Really interesting article! I’m a customer of Instacart so I can personally attest to the value of the service – particularly for those living in a food desert! In my opinion, Instacart, Blue Apron, Seamless etc. are all luxury services because they add significant cost to the transaction. Generally, we see technology a a way to lower costs to the consumer. Do you foresee anyway that services such as Instacart can deliver the same value (in terms of lowering friction) without passing on extra costs to the consumer? One idea is to shift the additional costs to the CPG firms/retailers as they are benefiting from the data that Instacart is collecting.
Great article! It easy to see how Bonobos’ operating model has been able to deliver value to both customers and the retailer. I’m curious what your thoughts are regarding competition. Bonobos differentiates itself on the shopping experience more so than on its product. (It would be very easy for another retailer to buy a pair of Bonobos’ pants in order to study the fit and then produce on its own). Given the components of Bonobos’ operating model are easy to replicate how do you suggest they stave off competition?
Very interesting post! I agree that the connection between understanding who the audience is routing for and driving up entertainment value for home viewers seems tenuous at best. My question is whether reading the crowd’s mood and reporting that information is appropriate in a sporting context. Athletes performance may be adversely affected if they know that the crowd is routing against them. It will be interesting to see if IBM can come up with some additional ways to apply its technology to boost viewership!
Very interesting post! It’s nice to see that Mattel is continuously trying to innovate its core product – last year Mattel offered Barbie in an array of different body types/skin colors etc. so that children could better relate to the doll. In addition to the privacy concern you brought up (which I agree with!) I also wonder if parents will be concerned with the possibility that their children will be developing fewer “creativity skills” by playing with digital dolls. One could argue that the learning that comes from playing with dolls is imagining different scenarios and responses. If Mattel predetermines responses based on contextual clues and trends, how will children be able to shape their own play environments?
Very interesting article. I agree with your point that Fitbit needs to innovate around the areas that are its competitive advantage (ie scientific/medical applications vs. standard smartphone capabilities). My questions is whether medical diagnostic capabilities are truly its competitive advantage. As you mentioned in the beginning of the article, people like David Asprey, who use Fitbit to “scientifically alter” their behavior are the minority. It can be argued that most Fitbit users only wear Fitbit to “feel better” about their physical activity. Given the fact that Fitbit’s stock has fallen ~70% in the last year, what do you think they can do to reenergize the investment community?
Very interesting piece. You’ve made some good suggestions on how H&M can reduce their environmental impact without adversely affecting their huge business. My concern is that I do not foresee consumers not wanting the “fast fashion” concept. In that vein, one point you didn’t mention, is H&M’s new program that allows customers to bring in old garments for H&M to recycle in exchange for a discount on new purchases. In my mind, this kind of educational program that gives a tangible benefit to the consumer will be more effective in educating consumers/driving excitement about the H&M brand than any other effort.
Very interesting article! I would have assumed that online shopping results in a larger carbon footprint due to constant deliveries and returns. Your chart of individual shoppers versus a single delivery system was very helpful in illustrating why delivery systems are preferable.
Your article left me curious about the incentives delivery companies (UPS, DHL etc.) have to reduce their carbon emissions (other than goodwill). It is my experience that online retailers pair with 1 delivery company or offer the option of multiple based on price. If delivery companies have to invest to become sustainable how will they convince retailers and/or shoppers to pay more for greener services?
Brian, you made some great points here about the natural tension between McDonald’s need to deliver a consistent, inexpensive experience for its customers and to its desire to move towards the more sustainable practices its customers are looking for. Two questions immediately come to mind. First, you pointed out that Americans are eating less meat year over year. What you do you think that means for McDonald’s brand? Do you think that ethically sourcing the meat will be enough, or should McDonald’s push different menu items? Second, you suggested that McDonald’s experiment with composting. Are you worried about adding workload onto McDonald’s employees?
Very interesting article! I didn’t realize that Marriott is a pioneer in sustainable practices. I agree with you that sustainability factors into consumer’s purchase decisions, especially millennials, so Marriott’s PR team should do a better job of getting the word out! In the beginning of the article you mentioned that revenues at ski resorts were down about 15% LY because of lack of snow. Especially now that Marriott’s portfolio of hotels has grown to include brands under Starwood, do you think that Marriott should move to close down some of its locations? One could argue that empty rooms are a big drag on the environment.
Tracy, thanks for the enlightening article! The figures you provided in beginning, particularly the one about the average American disposing of 70lbs of clothing/year, was shocking! I completely agree that consumers need to be educated about how their purchasing decisions affect the environment. Additionally, educating consumers on why certain products are more expensive will help consumers justify those purchases that will stay in their closets for longer (i.e. not have as negative an impact on the environment). One point I want to push on is Reformation’s potential to scale and educate the market. My feeling is that they are priced too high to have a sizable impact.