It amazes me how LEGO has been able to survive over the past two decades with the rush to market of so many new electronic toys. Not only have they survived, but they’ve flourished! Just look at their jammed-packed (everyday) store with arguably the best real estate value of any vendor in Rockefeller Center – that’s proof in itself.
Your post was great. Toy production in general just seems like it would need a lot of R&D to compete, but for a company like LEGO, maybe it actually will hurt them more than help them since their basic product is already so good. I wonder what their plans are for the future and how they want to expand the LEGO name. They just were successful doing that with a motion-picture (which was great, by the way). But their attempts at replicating Disney’s success with Disneyland didn’t quite work out as well. I would love to see how “LEGOland” actually fared, and if there is any room to tweak this model to make it much more successful.
Ah do I love Everlane. I never knew about their inventory model (but I guess I should considering they are always out of my size!). I wonder if having such low inventory ever hurts them more than helps them. Maybe the cost of losing out on a sale, or even a customer, could outweigh the benefits they are reaping right now from this policy? It just surprises me that they put such emphasis on limited inventory given their products are mostly basics. I would imagine they need pretty good insight into forecasted demand to produce what is the “right” amount, and given they are still relatively new and in a totally evolving marketplace with new players every few months, it’s probably quite hard to estimate how their consumers will behave. I guess their waiting lists provide some reprieve.
I also wonder if they’ll stick to their decision to not go the brick-and-mortar route. They could probably do quite well with the pop-up store concept in big cities.
I’ve always found LL Bean to have such an interesting story. They seem to have survived the rush of new companies into the outdoors / fitness market with a steady business model that has stayed true to its core tenants. I haven’t seen their product change much over the years, in fact, not at all among their best sellers. This is pretty impressive considering the market has evolved so much, but I guess that is what happens when you have such a superior product quality. People will always come. Also something to note, their customer service is incredible – almost too forgiving (I know someone who returned boots 3 years after wearing them ~100 days every winter season because they were falling apart, and without hesitation, LL Bean sent a new pair!). It does make for loyal customers, but at what point is “too much” customer service that puts a strain on bottom line?
Great post! With the last decades “health craze,” I’ve seen the yogurt aisle become more and more crowded (in terms of customers and offering varieties). You are totally right when you say that Chobani offers that middle price point between the high-quality niche $3+ yogurts and 99cent traditional yogurts. It amazes me that they are so successful with this strategy because sometimes when companies pick a middle price point, they actually lose out on both extremes of high-quality consumers and low-quality consumers. Somehow Chobani seems to capture both at $1.50. I would love to see if Chobani expands it’s product offering in the next few years as they have become a trusted brand in the dairy aisle and would certainly be able to use some brand equity to sell things like smoothies / milk / etc.