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 Coronavirus Is Infecting Global Supply Chains

The Coronavirus Is Infecting Global Supply Chains

As you read this post, the coronavirus will have upended more business activity than reported in this article.

British Airways, Air Canada, Apple, Starbucks, Ikea, and other international, corporate giants have already frozen some of their operations in China as the coronavirus claims more lives and increases business risk as well as uncertainty. The crisis highlights the role of China as an engine of global economic growth. Foreign companies’ investment concentration in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, challenges the notion of an easy pullout. In the same vein, the travel restrictions placed on Chinese citizens underscore Chinese tourists’ economic impact all over the world.


Video Spotlight: Business Impact of Coronavirus


This post is based on The New York Times article, Coronavirus Outbreak Tests World’s Dependence on China, by A. Stevenson, January 29, 2020, and the YouTube video, Coronavirus to Pose a Threat to Global Supply Chains: Economistby BNN Bloomberg, January 29, 2020. Image source: Mick Ryan/Cultura RF/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does halting manufacturing in China affect economic growth in the United States?

Guidance: US manufacturing firms with production facilities in China may have a lower output and therefore productivity. Furthermore, their sales Continue reading

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