Wow, Walmart seems to be throwing a ton of digital strategies at the wall just to see what sticks… I found the acquisition of jet.com fascinating given what it enables Walmart to do on the backend. The potential cost savings even from the two examples you mention (no returns, same warehouse) are huge, but I could imagine it could also unlock other savings when customizing baskets for known shopper patterns or volume discounting.
One thing I do find disconcerting is that nearly every major company out there is feeling the need to do a private label version of Apple Pay in order to get more consumer data and drive people into their apps. I think this is a big and costly mistake. Most of these companies do not have the capabilities in house to deliver on a seamless customer experience, nor are they focused on UI. Consumers will hit a saturation point where they just won’t download yet another payment app, instead insisting late players like Walmart adopt some other platform. I think this would have been an opportunity for a high-profile partnership with a PayPal/Venmo/etc to enable the same end without expecting consumers to establish yet another new behavior pattern.
I agree with SU – Omada Health has a fascinating model. I like that they’ve been able to align incentives for the company and patients in such a successful way, especially when compared to other companies we’ve explored this semester like Stickk. I’m curious about how they can take that key piece – alignment – into other disease states. For example, cardiovascular health makes sense because there are concrete and specific data points that can be measured and improved to reduce someone’s risk of a heart attack (although we currently aren’t compensating hospitals/doctors for this type of work which might make it harder to get Medicare payments). But I think something like general obesity might be harder to tackle. Not because the incentives are misaligned, but because it’s so broad and associated with so many other co-morbidities, it will be tricky to isolate what you are tracking and focusing on as a patient and therefore who should be paying for the outcomes.
I’m surprised there was such a backlash to EA’s strategy of unlocking game streams for extra money within the game. This seems very similar to what they’ve been doing with franchises like the Sims for years. Consumers buy the starter game for $50 or so and then each “expansion pack” which adds significant new game play opportunities for $20. In addition, consumers have been conditioned to accept “in-app” purchases within recent years. I wonder why this was felt as so fundamentally different to gamers? Perhaps traditional console gamers aren’t used to needing to augment their gameplay at any point and therefore felt this was new? Would be fascinating if they have some data about what types of gamers or the specific games that caused the backlash.
First of all, can we all acknowledge EFFITIRES and EFFIFUEL are horrible names for a new offering? Get what they were going for, but ouch…
I agree with Tom above that tire analytics is an interesting one, particularly because it’s also so very salient to our last discussion around climate change. If we can get big data into tires, we can work on reducing fuel, breaking speeds, quick acceleration, etc on a scale we can’t feasibly due now. Very cool.
In addition, I think it’s important to consider what associated products Michelin could now start selling. By turning tires into a service, they make their brand very sticky and therefore make it very hard for consumers to leave for another tire company. Obvious cross sells include Michelin starred restaurants, but perhaps it could partner with hotels and offer discounts for better driving. Or Michelin could expand its core business and get into other “smart” car parts (engines seem particularly beneficial) and truly own a consumer’s entire experience.
Very interesting post. President Obama took the White House a long way to accepting the ability of the internet, both on the campaign trail and while on the job. On your point about using technology to engage citizens, I agree we have a long way to go, but that Obama has also made significant strides in this arena. For example, he launched the ConnectALL initiative to get internet to everyone in the US (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/09/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-connectall-initiative). I know it’s not quite the same, but would argue it’s a crucial foundational element to getting to a more complete measurement of citizen engagement.
Wonder how parties will communicate and “break down the silos” under President-elect Trump. I could imagine his administration going either way on that – open discourse on Twitter or individual and direct reporting to Trump alone. It will be a very interesting four years in general but also specifically for the areas you outline in this post.
I agree that Tesla’s plan all along has been to revolutionize clean energy and force a completely new paradigm for evaluating what makes a company “clean” or not in the future. One thing I am curious about is what else could Tesla be doing to push both itself and SolarCity (assuming that goes through) into being a fully green supply chain as well. The gigawatt factory in Nevada is a great step towards that, but where else should Tesla be pushing? What happens to the movement when the current round of tax credits expire? What about their effect on the rest of the car industry – can Tesla really accomplish this revolution alone? Probably not, so how can they push the pace of other major car companies to do more than just have a hybrid on the market? Obviously some of this has already started, but that’s the area where I am really excited about Tesla’s potential impact… how can its model and beliefs ripple out to the entire automotive industry?
Really interesting example of how one player could have so much impact on the overall system through education, purchasing power, etc. Nice choice! I’m curious about the ripple effect of all the newly vulnerable students you laid out and how the district plans on addressing them… For example, enrollment could potentially skyrocket thereby increasing the variable costs of the schools. I’d also imagine that many of these vulnerable students and families will put a much greater draw on the support resources through the school and county. In addition, that balance between vulnerable and not vulnerable will likely continue to shift away from “not vulnerable” which will hurt the district’s attempts to subsidize the most vulnerable putting even more of a strain on state and federal funding. Hopefully the state and the district are starting these conversations today to secure the necessary funding and support for the schools 10 years from now!
I really liked how you addressed both parts of Levi’s model – both their use as a producer and the use of their customers. It sounds like Levi’s has taken some real and definite steps on their production side of the house, although I agree that the <Less campaign needs drastic expansion to remain a selling point. One big question that came up for me while reading your post was whether or not Levi's has done any studies on if their marketing campaign has actually had an effect on their consumers' behaviors. In a quick google search on the topic, I found one academic paper studying the effect but sadly couldn't review it without paying for access. That said, several news organizations have praised Levi's for the move and it has been named one of the most innovative companies for the campaign. If you have access to any data on consumer behavior change, I'd love to learn more!
FEMA sure has grown and changed post Katrina, hasn’t it? Thankfully of course since that was a bungled operation of epic proportions. That said, one of my biggest concerns with FEMA leading the way on disaster response issues is that its budget is so tied to the political party that is in office. And with many high ranking members of the Republican Party “unconvinced” that climate change is a reality, I wonder what will happen to its budget long-term. Can (hopefully) President Clinton do enough to fund the agency moving forward to weather (haha) a Republican presidency after her? Or would a (shudder) … Trump just close it down entirely to save money since climate change isn’t real? I think this will be one of the biggest sources of variability this organization will need to address in the coming decades in order to be consistently on the front lines.
I have always found Patagonia a fascinating company, but hadn’t heard of their Worn Wear campaign. One additional thing I found interesting as I was researching it more (inspired by your post) was all the steps the company took to make that campaign itself sustainable and green. They drove a truck around the country to reach consumers (obviously not ideal from a sustainability stand point), but they did it in the best way possible. The roof of the truck was built with recycled wine barrels and was powered by biodiesel fuels. And they even repaired non-Patagonia items for free. I think this is an incredible example of a company putting its money where its mouth is and taking immediate action to reduce its impact on the world while simultaneously educating consumers on the industry at large.