Thanks for the great blog post, Avatar! You read all these articles nowadays about how most women wear the wrong bra size, so the industry is definitely spending money on some serious customer education around “the problem.” However, this hasn’t incentivized me personally to go to a store and actually get measured, and (me-search time) I can’t really see myself working with one of Peach’s “stylists” in-person to find a good fit but would certainly be interested in trying out the online option (still feels a little creepy though…). Bra-shopping is not a good experience for many women, so there is definitely an opportunity to provide value to customers by reducing friction. I checked out peach’s website, and I think another great feature is the replenishment option — I HATE having to buy new bras, but most experts say you should replace your bras annually, so it would be super convenient to get my size and style delivered to me when it’s time for a change (without me having to remember to re-order). I also agree with others’ concerns around how scalable the concept is, when the personal stylist consulting requires some heavy-lifting. Also, the model requires a constant flow of new customers who need to be fitted, or your stylists are out of work — which I guess is why your stylists need to go out and find new customers to sell to. It’s an interesting model and will be interested to see how the company grows.
Great blog post! I’ve actually worked with MLBAM in the past, and they have some great tech — definitely an exciting partnership. No doubt ESPN should be worried about its rising costs, subscriber loss, and decreasing revenues (from both affiliate fees and advertising). However, ESPN hasn’t struggled like Sports Illustrated in moving their audience to the web, and their audience on online/mobile is MASSIVE. I think the issue is less the programming and more the distribution strategy — if you’re ESPN, what emerging platforms do you bet on (how do you allocate your resources), and how do you monetize/get people to pay for the content? Furthermore, how do you convince brands to pay higher advertising fees for these new distribution platforms? Furthermore, how do you package your existing content and create new content optimized for the viewing habits of your audience on these different platforms (cohesive cross-platform strategy)? We’re also seeing a lot more second screening viewing among millenials, and ESPN has done a good job capitalizing on this trend through its fantasy sports app, ESPN app, highlights on ESPN.com, acquisition of fivethirtyeight, social media presence, etc. Younger people today have short attention spans. We may still watch sports live, but we’re on our phones while we watch. What are other ways ESPN can maximize the second-screen experience — more customization, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, stats/data, etc.?
Great post, Daniel! As I’m sure you’re aware, Kylie’s holiday collection launches tomorrow — and the products contain real diamond powder!!! It’s crazy to me that Kylie Cosmetics ($29 lip kits?!? $290 holiday collection?!?) is already generating nine figure revenue. Kylie clearly knows her target audience, and her social media marketing strategy has been very consistent and effective. She’s aspirational…but also relatable to teens. Teens are highly influenced by celebrities and influencers when making a purchase, but these celebs go out of style — can’t stay young and relevant forever. Perhaps more traditional marketing approaches will help with legitimizing the brand and expanding to new audiences, but I’m skeptical of this approach. I don’t think Kylie Cosmetics is a brand that can expand to a wider audience given its positioning, but I agree that Kylie has been smart by diversifying with product lines with Pacsun, Topshop, Puma and Sinful Colors, as well as her Kylie Jenner app and the Kendall & Kylie game. She also makes bank with social media product endorsements (upwards of $200,000 for each sponsored post?!?) and hefty appearance fees. I think it’s going to be hard for Kylie Cosmetics to avoid fad status — the brand is Kylie Jenner, so what happens when we reach peak Kardashian saturation (how has that not happened yet…)?
Awesome blog post! For what it’s worth, I was a big Barbie fan as a child and would have LOVED this toy. I imagine the trend will only continue for toys that safely connect kids to the digital world, and I’m excited about the educational opportunities these toys present. I’m also intrigued by your suggestion for Mattel to “develop deeper relationships with the tech-startup community, potentially through incubator programs to advance the application of technology to toys” — Disney actually did this with their Disney Accelerator for entertainment startups (originally run in partnership with well-known accelerator Techstars before Disney decided to do it themselves). Disney has had several toy companies go through the program and views the startup accelerator as a way to acquire innovation. Mattel right now doesn’t have the in-house expertise (and culture) to foster new technological innovation in the toy space, so I agree with you that engaging with startups seems like a good approach.
Great blog post, Brittany! My question is: what is the incentive for companies and hackers to keep the transaction on the platform? I would think that companies like Uber have a constant demand for hackers to help identify bugs (since the tech is always evolving), and if Uber was able to find and engage with a highly-skilled “security researcher” through HackerOne, wouldn’t Uber want to contract this person long-term or take future transactions off the platform (cut out the middle man i.e. HackerOne)? I would think so, since companies are looking to engage these security researchers in coming up with solutions to the bugs — which seems like a more involved project than just identifying issues. I imagine anonymity would be very important for these security researchers, and they may prefer to engage in these freelance projects on HackerOne on their own time as opposed to having a longer-term engagement with one company — but having a direct relationship with a company might provide more stable income and make it easier to find bugs and devise creative solutions to these bugs (having a deeper knowledge of the company’s tech after spending more time on it?).
