Great post! I also share Kate’s uncertainty around the whether their “Now” service and their business model is a fad or something that will continue. I was surprised to read about their 200% sales growth in 2014 given Prof Keenan’s research on pro-social initiatives and the fact that while people say they stand behind pro-social causes or brands, they might not always vote with their wallet or change their behavior. I also question the transparency around their supply chain which they promote on their site – to what extent is it simply a feel good “story” that enables them to justify a higher mark up for basic items? I’d like to think that its more than just a fad and Everlane’s success is inspiring fast fashion companies to pay greater focus on higher labor standards as well as high quality product, but I’m still skeptical.
Thanks Eric! Its great to see their dedication to their employees and how that dedication to service translates to a more successful operations compared to their competitors – Pep Boys, O’Reilly Automotive and Advance Auto Parts. Its not only their dedication to their employees that stands out its also their dedication to their supplier relationships. At Citigroup, I remember their interest stabilizing their supply chain and discussed ways they can provide financing for their lower rated suppliers at their own cost of credit. Its great to see the focus exceptional focus on values and partnerships permeate across other business stakeholders!
Thanks Sojung! I heard of PillPack this summer at IDEO as they were one of the companies that spun out of IDEO’s Entrepreneurs in Residence program. IDEO invested a ton of resources in working with the PillPack team to uncover customer needs and build a business/operational model around that and I’d be curious to see if they are able to continue to leverage IDEO innovation frameworks to stay ahead of the competitive forces that you pointed out. Using human centered design to uncover latent customer needs when you are new to the market is one thing, but once you are an established player and compete with more established players, we frequently see companies focus less on customer needs. I’m curious to see if they are able to stay ahead of the competitors by focusing on their customer value creation approach.