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Thanks, Brian. Great timing with this post as we get closer and closer to finals. Your suggestion that Headspace create content for other apps or include some meditations on streaming services because people might be tempted to switch over later makes a lot of sense to me. In addition to corporate partnerships, perhaps Headspace should consider partnering with universities and other schools. Especially in the last few years, universities have become more and more concerned with the mental health of their students and Headspace might be a relatively low-cost way to lessen students’ anxiety and stress. This wouldn’t replace student services like therapists, of course, but might de-stigmatize the idea of needing some help when classes or the job search get especially stressful. Plus, like you mentioned with the Spotify steaming, it could attract customers who continue to use and pay for the meditation lessons after graduation.

On November 20, 2016, NDG commented on Digital Gainz : The Kayla Itsines Phenomenon :

Reading this post while sitting on my couch at home has definitely inspired me to get to the gym this afternoon, thanks! It’s really quite amazing how many followers Kayla has been able to attract and presumably keep compared to her competitors. I think one way she could make sure her community stays loyal to her instead of switching away would be to host a few large in-person workout classes around the world. I would imagine that her followers are devoted enough to want to see her in person and experience a real, live training session. This would help keep enthusiasm for the program high and prove to her followers that she really enjoys physical training and isn’t just faking it because it has turned into such a lucrative business model. Plus, these sessions would allow the community to become even more interconnected and meet more people like them, perhaps getting a few new training / accountability partners at the same time.

On November 20, 2016, NDG commented on Saving the Physical Bookstore: Barnes & Noble Edition :

Thanks for this post, Kenzie. I definitely agree with Jesse’s description of the thrill of finding a new book to read – sometimes good things can come from judging a book by its cover (in-store)! Perhaps Barnes and Noble could try to bundle the physical and digital versions of books together so that people can choose more easily how and where they consumer literature. This way, more people may be tempted to use Nook to read and hopefully prop up that area of the business. I’m not sure how easily this bundling can be made to happen as it would require negotiations with the different publishing houses, but I would think that publishers too are struggling with the digitization of books and would be willing to try bundling if it increases their revenues too.

Thanks, Parvathy – it was really interesting to read about all of the different channels Sephora utilizes to sell products. I wonder how successful the new, smaller digital stores will be, however. It seems to me that customers who are taking the time to shop in person, rather than simply online, will want to be able to take all of the physical products home with them at time of sale. Do you think that having to wait for their purchases to be delivered might be viewed as too much of an inconvenience and result in customers avoiding these stores in favor of the larger, traditional versions?

On November 20, 2016, NDG commented on CostCo: Creating Membership Value in a Digital World :

Thanks for this post – I’ve used Costco’s online platform to order photos but never for groceries. Your point about the lower selection available online devaluing the membership is really interesting. I wonder if Costco could implement a cheaper pricing tier for online-shopping only. This way, people who want to shop online will recognize that not everything is available but not feel as though they are being “ripped off” by paying for a premium membership. Having an online-ordering-only membership might also have the added benefit of lowering congestion in the stores (which can get pretty crowded at peak shopping hours!).

Thanks, Ronnie – given that we’re on student budgets, I’m sure this blog (and concerns about increasing prices) is relevant to most of our class! I especially found learning about the water consumption programs and wastewater treatment facilities to be thought-provoking. Once it becomes impossible to reduce the amount of water withdrawn for product any further, do you think that wine companies like Constellation will turn to genetic modification to create heartier versions of grapes like pinot noir as opposed to simply switching to tempranillo grapes? I imagine taste for pinot noir will not decrease any time soon, and consumers will still demand this type of wine and not switch easily to a new varietal. Or do you think the wine-drinking public will be too adverse to beverages made with GMOs since we today see that push back on food products made with GMOs too?

On November 7, 2016, NDG commented on Save the planet, drink more beer. :

Thanks for this post – I had no idea that New Belgium took its commitment to environmental conservatism so seriously! Even more so than what we debated about Ikea’s “green” practices in class, New Belgium really does seem to be walking the talk. This might be difficult to do given its size as a microbrewery, but I wonder if the company can take an even bigger, more mainstream role in advocating for sustainability in the beer-making industry. At brewing competitions or tradeshows – attended by beer companies of various sizes – they could host (or sponsor) a panel on sustainability and discuss the reasons and benefits behind their new LEED-certified building. Additionally, given that they already make great beer (love Fat Tire!), New Belgium could create a competition for “best tasting environmentally-friendly beer” to be held each year; perhaps more of their competitors would be incentivized to adopt green brewing practices if there is a prestigious (even just reputationally) prize to compete for.

Great article! I’d heard about climate change affecting cacao production before but always assumed that the biggest negative impact on these trees would be because of increased temperatures, so it was very interesting to learn that the real danger is actually evapotranspiration. I wholeheartedly agree with your recommendation that Mars form long-term partnerships with nonprofits like the Rainforest Alliance to directly support cacao tree farmers, and I wonder if it’s possible for them to take this support a step further and have an even greater impact. For instance, perhaps Mars can create a higher-end (and therefore much more expensive) line of chocolates to sell globally, which could serve two purposes: raise awareness about climate change’s impact on the cacao production business and also raise more funds to support farmers. The proceeds could alternatively also be used towards funding of crop and agricultural management research, and help encourage through good example more partnerships searching for solutions for the environmental issues facing companies and communities.

On November 7, 2016, NDG commented on Mars Inc Commits to Sustainability :

As a big consumer of Mars’ candy products (especially around Halloween time!), it was very interesting to read about the three impact areas the company is focusing on to help affect climate change. Given that Mars operates in over 70 countries and has such an enormous revenue stream, it seems to me like the company should be capable of having a bigger influence over global environmental issues. For example, I’m surprised that the company doesn’t have more joint initiatives with governments of the countries they have operations in to encourage energy efficiency and conservation, especially in developing countries that may not be as knowledgeable about these issues. While it is admirable that the Mars CEO joined other CPG executives to become an advocate for climate conservation in the business community, I hope that the company is able to take it one step further and advocate for positive environmental actions in its broader global community too.

Thanks for this post! While I knew that population growth was outstripping food supply, I had no idea that the world will need to produce 70% in 2050 to fulfill demand. Especially as the ramifications of climate change continue to impact agricultural production, I expect that this demand will be even harder to fill. It was very interesting to read about the potential of IoT; I would love to learn about more of the IoT start ups that are in early stage development. I wonder if there is a way to incentivize more farmers to utilize the new technologies, like the way that homeowners are provided tax breaks by installing solar panels or by buying electric cars. Perhaps this way, farmers will be less worried about technology taking their jobs and instead willing to work towards more sustainable and environmentally-friendly states.