Ilene R

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On December 28, 2015, Ilene R commented on HBS: Creating Human, Intellectual, and Financial Capital :


On December 28, 2015, Ilene R commented on HBS: Creating Human, Intellectual, and Financial Capital :

Hi SChen,
I thought this was a really interesting look into the financials of the MBA program – great analysis – really curious what your thoughts are on the question you posed in class, ie, what do you think HBS can do to make sure the value of the MBA is not diluted although many people can now access exec ed and now online classes through HBX?

On December 15, 2015, Ilene R commented on Like to Know It: Monetizing personal shopping on Instagram :

Hi Ashley,
Very interesting post! How do you think Like to Know It will continue to sustain its growth? I can see why they would show a very fast user uptick at the beginning, but likely taper off as they begin to saturate the “influential Instagrammer” market since their partnership standards are so high.

Hi Rohan – thanks so much for all your thoughts.
1) Re: the upsell and your previous point about shopping habits of men vs. women, as a result of not shopping out of necessity, women probably think more about apparel with respect to items they already own, so just want to underscore the importance of the “complete outfit” as you mentioned.
2) I think it depends on target audience – some people just look for tastemakers and emulate them (which has been WantMyLook’s model thus far) but perhaps going forward they’ll look to crowdsourcing as a way to diversify. I’ll reach out to them and ask.
3) They stock/sell the clothes on their own.
4) This is really interesting to think about. I agree with you that I think the person makes the look, which ties back to your point (1). The reason that people use attractive models in ads is because we feel urgency/inspiration around attaining the same result. I would be interested in seeing % of returns and also how many repeat customers they have as a % of total customers, which would give some insight into the buyer’s remorse question.

Thanks Daly! I’m glad you brought that up, the network effect is definitely central here since the strategy is so heavily reliant on social media.

Hi Robert, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I think your suggestion is fascinating about crowdsourcing as a way to spur product development – I will try to reach out to her and see if she has thoughts on that. Re: the Dubai vs. LA question, I believe they already have a distribution center which already serves the LA market so that’s probably why they’re looking to expand internationally.

On December 14, 2015, Ilene R commented on Groupon: Now 85% Off! :

and hilarious title 🙂

On December 14, 2015, Ilene R commented on Groupon: Now 85% Off! :

Hi Rohan, this is a great read! I agree with you 100% about Groupon needing to incorporate user reviews, I flipped back and forth for about an hour between Groupon and Yelp the last time I bought a Groupon for a hair salon in Boston.

Regarding the issue of price-sensitive consumers being drawn to merchants on Groupon, then abandoning them after coupon redemption: did Groupon ever think about scaling by helping local merchants develop their own loyalty programs? Since many merchants mandate that Groupons only be purchased for first-time customers only, perhaps Groupon could offer their platform as a service for local merchants to implement their own rewards programs to lock customers in after the Groupon is redeemed and keep them coming back with some “buy 10 smoothies get the 11th free” or similar.

Thank you TOM100 for your thoughts! I think the lashes business could actually be huge in Asia as well, especially countries like China and Korea, to complement the expansion to the Middle East as Ghalichi mentions in the Arabia Business article.

Hi Tom, thank you for reading! You are spot on with your comments; not being able to directly link to a product on Instagram is one of my biggest pet peeves as well. You’ll typically see bloggers on Instagram redirect you to their website, from which they’ll post a complementary blog which contains full links, but that requires an extra step which is cumbersome for someone who just wants to see the product directly!

Hi Ashley – I love your suggestion of offering a platform as a service and it would definitely be a huge point of differentiation for the business. I think the biggest beneficiary of this could be actually be influential bloggers who want to try their first foray into branded items (and perhaps are less funded) compared to celebrities.

On December 14, 2015, Ilene R commented on EasyJet: Making Travel Easy and Affordable :

Hi Alberto, great job! I thought the most interesting part of your analysis was the emphasis on the cost structure for employees. It makes sense that in fairly highly regulated labor markets in Europe they would try to negotiate separately with each local union. Are there any safety concerns raised by consumers about EasyJet hiring more junior pilots?

Hey Robert! Very cool idea, I have heard of theaters in Chicago who similarly do fancier movie theater offerings with bars inside and am excited to see one for myself. Smart idea because people probably are willing to pay for a full dinner + movie if they’re going all the way out to the movies anyways now that staying home means Netflix on your couch. Any idea about how profitable Cinepolis is? Are they looking to expand globally at all?

On December 14, 2015, Ilene R commented on New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. :

Hi Julie – fascinating article, the CAGR numbers are astonishing for a school. I also thought it was very interesting that they hire teachers from famous schools for short-term contracts, that’s a very good move to boost their credibility. As an outsider to the public/private school system in China, I would love to know more about how the fees of these private schools compare and where it would be desirable to send your child to a public vs. private school like EDU!

On December 14, 2015, Ilene R commented on Zara: disrupting the traditional cycle of fashion :

Hi Daly -great job, I think your analysis is spot on especially because their operational model of quick turnover of new fashions over quantity really aligns with their business model. The lack of sales is also completely aligned, I never thought about that – this directly contributes to why they only have a handful of sales each year and why customers are willing to pay full price because they know the styles will sell out.

Hi Matt – you mentioned when discussing IP that Bain encourages employees to “benefit from non-confidential advances made by previous engagements focusing on a similar task.” I’m really interested in learning about more how this occurs, because it seems that all projects would be considered confidential; most customers would not want the result of their (usually) multi-million dollars investments in a template to be used by the next company that hires Bain. It’d be great if you could shed more light on this!

On December 13, 2015, Ilene R commented on Bonobos: Hybridizing the Digital and Physical Shopping Experience :

Great post Akeel! I wonder how Bonobos will maintain the “Male Shopping Utility” equation you mentioned even when distributing to stores like Nordstrom which fall outside their vertical integration. Or, it might actually be strategic because a bad experience at Nordstrom could fuel more people to go to their standalone stores because the experience is unmatched.

On December 13, 2015, Ilene R commented on Regina Miracle – Victoria’s “Secret” :

Very interesting post, Cathy! Do you think Regina Miracle will continue to have to move more and more of its production out of China (to places like Vietnam, as you mentioned) in order to keep costs low?