Totally agreed that Venmo is a digital winner. One of the questions I had though was on the common misconception that Venmo doesn’t invest the money we have sitting in “Venmo balances”. I do wonder why that’s the case since if most consumers already think that (aka you’re already taking a reputational hit), it will be a missed revenue opportunity with no perceived volume demand downside. If they are worried about potentially the financial risk associated with that, then perhaps it might be worth marketing that they don’t invest the Venmo balance and that marketing might encourage additional users to join, thereby increasing the network effects of this platform.
Glossier is a really fascinating digital branding case! One of the things I do wonder about is whether giving so much power to the average consumer is a good thing. Because of “Into the Gloss”, there is a digital online community where technically any one of these “Glossier Girls” could post negative things about the products created by Glossier. In a sense, you could be creating your own influencers who do not seem motivated by anything more than their love for good personal care. So I do wonder, if you are using digital to empower consumers, are you then also giving consumers too much power to potentially dislike and influence others to also dislike your product? It will be interesting to see how Glossier deals with one of their products that may not have the community backing (for example, if it doesn’t live up to the product co-creation quality expected from its community).
This was super interesting to read about since I hadn’t really ever thought about the art museum industry – one typically steeped in the historical and ancient – being enhanced by digital. One major thought I had was whether the digital aspects of the website and in-person experience were helping with repeat visits. While it is amazing that they are able to achieve 15M unique website visitors per year – with 10M or 2/3 coming to visit in person – I do wonder when they will “max out” on the % of the population who would be interested in this type of service (once you’ve seen it once, would you go again?). And if they will constantly need to innovate digitally in order to achieve relevance among this community – a need that might require continued investment that might not necessarily pay off. It will be interesting to see how they balance this investment versus investment in the physical pieces of art as well.