Does your retail technology need a Wingman?
The cult classic Top Gun recently released its long-awaited sequel in theaters and audiences are loving revisiting its 80's bro bravado while getting a fix for their ‘need for speed’. No matter what you love most about the film, no one can counter one of the most compelling angles in the storyline, which is the relationship between Maverick and Goose.
If we revisit the plot, Maverick is a cocky, uber talented alpha bachelor with a chip on his shoulder. Goose is an all around great guy, father, husband and lover of all things that result in a good time. Though incredibly different, Maverick and Goose are bonded by their love of flying–which is literally kinetic when you watch the movie. But one of the most remembered takeaways from their relationship is the role Goose plays in Maverick’s life, which was serving as his most trusted navigator, an enabler for his unrelenting drive for success.
When it comes to aircraft, the pilot is in charge of the controls, while the navigator is in charge of the course. It’s a role that also made another term from Top Gun famous–The Wingman. In their world it meant to operate as someone who always “has your 6”. The person that won’t let unforeseen MiGs sneak up behind you and knock you off course or, even worse, take you down while on the way to complete the mission.
So how does being both a Navigator and Wingman line up to retail technology?
From our world view, in a multitude of ways.
We all know that retail is nuts right now. If you’ve made it through the last couple of years, you deserve a medal. It means you’ve survived many obstacles, including dealing with Amazon breathing down your neck, COVID’s impact factor, the dominance over cheap and convenient, supply chain schizophrenia and any litany of other store stresses and commerce challenges. Savvy brands took these challenges on and came out the other end stronger and wiser, now making things happen with leaner operations and a ‘unified’ commerce model. We were in the trenches with our clients helping to navigate it all, and the experience birthed the “Managed Retail Commerce” model that we now stand so proudly behind.
What is Managed Retail Commerce?
In a nutshell, it is our integrated service and support offering, which includes all hardware, software, integrations, platforms and unlimited service support coverage wrapped up in a fixed monthly technology-as-a-service model–and it’s unique to All Point. See, all we’ve ever done is retail, and we’ve been living in these trenches for decades. When commerce needed to become ‘unified’, we had to take on an entirely new role for our clients and, already navigators, we had to also become their Wingman. This meant taking on their retail technology challenges from “all points”, solving them with solutions that keep them on course and protected from the unexpected. Inspired by Goose, we became a formation of battle-savvy, seasoned vets flexing our prowess in consulting, IT, development and retail operations. Software and hardware agnostic, we committed our loyalty to only one thing–the retail owners and c-level execs sitting in the retail pilot’s seat. Sitting alongside them, we keep their technology butt’s covered so that they can focus on the most important thing–selling.
Getting it back to Goose…
Let’s get back to Top Gun and some of the other points that relate to the role that we serve for retailers.
Maverick gives Goose the confidence to be bold and take risks, while Goose stabilizes Maverick and keeps him rooted to reality. In a field which trains pilots to be critical and make the tough decisions, he’s always watching out for his buddy’s back, both in the air and on the ground. And he’s not doing it for glory…he’s just a damned good guy. Similar in retail. Risk is scary right now, and it can make or break revenue. There are a lot of great ideas that end up in the ground in flames when it comes to execution, and it’s really hard to know who you can trust. Retail Leaders with great ideas to grow their business need experienced technology navigators that know how to get them there swiftly, safely and profitably.
They have a deep abiding commitment to each other. Sure, Cruise and Edwards’ chemistry as best buds trying to make it through TOPGUN (formally known as Naval Fighter Weapons School) helps sell Maverick and Goose’s relationship. But it’s the unwavering, ride-or-die commitment they have to each other in every single shared experience that we most relate to. These dudes would never let each other down, in flights or in life. They know what’s at stake, and we feel the same way when it comes to managing our client’s business.
They are different, but oh so complimentary. Ying and yang is a thing, and Goose and Maverick are a great example of it. One shows off while the other keeps the coast clear. One crosses boundaries while the other pushes back when entering the danger zone. Business is similar. If you ever read Strengthfinders, a core point is that to get things done in corporate, you should always join forces with people that have different but symbiotic skills. The point is that when people do what they love and team up with the people that do what they hate, good things happen. Everyone produces at their peak and no one goes home bitter or burnt out. Risk is reduced and profits prove it. This is why we do what we do.
You have better things to worry about than your retail technology; we take it on so that you can focus on them.
It always comes back to trust. After Maverick (once again) tries to pull off a risky stunt during a training exercise, Goose lets him have it, telling him the showing off has to stop because it’s risking both of their careers–and maybe even the ability to even graduate from TOPGUN. As the calm but insistent request hits Maverick, he tells Goose, “You’re my family. I won’t let you down.” You know it’s true, because Maverick would never want to do anything to jeopardize Goose’s well-being. He needs him to ‘hit the objective’ (just like a c-level retail business operator has to meet theirs) but without trusting Goose to navigate the course, he can only get so far. He needs a navigator that’s experienced, battle tested and brimming with great instincts, and he has to trust him without question. Which is exactly the role we serve with our clients when we help them make their technology (or plane) accomplish their many missions and land safely.
Goose didn’t need to be the hero, and neither do we. We just need to be the best Goose you can get to navigate the bumps, challenges, and victories ahead when it comes to your retail tech.
Time for a Wingman?