Ted Topping, Creative Insights Inc.

Vancouver, BC Canada


As a consultant, Ted Topping strives to bring permanent, positive change to a client’s business, not just a quick fix.

His clients have included local, national and global consumer-facing organizations: brands and manufacturers; national and state trade associations; government agencies; small and mid-size retail, hospitality, tourism and service companies; dealers and distributors.

Consulting Assignment: Create a Welcoming Visitor Experience

In this four-month project, we guided the Tourism Vancouver management team through the development of a new Visitor Centre in Downtown Vancouver. Our focus was the Customer Experience and Functional Design elements.

Multi-part Consulting Assignment: Trev Deeley Motorcycles

When one of the largest Harley-Davidson dealerships in Canada relocated to a new and significantly larger location, we worked for five months with the entire management team (and various sub-groups as appropriate) in three of the areas that have a huge impact on the retail customer experience: Merchandise Presentation, C.U.S.T.O.M. Sales, and the Coaching Process (How and Why It Works).

Building Business Through Service and Experience

Although the specifics are different with each assignment, we help companies deliver on-brand customer service and a consistent and compelling customer experience. We examine all aspects of a business from the customers’ perspective and then create an action plan to improve the bottom line. This involves re-defining or clarifying the brand promise and bringing the reality of the business closer to that promise.

Consulting Assignment: Industry Training

In response to an offer from the provincial government, we created the concept and served as program design manager for Skills Now Retail, a province-wide initiative of Retail Merchants’ Association of B.C. With financing from the Province of British Columbia and in partnership with local business organizations, Skills Now Retail offered high-quality, full-day training workshops on four practical topics in more than 40 communities.

Consulting Assignment: Transition of Ownership

After they encountered communication and philosophical difficulties, we worked for six months to support the retiring founder and the incoming purchaser of Northwest Stoves Ltd., an industry-leading distributor to specialty retailers throughout Western Canada. We developed a week-by-week transition plan that helped the incoming purchaser understand and overcome the unique challenges of this particular business.

Consulting Assignment: Subject Matter Expert

For six months, we worked on behalf of the British Columbia retail industry in the development of a Service Industry Essential Skills test program. The Training Group at Douglas College led this project on behalf of 14 Colleges and Universities. The goal was to determine whether or not industry-specific training could measurably improve an employee’s proficiency in five of the nine skills recognized as universally “essential.”

Retail Tune-Up Consulting: Old Salty Gift Shop

In the course of a four-month project, we helped an experienced retail manager totally transform this store (one of several related businesses in downtown Ganges) from a small-town “convenience, trinket and card” shop into a respectable “art, craft and gift” shop. Annual sales increased steadily in each year following this project, largely through an increased Average Transaction.

Consulting Assignment: Pioneer Petroleums

At a time when staff turnover was unusually high, the management of Pioneer Petroleums commissioned an upbeat training video to educate frontline employees on the philosophy and mechanics of its Full-Service Pledge and Bonus Bucks programs. We developed the concept, wrote the script and traveled to St. Catharines, ON to support the taping of a “Welcome to Pioneer” orientation and training video that was used by dealers throughout the system.

Now… let’s discuss the ways that you can make use of this practical, action-oriented experience to enhance the success of your business.