I am fully in support of Nike doubling down on its additive manufacturing strategy, and I feel its imperative to do so in today’s age when its largest competitors are way ahead of the curve. To your question on how this aligns with Nike’s “2X Direct” strategy, I think it could be a way to get closer to the customer. Using its large store footprint, Nike could use 3D printing to offer customized shoes to the customer who desires, thereby increasing the personal touch and brand loyalty.
This needs to be supported with telling the story properly. We saw in the Nike case in marketing how it does a great job of using elite athletes’ opinion to develop the product and become the champions of their product. Apart from that, it could use this new innovative technology to tell its most loyal customers how they could now have their own requirements perfectly fit into one shoe!
Though I believe this can give them a competitive edge, I don’t see this scaling up significantly in the coming years, as individualized products would also mean higher costs and hence prices for the consumer. I wonder if we could reach a stage where 3D printing for shoes in stores becomes the norm and we no longer have mass production in factories.
I think Buzfeed could use crowd-sourcing to get ideas for their stories, and even be more reliable- if they a) use data analytics in conjunction to weed out articles below a certain quality. b) target freelancers and reliable news sources. This can even improve over time as their analytics engine becomes more robust. I think it is critical for a new-age website such as Buzfeed to do this if it wants to compete with traditional and credible news sources such as CNN and the NY Times. This can give it an edge over its more established competitors, by sourcing ideas that consumers would like to read, backed by real data and predictions.
To your question on using their community page, it could serve as a tremendous opportunity to get its followers and writers interacting and debating, which is a great source of demand generation and marketing for Buzfeed. It could have users vote on a “theme of the week”, for example, and source ideas related to that.
Very interesting article on 3D printing can change the traditionally craftsmanship driven and high product development timeline fashion industry! I am intrigued by how it could change the future of the fashion industry by bringing fashion to people’s homes and computers. I do agree that the future seems to hold for those brands who are able to offer design specifications for people rather than being mass manufacturers of the same product. I believe this can only impact the high-end fashion market though, due to the significant time, effort and costs involved for mass-market consumers to do this on their own. However I wonder if it will be threat to the brand’s identity, as significant control will move from the brand to the consumer who now dictates what they want. I also wonder if this will promote use of fake products as people can essentially copy very easily.
I am also keen to understand its potential impact on smaller and boutique fashion designers who now will be able to make clothes more economically rather than having to set up a whole production line for the same.
I agree with you that in a creative industry that Netflix is in, tensions between creativity and data-driven decision making need to be managed well. However, I disagree with the proposed solution of creating a data-driven team and a creativity-based team separately in the short-term. I would argue that it will increase the distance between the two teams even more. The reason is that while I do believe there are tensions between data and creativity, I would also argue that they can be used together in a very meaningful manner. For example, creative content is not just based on a visionary defining the market- it is based on an educated understanding of what the market likes based on the past and predicting how they can utilize that knowledge to shape the market’s demands in the future. Visionaries are already using data to predict and shape the market. I would argue that in fact data and creativity can in fact be married to create even better content and there is need for those two teams to come closer and not farther. What AI can do for Netflix is predict what consumers will like based on the past data. However what it can’t do is accurately predict what consumers themselves don’t know about their preferences. This is where creativity can support data, making educated guesses about what consumers may like beyond what is already being predicted by AI. After all, the success of media powerhouses is based not just on predicting and making the right movies but also shaping the market by coming out with revolutionary ideas not evident in the data.
I agree that AI has and can significantly change the media industry’s approach to content creation and marketing. I also liked how you connected that in Disney’s case, this extends to a wider audience base, most notably kids, and a wider space- homes, theaters and parks. I do think that there are significant benefits of using AI for Disney- even though it already has a very strong grasp on consumer demands. In this age Netflix and Prime are gaining importance and market share, and already has a large amount of data on its consumers, especially Amazon that I would argue has the highest amount of knowledge about its consumers. They are probably ahead in the curve and better positioned to address its consumer’s demands than Disney is. To answer your question, I do believe Disney needs to do this given how the market is shifting, if it wants to remain a prominent player in the market. Given its time and cost for development of movies is much higher than that of Prime and Netflix (which so far have not made animated movies requiring significant technical costs), it can greatly benefit from using AI/ its facial expression recognition to predict consumer demand, especially that of kids, a market which is untapped and can give them significant competitive advantage over others.