Robert Alexander

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On April 29, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Nintendo COVID Gains Hampered by Ring Fit Adventure Strategy :

Great article ka very interesting especially learning about how the current situation has both benefited yet concurrently hampered growth with certain previously designed limitations. Like panda, mentioned I was thinking that Nintendo has a perfect opportunity here to create another workout type game that works with the current hardware provided with the base platform. As a content creator Nintendo, should be looking to leverage its digital library and wireless game downloads to remove any limitations and conversely produce additional content for its consumers to gain further loyalty and acquire other interested consumers.

On April 29, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Zola: Proving Even The Wedding Industry Isn’t Pandemic-Proof :

Thanks Elisa for this post it is very interesting for sure! Like you stated weddings typically happen rain or shine and is an industry known for higher margins due to the nature of the once of a lifetime event being planned. Although this is a digital platform, the intermediary nature which helps to facilitate transactions and large in-person gatherings group makes it really hard to produce additional revenue streams while all are quarantined to their homes. This may be a situation in which diversifying the platform into ancillary offline services and offerings may hopefully benefit them in the long run (i.e. managing event planners, photographers etc.).

On April 29, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Peloton: Riding Quarantine into a Demand Boom :

Very interesting article Ali especially with consumers looking for various platforms to maintain some sense of normalcy from physical exercise. I agree that Peleton is uniquely positioned as a digital platform to leverage their content creation expertise to develop and refine workouts to engage at home consumers. I am concerned however that the 90 day free trial does not truly convert users into full time adoptors for two main reasons 1.) other competitors are currently and are planning on providing free workout (ex. Orange Theory) content post COVID and 2.) consumers may want to ‘run’ back into the gym and classes once stay at home mandates and businesses return to normal. However, I am really interested to see what other offers Peleton provides to retain the customers it has acquired during these times.

On April 20, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Macy’s: reinventing customer experience through data analytics :

Very interesting post and thanks for sharing! It is always interesting to read about incumbents try to adjust its business model in order to stay relevant in a declining industry, especially when it comes to a segment that Amazon has come to dominate. Although Macy’s is going to great lengths to maintain some semblance of a market presence by leveraging AI to evolve the customer experience with the various IT initiatives, I don’t believe that they will be able to survive in the long run. Like other large department stores before them have experienced, Macy’s business model was built around the premise of in-store experiences across various brands but as we have seen the changing customer behavior in the past decade is not conducive to this such strategy. As a result, it is my feeling that Macy’s is just using AI because they know they need to do something different but I am hard-pressed to believe the investment will provide the anticipated returns.

On April 20, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Hello Barbie – AI Making Children’s Dreams Come True :

Interesting blog Loti and a really unique AI application cutting across consumer products to evolve a historically static segment. I totally agree that the concern about data privacy and voice recording is a troubling one, which adds a new business responsibility to Mattel. I am curious as to what organizational changes Mattel has made as they change their customer interactions and required loyalty/trust. This is a very unique transition for both the Barbie and Mattel brands as they dive into more content than physical products. As we have observed within the media and entertainment industry content is king, so do you think ToyTalk will come out as the winner in the long run by collecting and analyzing this data to create various products and offerings based on their learnings?

On April 20, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Use Me if You Dare, Hack Me if You Can :

Interesting post and very relevant to today’s social media craze. I am curious to hear what you think the true value that Tik Tok is creating and whether you believe this to be a sustainable business model in such a crowded space? Likewise, I am curious to know what differentiates this platform from that of Vine and if the AI recommendation algorithm is really positioned in a defensible manner to not be pushed to the wayside in the long term. In addition, I think they have a unique opportunity during this pandemic to continue to drive adoption and long term retention through ‘addictive use’ while several impressionable individuals are spending more and more times at home surfing the web as opposed to being in school, work, etc.

On March 22, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on ASOS: Your one-stop shop for all things fashion :

Awesome article and insight on ASOS! I am impressed to learn that they stock over 80K SKUs and have over 20M active shoppers. However, I am not sure how sustainable this business model is given the 20% commission on sales for third party retailers. As this is greater than the fee structure that Amazon charges, which is continuing to grow in other segments, it may result in margin compression here. Likewise, I believe the ease with which third-party retailers can create their own brands and online storefronts may encourage the ones which are successful on ASOS to leave and connect to consumers directly.

On March 22, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on ZUBALE – Revolutionizing retail execution in LatAm :

Great article and awesome to get an in-depth perspective on a successful LATAM startup! As mentioned in a prior response, this does sound similar to the ZBJ case we discussed but I think they are better positioned to handle the disintermediation problem due to the network to network connections being addressed by ZUBALE.
However, I believe there is some additional value being left on the table, which can be captured and in turn reduce the leakage of off-platform activity. ZUBALE should consider playing the role of a staffer and project manager on large scale projects which requires several users to participate for longer periods of time. In essence, ZUBALE can have two business models with the first being it’s current matching activities but the second a little more similar to traditional consulting and staff augmentation roles. This could potentially be a path forward to continue to scale and remain sustainable.

On March 22, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Drizly: A refreshing business model in the delivery app landscape :

Great article on a useful consumer platform! It is interesting to see how they are able to develop a marketplace as an intermediary in this space which is in line with the 3-tier distribution model and legal purchasing requirements. In terms of sustainability, I would not be surprised to see Uber Eats or Door Dash make a move to purchase this platform and integrate it into their existing business models given the value of scale in products delivered and larger cart sizes. I do however believe the user experience and use case here for the current offering is unique and requires a high level of trust and end consumer verification, which competitors may not want to deal with.

On February 10, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on SMT: winning by enhancing sports viewership & content with technology :

Great article Lill and very interesting read! As an avid sports fan, I was impressed to learn that SMT was able to carve itself a piece in the lucrative market of televised sports by providing a differentiated platform for broadcasters. One thing I would be interested to learn more about was if SMT had considered partnering with specific professional sports teams and leveraging their analytics expertise. As more and more professional teams begin to build out analytics departments I could see SMT begin to position themselves as a platform in which teams could use their data insights to inform player decisions and evolve in game strategies. Likewise, I would be interested to know how much value they capture from this platform and if exclusive contracts should be a part of their business model.

On February 10, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on Starbucks: Winning on rewards, loyalty, and data :

Great analysis Leah and really unique viewpoint on what’s next for Starbucks! As brands continue to focus on building a deeper connection with their consumers loyalty programs that collect more personalized data and usage trends will help organizations better differentiate their service and product offerings. I am curious as Starbucks begins to really leverage big data what major changes do they decide to implement. There may be opportunities to decentralize operations and curate offerings providing localized products, location designs, and services which can further help Starbucks capture a larger share of wallet.

On February 10, 2020, Robert Alexander commented on The Louvre: Winning at Digital Engagement :

Great article and insight into the use of digital technologies in an industry you traditionally think of as archaic! I would be interesting to learn which of these initiatives have resulted in the largest impact for both consumer value creation and value capture. I bet that visitors really appreciate the user-friendly guided tour which they can directly experience while indirectly enjoying the smooth museum operations.