That’s one crazy expensive soda!!! I liked that you chose to focus on the costs of refrigeration and transportation as opposed to the more widely-discussed issues such as increasing costs of ingredients (like sugar) or water scarcity. I had no idea that refrigerated vending machines consumed so much energy. This small study found that soda machines used considerably more power than copiers, water coolers, coffee machines, and regular refrigerators: http://www.gcbl.org/live/home/efficiency/understanding-how-much-energy-we-use. There are technological innovations in the refrigeration space that have led to more energy efficient refrigerators, but I wonder what the cost would be to replace vending machines with newer, more sustainable models. As for transportation, I imagine Coke is investing a lot to figure out how to reduce fuel costs along the supply chain — from more energy-efficient vehicles for shipping, to optimizing the delivery routes. It seems like many companies will face similar issues with increasing fuel costs, and I wonder whether, in addition to investing in renewable energy sources, Coke will change their bottling locations to be closer to where the items are sold or try to source more ingredients locally.
There’s just no way Coke can pass on all those costs to the consumer — especially when there are substitutes in the market, like Pepsi and generic colas. I’ll be curious to see what actions Coke takes over the next few years to try to protect their supply chain.
Great blog post! I, like several folks who already commented above, would have assumed the online shopper had a larger carbon footprint. I come from NYC, and I would frequently shop online. I often felt guilty because I’d order one small item, and the lone item would be delivered to my apartment in a giant box with a ridiculous amount of packing materials. I know online retailers try to get you to increase your basket size, but do you think there is some messaging the retailer could use to alert people at the time of purchase on how to be greener (e.g. give a shipping discount whenever you buy in bulk + donation to a green charity, or let the customer donate 25 cents to offset their carbon footprint)? Whenever I did shop in stores, I usually walked there or took public transportation, like the subway. So in my case, my carbon footprint was very low compared to someone living in a more suburban or rural area and traveled by car. However, those products I purchased in stores still had to be shipped/delivered to that store and THEN I had to still get them home, so it makes sense to me that delivery straight from a warehouse to my home could reduce emissions. Furthermore, you mentioned the significant carbon footprint of maintaining the brick and mortar store.
It makes perfect sense to me that more fuel efficient vehicles, optimized delivery routes, and optimized packing of boxes would help reduce emissions. I wonder if these companies have experimented with more out-of-the-box delivery solutions, such as electric-powered bicycles, or waste reduction, like box collection for recycling instead of relying on the consumer to properly recycle the box. I’m also curious what innovation is happening around shipping materials — certainly retailers have incentives to reduce the amount of shipping materials, but why are items so often packaged inefficiently?
Thanks for sharing! Your post reminded me of an article I had read recently on scientists attempting to breed “super coral” that are more resistant to climate change, and this could be a potential tool when restoring reefs that have become too damaged to recover naturally, which you mentioned should continue to be a key initiative for CCCCC. The science behind this super coral is assisted evolution by taking the genes of resilient coral strains and passing them on to younger offspring: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/techknow/2016/11/coral-catastrophe-fighting-save-dying-reefs-161103101254532.html. Perhaps this technology would initially increase the upfront cost of restoring the reef (taking samples from the specific reefs, find and foster the genes that make the coral more resistant to warmer and more acidic water, and grow and plant the super coral), but the investment might pay off if this coral better withstands the effects of climate change, eliminating or reducing the need for the CCCCC to restore the reef again in the future.
Great blog post! It’s encouraging to see all the progress Xylem has made towards their own sustainability goals and how the company is leading by example. I think part of Xylem’s mission going forward needs to be educating their customers on why the increased upfront investment in sustainable technologies is worth it, since these technologies are not only better for the planet, but they also deliver superior performance and have lower lifetime costs than less efficient alternatives.
I agree with you that continued innovation is key for Xylem to remain an industry leader — back in March, Xylem announced its intention to invest $300 million in water-focused research and development activities through 2018, which seems like a quite impressive amount of investment: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160322005769/en/Xylem-celebrates-World-Water-Day-globe. Additionally, Xylem is acquiring Sensus (smart meter makers). With increased water regulations and scarcity, it seems like smart metering in the water industry is a big opportunity, and I’ll be interested to see if Xylem looks to acquire any other technology in the near future that can be adapted to solve challenges in the water industry: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2016/08/19/is-xylems-1-7-billion-sensus-deal-a-game-changer-for-the-water-industry/.
Really fascinating blog post! 60 million USD seems like a lot — I wonder how that amount compares to what their competitors have invested? Have Peru’s fishing companies banded together to share best practices on how to tackle climate change or are the fishing companies only making changes as a result of regulatory pressure? Many capture fisheries worldwide have declined or collapsed in recent decades from overfishing, so I can only imagine how much global climate change will impact the fishing industry. In addition to the impact on the livelihoods of local fisherman and fishing companies like Austral, I also wonder what will be the impacts on the infrastructure in coastal communities due to the rising sea level. Additionally, climate change is expected to lead to increased storm activity (both more storms and more severe storms), which could further effect the fishing industry in Peru. Have you considered how Austral might deal with these effects of climate change as well?
One press release from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean claimed that “by the end of the century the losses would be around 30 times the size of the [fishing] sector’s current gross domestic product.” http://www.cepal.org/en/pressreleases/climate-change-peru-seen-affecting-fishing-high-andes-livestock-and-agricultural . It seems clear that drastic actions need to be taken now. Do you think the government is taking enough action? Does the government offer any tax subsidies for aquaculture to incentivize more companies to invest in it?