Hi James, very interesting post. Always good to understand philosophies of highly successful companies.
Bose has indeed targeted the ‘uneducated consumer with discretionary income’, making it some sort of an aspirational product for many. However, my fear has been the emergence of several ‘new’ and ‘cooler’ companies that are in this space. I fear Bose being pushed into the position of a ‘too high quality, even higher price’ product that can be easily substituted by other cooler ‘high quality but for cheap’ products. It is a very interesting challenge for a company that prides itself on cutting-edge research to manage the pricing so that it captures value while also continuing to have a wide consumer base.
Thank you very much for sharing this post! Whole Foods has certainly captured the imagination and attention of many people who are in-sync with the latest health trends. Their bias towards organic, and better-for-you products is certainly catapulting them to the top which is clearly evident in their growth. However, their prices and specificity in business model does alienate the ‘middle to low American’ population in my opinion. You wont necessarily find the cheap products you can find in a ShopRite or Stop’n’Shop when you are at Whole Foods and hence the consumer will have to go to multiple stores to buy their groceries. For example, I never saw Oreos being placed in the Whole Foods aisle, and hence witnessed consumers going to Whole Foods for the healthy stuff, but also to other stores to buy Oreos and other cheaper treats. I would be interested to better understand Whole Foods’ consumer income demographic, and intrigued to see how they market themselves to this lower income segment, enabling them to become Whole Food loyalists in the future.
Many thanks for sharing this post Haochen. Very interesting to read the underlying history behind JD.com’s emergence. What particularly caught my attention was the initial indecisiveness around building the logistics network, that I now believe has become a big source of competitive advantage for the company! It made sense to start off with urban centers like Beijing to build out the logistics, but I am curious where does this model stop making sense? It seems very clear that they have clearly committed to expanding this non-profitable model, but it will be interesting to see when and if we reach a tipping point where these investments will bear fruit. Something similar is being done by Flipkart in India, and as someone personally interested in eCommerce I am intrigued to see where this leads.