will define your brand promise -- i.e. the key factors that set you apart from competitors and bring customers to you. A good brand promise should be:
    • Competitive (i.e. differentiates you from your competitors);
    • Aligned with customer needs;
    • Actionable and measurable (i.e. not a slogan – you must be able to execute it and to measure how well you are doing).
  • Posted on: 09/09/2020

    Which COVID-19 consumer habits will stick?

    Will COVID-19 alone change behaviors over the long run, or will it simply accelerate pre-existing trends? Trends for increased authenticity, genuine customer experience, and convenience are not new, but may very well keep increasing after COVID-19. However other changes linked to COVID-19-specific needs may disappear with the disease: customers' fundamental needs will be the same post-COVID-19 as they were last year - just like most habits that people had developed during the Spanish flu disappeared when the disease ceased to be a threat.
  • Posted on: 09/04/2020

    How can automation help omnichannel fulfillment?

    Automation is only part of the challenge; having processes in place is absolutely necessary for smooth e-commerce fulfillment operations. Unfortunately, especially in mid-market companies, team organization needs to be adjusted during peak periods to deal with the higher volume -- e.g. roles get split or become more specialized so that more people can work on the fulfillment line. Here is the issue: only experience can teach how to make these adjustments. My advice would be to take advantage of whatever mini-peak comes before the holidays (e.g. Halloween) and organize the team "as if" this was a big peak (which can include hiring more temps than needed) and learn as much as possible from this "mini-peak" to improve the team organization and be ready for the holidays. The cost of not practicing your peak organization is to wake up on a Monday morning in December and be overwhelmed by many more orders than you can handle -- a customer service and financial nightmare.
  • Posted on: 08/27/2020

    Should employers mandate that workers get COVID-19 vaccines?

    One way to look at this is from a legal risk perspective. Currently, companies can be sued if an employee gets COVID-19 at work -- under these circumstances employers will want all their employees to get vaccinated. If Congress decides that people should be free to opt out of vaccination, it should also eliminate the risk for employers to get sued for a COVID contamination at work.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2020

    What? Should Nike drop Zappos and others to focus on consumer-direct?

    Although a general push towards direct-to-consumer makes sense, brands should not forget why the vast majority of purchases are still made in retail stores: many customers want a one-on-one relationship with someone who will help them meet their needs and help them solve their issues when they arise. If direct-to-consumer solutions fail to offer a good solution for this fundamental need for human contacts, they will fail over the long run.

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