I’d be very curious to examine what impact the focus on margins had on more of their educational and computer focused LEGO lines, such as the “Mindstorm” series. LEGO has a great opportunity to be considered an educational tool for students, by allowing them to build and program machines on their more advanced set. This may exact a high toll on profitability due to the level of complexity and cost of this product line, but it really drives brand equity by pushing the idea that LEGOs can be an educational tool, not just a recreational one. If they are not careful to continue to build this positive perception of their products, they might be undermining their long term growth.
It would be interesting to examine the effect that so much shared prosperity between USNWR and the organizations it ranks has on the impartiality of the material. Is it possible that the quality and unbiased nature of the rankings are influenced by these relationships? Given the extent to which USNWR is considered a reputable source for data on these institutions, it is only logical that those institutions would have a strong interest in boosting their ranking, perhaps undeservingly. Does USNWR take any specific steps to make sure they maintain their independence from the organizations they rank? A lot of credibility could be lost almost overnight if one particular case of rankings manipulations came to light.
I’m curious how RyanAir can continue to cut costs all while improving the customer experience in the next year or two. It would also be interesting to examine why, in the United States, we don’t have any low cost carriers that approach the level of cost which RyanAir and EasyJet achieve in the European markets. Are regulations so expensive in the US that it nearly double the average ticket price of low cost carriers? Geography is probably key in cutting costs, since for high utilization, you need to have pockets of demand located nearby each other. Do they have any plans to expand into other markets?