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Retail, marketing, branding and thought leadership specialist.


Born into retailing, Martin is a true hybrid. Part retailer, part marketer, he uses this unique combination to inform his clients and audiences, sharing his views in articles and editorials. Martin now enjoys travelling the world researching and writing on retail, lecturing on leadership, innovation and marketing, running interactive workshops on his books and speaking at international conferences and business schools.

Current work

Sponsored by the World Retail Congress, Martin has just finished his second book: The Art of Being Chosen. It benchmarks and celebrates retail best practice from a round the world, with findings being drawn from every continent. This robust, two and a half year research programme involved interviewing, face to face, 100 of the world's leading retail founders and CEOs and from this Martin has identified the "six secrets to retail success". Launched in October 2010 at the Frankfurt Book Fair and May 2011 in the USA, Martin has already delivered lectures on the findings from his book in several destinations around the world including New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, UK and Europe. Interestingly, several engagements have been agreed and delivered to non-retail audiences eager to understand what can be learned from the planet's largest and most competitive business sector: 'retail' ... the purest form of commerce and certainly the ultimate customer facing business. Martin continues to astound business leaders from every profession on the skills that can be learned about leadership and customers from the best-of-the-very-best retailers.

Previous experience

Advertising: During a 30 year career Martin has worked in many top international advertising agencies including the DMBB, Grey and Saatchi networks. He started his career working for clients as diverse as Nestlé, News International and Playtex but within a few years became one of London's youngest advertising agency owners by launching his own company.

Clients: Through almost 20 mergers and acquisitions Martin eventually built his own business into one of the largest privately owned advertising and marketing networks in the UK. He sold his businesses several years ago but throughout an entrepreneurial career gained a reputation as a retail specialist having worked in every market sector. From fashion to fragrance and from finance to food, his company boasted many high profile clients including Harrods, Burberry, Swarovski and Habitat. His network advised countless major brands on retail positioning including Barclays, Mitsubishi and the Royal Mail. Martin also worked with a host of international brands advising on strategic development including, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Austin Reed, Global Refund and Dunkin' Donuts.

Author: In 2005 Martin wrote the internationally acclaimed book on best practice retail branding, People Don't Buy What You Sell, They Buy What You Stand For, and often uses this provocative assertion as the basis for his interactive sessions on world-class marketing.

Judge: In 2008, Martin was invited to become a member of the expert judging panel at the World Retail Congress, an honour he was delighted to accept.

Martin was both very informative in his talk but kept the audience interested by the injection of some great humor in his delivery... The ARA is a member of the Federation of Asia Pacific Retailers Association and as I was very impressed with Martin's talk, I am suggesting to them that they might consider Martin as a speaker for their Singapore conference. Australian Retailers Association

The truly great leaders have the ability to simplify complex issues. Martin has done this for retailing with his immense knowledge and inherent understanding. His talk made the trip to Rome worthwhile and I'm excited to know that he will be spending some time in South Africa, where we will certainly be making use of his services. Hopefully, this will lead to our organisations being 'chosen'...

Redwood Group, South Africa

We were looking to achieve a 'fast track' update on what's working in the rapidly evolving world of retail. Martin's exceptional content, and in particular, his unique perspective and retail insights received very positive feedback from our diverse group... Martin hit the mark with his engaging presentation style... and his ability to understand and interpret the subtleties of what really matters and to communicate to the audience the attributes that make a truly world class retailer.


Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your presentation to our conference was the highlight of the day and I'm sure we sent the delegates away in a very positive frame of mind - thinking about how the consumer chooses them (or doesn't, as the case may be)... to get such a large sector of New Zealand retailing focused on their businesses in a different and totally constructive way, certainly met the objectives of the conference.

New Zealand Retailers Association

Martin Butler is a provocateur of the first order - and someone who shows us the world is about retailing, about customers, and about power - the power we have in our buying choices, our leadership choices and our personality choices... he has such fascinating insight from those who've made successes out of leading in that most challenging, fast-paced and creative arena - 'selling stuff'... from talent management through to organisational change, it's all made so relevant that I can guarantee you'll be better off from Martin's wisdom and provocative delivery. He's perfected the art of being chosen himself, so maybe you could learn more than you think from him!

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