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On December 1, 2017, UK commented on How Google Can Rebuild Trust in EMEA :

This significant fine from the European Union should push Google to reconsider the company’s customer promise core operating principles. Namely, what is the role of transparent information and how should it be presented to Google users? How do these principles play out across all of Google’s products and platforms? As Google expands into new businesses it is imperative the company translate its data and transparency principles into a clear and concise message to communicate to its users. As Google looks to regain trust in EU markets, it should take time to understand customer frustrations across different markets and tailor its approaches accordingly. To rebuild trust, Google can consider transparency marketing campaigns, a compelling story in its annual reports focusing on its reactions to the fine, and find ways to support local competition and search engine innovation in the European Union.

Your piece introduces great examples of how Nordstrom is using digitization to remain at the forefront of customer experience in innovation. You pose the question of whether the company should pursue the trade-off of digitization vs. less consumer foot-traffic in brick-and-mortar and a potential hit in customer experience. Nordstrom must prioritize and continue to drive innovation in the omnichannel shopper experience as online is now ~25% of the company’s sales, with a 8% yoy growth rate. [1] This digitization should look to innovate in brick and morter, online, and omni sales experiences. Nordstrom can leverage the hire of Walmart’s Beabout to implement some of the digitization efforts. For example, Wal-Mart has deployed the use of robots to optimize in-store shelf inventory replacement. [2] Additionally, Nordstrom should consider launching its’ own innovation team. This year Wal-Mart launched an incubator lab focused on projects in robotics, virtual and augmented reality, and AI. [3]


On December 1, 2017, UK commented on L’Oreal’s Quest to Beautify Their Carbon Footprint :


It is interesting you mention that L’oreal has a responsibility to move its’ consumers to demand more environmentally-friendly products. As mentioned above, I am wary of the practicality of maintaining the company’s current price points and simultaneously moving to more environmentally friendly ingredients. Personally I think that L’oreal should focus its’ consumer education efforts on educating broadly about the issues of climate change. The company has significant brand recognition power to do so. Digging into this we see that this year the company has become a partner of the new “Women4Climate” global initiative. As part of the initiative the company will mentor young women to empower them to develop climate change solutions and support gender-specific research related to climate change. [1]


On December 1, 2017, UK commented on Ohio’s Big Bet on the Future of Transportation :

As you mention there are several regulatory policies and standards that must be carefully formed to ensure a productive and safe autonomous vehicle ecosystem. An additional policy consideration is one of cybersecurity. The state and country will need to ensure that the vehicles are monitored safely and protected against hacking which poses a serious security threat we are not exposed to today. This can be particularly challenging if the industry looks to developing vehicle to vehicle information systems where cars provide information to one another. You can read more on this topic here ( This issue supports the notion that autonomous driving regulations should indeed be establish on a national level.

I think you did a great job explaining the size of Levi’s jeans climate impact based on cotton material usage. Another statistic I’ve seen is that “one pair of denim jeans produces 44 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to driving a car almost 48 miles or burning over 21 pounds of coal” [a]. It is great to hear that Levi’s is making strides in reducing its carbon footprint and is a leader in the jeans retail space. As Mel outlines above, there remains an opportunity to involve the consumer in their efforts. Upon further research, it appears that Levi’s is “closing the loop” by encouraging it’s customers to recycle old clothing. Levi’s offers customer discounts for the items that are returned to the store. These items are donated to a recycling facility that either resales the item or re-purposes the materials for other use. I’d like to see Levi’s take initiative in share its’ best practices across the jeans industry to support a larger breadth of change.



This is a really interesting piece! It seems to me that Walmart is moving in the right direction in using digitization to improve its supply chain operations. At the same time, it sounds like the company has a long way to go in order to scale these practices across its markets and grocery segments. I agree that acquisition sounds like the right move. Recently we’ve seen Walmart acquire Parcel in New York City to improve same day delivery in the market. I hope to see more of these delivery and supply chain digitization acquisitions moving forward.