Innovation Conversation Answers, “What’s the Future?” at GMDC GM16 Marketing Conference

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 13, 2016 –Saturday’s Global Market Development Center GM16 business session featured the “Innovation Conversation” – a dialogue that explored the fast-changing, technology-driven retail landscape and how it affects businesses and consumers.

“Nontraditional competition is affecting every part of the industry,” said presenter Kevin Coupe, author of “Retail Rules! 52 Ways to Achieve Retail Success,” a guidebook for competing effectively and efficiently on Main Street. “Companies need to innovate from the inside out—if they’re not trying to disrupt from within, they won’t be able to compete.”

For more than 14 years, Coupe has been writing about disruption at retail – – providing business news in context, and analysis with attitude to 35,000+ subscribers. During the session, he also spoke to what he describes as “disintermediation.”

“Brands have a fantastic opportunity to directly connect with the consumer and richly engage retailers with consumer data,” said co-presenter Tom Furphy, former vice president of consumables and originator of AmazonFresh, who contributed via pre-recorded video. “But, if the retailer causes friction to connecting the consumer to what they want, manufacturers can bypass the retailer and sell directly to the consumer.”

Furphy, currently serves as CEO and managing director of Consumer Equity Partners — a venture capital and development firm in Seattle, WA, that works with top retailers and manufacturers.

Additional insights of the “Innovation Conversation” included the continually growing demand for an engaging in-store experience as well as product differentiation. The conversation also turned to what the presenters termed the “Amazon Flywheel,” or the deliberate, synergistic way that Amazon is making it easier for customers to buy products through innovative online frictionless services.

“Amazon is always thinking of ways to do things better and thinking like a start-up,” said Furphy. “The Amazon model of today won’t be their driver in 10 years — they’re already thinking beyond their current technology for ways to make buying easier for customers.”

Coupe concluded the session by commending GMDC on continuing to drive innovation to the forefront of the industry. New initiatives including GMDC’s B2B Video Exchanges, Retail Tomorrow Advisory Board and CART technology solutions portal help equip members with tools that fuel growth and creativity.

Additionally, GMDC is working closely with its member communities to develop “next practices” that will provide a roadmap for trading partners on how to compete and succeed against the e-commerce giant. Find out more:

The business session was hosted by GMDC and sponsored by Big Time Products. The conference takes place in Orlando through June 14. The next GMDC conference, HBW16, will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. For more, visit