The Billion Dollar Brand Club Is Disrupting the Basics

The Billion Dollar Brand Club Is Disrupting the Basics

The founders of Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s, and other direct-to-consumer start-ups adopted razor-sharp strategies.

They focused on consumers’ simple needs and disrupted the old adage “You get what you pay for.” They fearlessly lured customers away from giant corporations’ established brands and succeeded. Their strategy was to offer quality, basic products at much lower prices than the competition’s and connect directly with their customers. However, for all start-ups, easy market entry with a catchy video on a Web site is both an opportunity and a threat: it helps achieve rapid success while leaving the door wide open to other daring, new competitors.


Video Spotlight: The Dollar Shave Club Video that Started It All


This post is based on The New York Times article, They Changed the Way You Buy Your Basics, by L. Ingrassia, January 23, 2020, and the YouTube video, DollarShaveClub.com – Our Blades Are [Expletive] Greatby Dollar Shave Club, March 6, 2012. Image source: Shutterstock / Oksana Kuzmina.

Discussion Questions:

1. In your opinion, what are the competitive priorities emphasized in Dollar Shave Club’s operations strategy? Distinguish between order winners and qualifiers.

Guidance: Review cost, quality, delivery and flexibility. To beat the competition, Continue reading

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Old Is the New Chic at Nordstrom

Old Is the New Chic at Nordstrom

February 12, 2020

Used clothes are setting a new trend in fashion retail.

Nordstrom has just started selling used clothes, shoes, and accessories. In doing so, it is joining other retailers in offering a climate-friendly alternative to fast fashion. The resale market is growing fast, attracting shoppers from multiple age groups and indicating a shift in attitude toward disposable fashion.


Video Spotlight: Nordstrom Sells Secondhand Clothes


This post is based on The Washington Post article, Old Clothes, New Customers: Nordstrom Becomes Latest Big Retailer to Sell Secondhand Items, by A. Bhattarai, January 31, 2020, and the YouTube video, Nordstrom Hoping Used Clothing Business Will Attract New Customersby WCCO – CBS Minnesota, January 30, 2020. Image source: Adisa/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the societal factors responsible for the trend of selling used clothes along with new ones?

Guidance: The factors responsible for this trend include increased environmental consciousness; a need for higher-quality, longer-lasting clothes; a preference for designer clothes at lower prices; and a growing contempt for excessive consumption.

2. Is the practice of placing used clothing items alongside new ones a wise layout option for Nordstrom?

Guidance: Although personal opinions on this matter vary, it seems Continue reading

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The Demise of Small Pharmacies

The Demise of Small Pharmacies

February 8, 2020

Changing trends in how customers fill their prescriptions and how big pharmaceutical companies transform the healthcare industry have caused closures of regional supermarket pharmacy counters across the U.S.

Fewer customers visit pharmacy counters while grocery shopping because many order their medications by mail, often in bulk, or get them at lower costs at big pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.

In addition to better deals on drug costs, big pharmacies offer healthcare “hubs” staffed by doctors and medical personnel to provide a wide range of medical services such as blood testing, diet seminars and yoga classes.


Video Spotlight: Grocery Stores Shutter In-Store Pharmacies


This post is based on the PYMNTS.com article, Grocery Stores Shutter In-Store Pharmacies, by PYMNTS, January 26, 2020, and the YouTube video, Grocery Stores Shutter In-Store Pharmacies by PYMNTS Media, January 27, 2020. Image source: Shutterstock / kurhan

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the operational challenges facing regional supermarket pharmacy counters?

Guidance: The operational challenges include (1) reduced customer demand because customers make fewer trips to pharmacy counters while grocery shopping; (2) higher drug costs due to limited connections to insurers and pharmaceutical companies; and (3) inability to  compete with big pharmacies that Continue reading

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