Great post, Angela! I think this an interesting industry to look at in terms of the impact of isolationism because it could end up having a larger negative impact on the other macro trend we’ve been looking at – global warming. If the US government passes these tariffs and / or the NAFTA agreement does not favor SunPower, I would assume this would make it even more costly to use / shift to solar power within the US. In turn, we could potentially see less investment in the US solar power industry long-term. I would assume that these trade deals are done on an industry (and maybe even company) level, so I would hope that any new trade agreements take into account the negative impact that they could have on the U.S. / global environment.
Great post, Sarah! As I was reading this, I was wondering if LFP ended up suing the e-verify company for their wrong-doing and, in return, would be able to pay for the increased cost (or at least some of it). Either way, I wonder if this experience has led LFP to even shift its labor strategy in the long term. Will they now consider investing in automation where possible to reduce their reliance on labor?
Great post, Sahael! To your point, I can envision that Starbucks can play in both the quality experience and commodity space. While they definitely need to create a separate “space” or smaller location to service the online orders (people who value convenience most likely), I wouldn’t be surprised if there is eventually an automated machine that also takes the online orders and automatically makes the drinks (similar to the Coca-Cola freestyle technology without the customer interaction). The only reason you need the baristas is for the customer experience, at least in my opinion. So if you are able to get a machine to services the customers that view Starbucks as a commodity, your baristas can spend more time cultivating the customer relationship and experience in the store.
This was a really interesting post, Ketty!
While I think customization is necessary to staying on top of trends, I don’t see the entire product mix shifting to customization (at least in the short to medium term). I would assume some consumers still want to be able to go into a store and buy a product off of the shelf, which would inherently have very little to zero customization (unless one day the manufacturing process is in the back of the store!). With that said, I think Adidas should be very mindful in the types of SKUs / customization that it offers. For example, does the consumer truly value the Aramis technology embedded in the AM4 products? The reason I ask this is because I am skeptical on the need for different types of shoes for essentially large, urban cities. While customization is itself very costly, adding additional SKUs to your distribution system also adds costs, so Adidas should make sure it is producing productive SKUs in its supply chain.
As a native “Dallasite,” I actually had no idea that the city was doing so much to reduce its carbon footprint, so I definitely agree that engaging the population and educating the community on the various initiatives are necessary. To support this, Dallas actually did pass a plastic bag ban law in 2015 but it was quickly repealed after plastic bag manufacturers and residents sued the city because “Texas state law prohibits taxes on containers” (see link below). Dallas arguably did not understand its stakeholders and likely prevented itself from passing a new plastic bag law after the 2015 misstep. Going forward, it should do more due diligence before acting while also educating residents and companies on the benefits of these actions.
I think that one struggle Dallas and other cities will consistently face is the notion that climate change “is not my problem.” From a devils advocate perspective, without a global or nation-wide mandate, the actions that Dallas plans to take will likely have very little impact on climate changes in Dallas. So I think a key question is how can Dallas join the broader conversation and impact nation-wide action?
Kenya, similar to Mike, I think there are some reasons why Coca-Cola has not immediately commercialized its new PlantBottle packaging. On top of the costs, packaging is one area that actually impacts the consumer’s experience with the product. While it is not clear, the new packaging could have the potential to change how the consumer interacts with the product (e.g., it could be more “flimsy”, it could require a different bottle shape, etc.) and have negative consequences to topline if the transition is not executed correctly. I think a good example of commercializing too fast is PepsiCo’s compostable Sunchips packaging (https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/03/18/pepsis-biodegradable-backlash-snack-bag-was-too-noisy). Even though PepsiCo was trying to shift towards more sustainable packaging, consumers ultimately rejected the packaging because it was “too loud.” In the end, PepsiCo had to re-design a new bag, likely costing the company more money because it did not get it right the first time around. Thus, while Mike is likely right on the incremental costs, it could also be the case that Coca-Cola is trying to understand all of the consumer implications to new packaging.