Great topic Ines! With the recent cryptocurrency craze, we often forgetting about the underlying blockchain technology that is truly disruptive. This is a great example of how blockchain can actually be applied beyond cryptocurrencies. I can see this working in the way that you described for supply chains that deal with a B2B process. But I think this still has a long way to go when it comes to small businesses or individuals that leverage Alibaba and similar platform to sell their products. To your Gucci purse example, if I’m selling it on an Ebay-type platform, how can blockchain be applied to ensure the authenticity and my handling of the purse? Is it still down to basic human trust?
Kai, to your question of what are some of the things to do to counter the decline in brick and mortar retail… I think cause is not entirely lost. I see a lot of new brands doing quite well in retail (say Warby Parker… Everlane is opening their first store, etc.). What feels different though is that these new age brands are focused on things like transparency, connection to the actual makers, competitive prices. I think massive companies like Nike can learn from these brands and figure out how to better connect to customers even as a ubiquitous brand.
Thanks for sharing, Kamau! As you alluded to at the end, one of the levers Target and other companies have is to leverage technology to reduce costs. The irony of that is the cost reduction from technology would be to cut labor. Cutting headcount overall is something else Target can do, which undermines the entire policy’s goal of increasing American competitiveness. I highly doubt regulators have thought about many of the unintended consequences of some of the suggested policies…
Such an interesting topic! Melissa, to be a bit extreme, I wonder if one option Diageo has is to move headquarters if post-Brexit negotiations, the tariffs are actually high enough to be destructive to its business. We’ve seen companies move/select headquarters for tax benefits, but I haven’t considered it for recent government policies.
Wow, Karen, I had very little idea that the fashion industry is that taxing on our climate. While I think Patagonia has done a great job addressing this, I believe most fashion companies do not, because the industry is not incentivized to get away from the fast fashion trends and constant replacement of our wardrobes. I wonder if there are other organizations (e.g. regulatory body?) that can step in and put some pressure on these companies to be more environmentally conscious like Patagonia.
Fascinating topic, Michelle! I have been thinking about food tech a bit lately, and I wonder if there can be a win-win situation. There is a growing number of indoor farming companies that is has much higher yields with lower input and have the ability to impact taste by adjusting the microclimate, soil, etc. If this can be applied to cacao or other crops, it can really help the environment aspect on not encroaching on rainforests. With the increasing prices, sounds like the economics might be viable.