Something I’ve always found fascinating about the cosmetics industry is how the success of individual products and product lines are materially varied across ethnic, cultural, and geographic lines, due to the nature of the products as semi-consumables and the differences in how various cosmetics look and feel on different skin types/tones. I understand why consistency of experience is an asset to Sephora in terms of building brand recognition and universalizing how consumers experience the store, but do you think they would be more successful if they tailored their product offerings, marketing efforts, and sales force training materials according to where a given store is located and/or the clientele to whom that location primarily caters? This might build even stronger brand loyalty because customers would perceive a heightened sense of luxury due to the custom and personalized nature of their visit to Sephora.
Thanks for a great read!
One element of Zara’s business model that I always found fascinating was their approach to sales and discount pricing. Instead of having a small subset of their inventory on sale at any given point in time with larger subsets discounted during special times in the year (as is the case with most retailers), Zara has virtually no discounted merchandise throughout the year except during their two annual sales, at which point ALL of the merchandise goes on sale. Why do you think they’ve taken on this approach, and drawing on your industry expertise, do you think this is a winning strategy? How (if at all) do you think this biannual “cleaning house” ties in with the “newness” factor you discussed and Zara’s strategy of always being very current and on-trend?
Thanks for the info! This is a service I use all the time but I was relatively uninformed about their business practices and operating model. You addressed what I would see as the biggest concern for Wikipedia: declining numbers of quality content generators, who in the absence of named attribution for their work or compensation could easily lose interest or incentive for writing in. Do you think that that the best way to address this problem, should it become mission-critical in the future, would be to offer monetary compensation for quality articles and edits? Or is there some secondary currency that could do the job, in a sort of gamification strategy (think Bitcoin or Reddit “karma”). If it came down to a need to provide monetary compensation to contributors, do you think Wikipedia has sufficient capital as it stands to start doing so? If not, how would you recommend they go about monetizing their site/service? Do you think people would be willing to pay to “subscribe” to Wikipedia?