Terrific post, Melissa. I enjoyed the deep dive into the liquor business and how isolationism can impact a global leader such as Diageo. I found your suggestion of having other companies manufacture the beverages in foreign countries as a means to avoid expensive tariffs to be an interesting proposal. I do wonder whether there would be backlash associated consuming a beverage that is purportedly native to an area if found to be produced elsewhere. Further, if prices were to increase on a pint of Guinness due to increased tariffs, that could serve to weaken the positioning of Diageo and ultimately hurt U.K. businesses, resulting in the exact opposite intended effect. Isolationism could ultimately negatively effect home-country businesses with global operations which I doubt was the intention when developing rationale for Brexit and other isolationism strategies. I think the second- and third-order effects of isolationism moves are fascinating and you expertly gave us an one overview of one in this post, Melissa.
I appreciated the interesting post, Jonathan.
I wonder if Chipotle would consider passing on the cost of the higher avocado prices onto its customers. In a commodity-impacted business, it can be difficult to pass on costs to the consumers who are used to paying a certain price for a good and do not have a great understanding of the need for the restaurant to cover its own costs. Further, I wonder if Chipotle had a better record in terms of health and public goodwill, would the company be more aggressive in passing on the cost increases to its customers. Chipotle is stuck between improving margins by passing on costs and risking alienating consumers or sacrificing margin to win back the hearts (and stomachs) of its customer base. I saw a recent report that indicated analysts and investors are more concerned with attracting customers at the moment at the expense of margin (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/25/spiking-avocado-prices-are-the-least-of-chipotles-worries.html) but these are obviously difficult decisions for Chipotle management.
Thanks for the insightful post, Chris.
I can’t help but think if the isolationist policies mentioned above will lead to adverse effects on U.S. companies. For example, by demanding iPhones be produced in the U.S., what if the price of an iPhone drastically increases and becomes price noncompetitive with foreign competition? I am afraid these second-order implications are not fully contemplated when discussing “bring jobs back home” agendas and may ultimately cause more harm than good in the long run. Others who have examined this issue found the retail price of an iPhone would jump to around $2,000 if exclusively produced in the U.S. (https://www.marketplace.org/2014/05/20/business/ive-always-wondered/how-much-would-all-american-iphone-cost) and that analysis is a few years old, indicating the price in today’s dollars could even be higher. It will be interesting to see if and how isolationist policies are enacted and the ripple effects on the economy.
Great post, Laura!
The concept of sustainability and how much of it falls upon big business has been top of mind for me since the IKEA case a few weeks ago. This is another excellent of how an influential company can set the tone for industry by being at the forefront of sustainable efforts. I believe Monsanto can pace the industry by introducing more environmentally friendly products which may increase costs for the company in the short term, will ultimately lead to stronger performance and an improved reputation in the long term. The trends are so staggering and the food and water crises that are only getting more intense that if leaders such as Monsanto fail to act, the world as a whole could suffer. Cooperation between business, government, and non-profit organizations may provide the push needed to drive toward increased sustainability. I recently came across an article from Monsanto’s CEO and Chairman which addresses the very topic and highlights the need for collaboration which may be of interest (https://monsanto.com/company/sustainability/climate-change/articles/commitment-collaboration-will-dictate-success-addressing-climate-change/). Overall, the relationship between business and the environment will only become more important in the future.
I found your post extremely interesting, Ketty. As both an avid sneaker and 3-D printing enthusiast, the concept of 3-D printing shoes has piqued my interest recently. The concept of mass cusomtization is reaching the shoe industry and can be seen as Adidas (as you mentioned), Nike (http://footwearnews.com/2017/focus/athletic-outdoor/nike-3d-printing-sneakers-prodways-368238/), Under Armour (https://www.sporttechie.com/armour-scales-3d-printing-efforts-footwear/), and New Balance (http://fortune.com/2016/04/11/new-balance-3d-boston-marathon/), to name a few, are experimenting with the burgeoning technology. I am of the opinion that 3-D printed sneakers will remain a novelty item in the short- and medium-term, but I can envision a scenario in which mass customization of sneakers becomes prevalent as 3-D printing technology improves in the longer term. Thank you for the thoughtful post.
Nice work, Alejandro!
I find it interesting to consider the business case in a world dominated by self-driving cars trucks. Will Uber own the fleet of trucks and transform itself into an asset-heavy business? Or will it make sense for logistics providers, software companies, and automotive OEMs to join forces to best tackle this solution? I find the collaborative approach to be the most promising and to this point, we have seen large auto OEMs such strike partnerships with strategic partners such as logistics providers, artificial intelligence companies, and sensor companies to come up with a complete solution to tackle the complex issue of autonomous transport. One example can be seen with GM, which has invested in and/or acquired Lyft (logistics provider – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gm-lyft-investment/gm-invests-500-million-in-lyft-sets-out-self-driving-car-partnership-idUSKBN0UI1A820160105), Cruise Automation (AI/software development – http://fortune.com/2016/03/11/gm-buying-self-driving-tech-startup-for-more-than-1-billion/), and Strobe (LIDAR manufacturer – https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/9/16448306/gm-cruise-strobe-lidar-acquisition), to name a few. The technology and industry should continue to evolve and it will be fun to track the developments over time to see who ultimately succeeds and how.