Tag Archives: business model

What’s Ahead for the Subscription Box Service?

13 Mar

Are subscription boxes a fad or sustainable business model? According to Jameson Morris, a specialist in the field: “A subscription box is a recurring, physical delivery of niche-oriented products packaged as an experience and designed to offer additional value on top of the actual retail products contained in a box.”

Morrison further notes that to be considered a subscription box service, these elements are needed: 

“Must be a physical delivery (digital subscriptions can’t be classified as a subscription box). 

Must be a recurring subscription/membership (of any term or frequency). 

Must feature one or more of the following value propositions:

Surprise (at least 1 or more items in the box must be unknown to the customer before delivery). Discovery (slightly different than ‘Surprise’. Discovery-oriented subscriptions don’t have to have ‘mystery’ items, it’s more about consumers ‘discovering’ items they’ve never seen before).

Curation (a thoughtfully picked variety of products related to a specific niche or category). 

Savings (a clear savings on the price paid for the box versus the total retail value of the items inside). 

Thoughtful Presentation (From custom packaging to the way products are arranged inside the box). 

Convenience (convenience cannot be implied solely by the fact that it’s a recurring ‘auto-delivery’. Rather, think of the fresh ingredient subscription boxes like Blue Apron or Green Chef–they deliver convenience in the form of pre-prepared ingredients and recipes).”

 

According to eMarketer:

“A March survey from AYTM Market Research of 1,000 US consumers showed that while a little over half of respondents said they have used at least one subscription service, almost two-fifths who had used one said they had canceled.”

“’To stay the distance, brands using a subscription model need a very strong point of difference and superior customer service,’ said Sarah Boumphrey, global lead of economies and consumers at Euromonitor International. She added that subscription services also need to come up with other avenues of revenue. For instance, Birchbox, a leader in the space, has brick-and-mortar stores.”

“Differentiation will be even more crucial, as there are signs that suggest the industry’s growth is slowing. Traffic to subscription service sites in January rose 18%, according to Hitwise. Though that’s healthy growth, it’s well off the 56% gain registered a year earlier.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

McDonald’s Honest Self-Assessment – in Public!

7 Mar

McDonald’s is revamping its global strategy in hopes of stimulating sales and profits. Some of its planned changes are substantial. And, it has offered an honest self-assessment in a very public way. [Many firms do not even acknowledge their weaknesses outside of the company itself.]

Just a few days ago, the fast-food giant issued a major press release, “McDonald’s Unveils New Global Growth Plan.” Here are some highlights:

“The growth plan focuses on enhancing digital capabilities and the use of technology to dramatically elevate the customer experience; redefining customer convenience through delivery; accelerating deployment of ‘Experience of the Future’ restaurants in the U.S.; initiating a new 3-year target for cash return to shareholders; and establishing new financial targets for sales, operating margin, earnings per share, and return on incremental invested capital.”

“The strategy connects key tenets of the brand to well-defined customer groups built around three pillars: (1) Retaining existing customers by fortifying and extending our areas of strength. Through a renewed focus on areas such as family occasions and food-led breakfast and transforming the experience in our restaurants, McDonald’s will build on the strong foothold it has and grow the core of the business. (2) Regaining customers lost to other QSR [quick-service restaurants] competitors. As customers’ expectations increased, McDonald’s simply didn’t keep pace with them. Making meaningful improvements in quality, convenience, and value will win back some of McDonald’s best customers. (3) “Converting casual customers to committed customers by being more present in underdeveloped categories and occasions and competing more aggressively given the untapped demand for McCafé coffee and other snack offerings.”

“We have fundamentally changed the trajectory of our business over the past two years. Now, we are ready to build on our momentum and transition to focus efforts on profitable, long-term growth. We are building a better McDonald’s, one that makes delicious feel good moments easy for everyone, and the moves we are making will reassert McDonald’s as the global leader in the informal eating out category.”

“To bring customers into the restaurants, McDonald’s must matter to people and be relevant in their daily lives. To do so, McDonald’s is accelerating digital capabilities and enhancing its use of technology in restaurants, in the drive-thru, and on the go. The result is a more stress-free, personalized experience, enhanced by technology and world-class hospitality that puts customers in control.”

“One of the most significant disruptions in the restaurant business today is the rapid increase in delivery . Because of our extraordinary footprint, McDonald’s is uniquely positioned to become the global leader in delivery. In McDonald’s top five markets (U.S., France, the U.K., Germany, and Canada), nearly 75% of the population lives within three miles of a McDonald’s. Currently, McDonald’s is experimenting with different delivery models including partnering with third parties for ordering and fulfillment throughout the world.”

“Experience of the Future restaurants elevate the customer experience at McDonald’s to provide a more convenient, more personalized, and more enjoyable visit. It leverages the convenience and technology of kiosk ordering and table service, increasing functionality of the mobile app to enhance the enjoyment of our food and the hospitality of the McDonald’s crew, all in a more modern, more exciting restaurant environment.”

 
Click the image to read A LOT MORE!

 

What Type of Autonomous Car Is for YOU?

6 Mar

As we get closer and closer to the commercial launch of autonomous (self-driving) cars, one key factor has not been addressed enough: What is an autonomous car — because one type of car does not fit all? The answer is not simply “a car that takes over all/most driving functions for you.” The possible configurations of cars complicates things for both manufacturers and potential customers!

Here is a very good list of the types of autonomous driving experiences, from Lauren Flanigan (writing for The American Genius) that are ahead. Which type is best for YOU?

“From self-parking to collision avoidance, there are an array of different features that will be made available to consumers. But before you start saving for your next dream, take a look at which kind is best for you and your futuristic needs.”

Level 0 (zero automation) — “Your car is most likely a zero automation car. A human driver is required to operate and fully control the vehicle.”

Level 1 (driver assisted/function specific) — “These cars are for those who don’t trust automobiles with their lives. They still require a driver to operate the vehicle, but act as an aid to the driver, providing [specific] intelligent features.”

Level 2 (partial automation/combined autonomous functions) — “At this level, a self-driving automobile can perform two or more simultaneous tasks like steering, lane keeping, and speed maintenance while in cruise control mode.”

Level 3 (conditional automation/limited self-driving) — “The car assumes more than just partial control, and acts instead as a co-pilot. Although the driver can relinquish a lot of tasks to the car, the driver must to be ready at all times to resume control.”

Level 4 (high automation) — “These cars can perform all safety-critical driving functions while monitoring environments in defined-use cases without human intervention. Drivers enter the destination and navigation details and the car does the rest.”

Level 5 (fully autonomous) — “This car does not require any effort or driving on behalf of the human owner. There is no driving equipment in the car, which is designed to resemble comfortable environments like lounges and offices. The vehicle is in full control.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

Is the Stock Market Over-Exuberant for Snap?

3 Mar

Snap Inc. is a U.S.-based technology and social media company that was started in 2011 .Products include the popular Snapchat app and Spectacles eye wear; it also owns the Bitmoji app.

Yesterday (March 2, 2017) was a big day for Snap Inc. and the tech industry overall because of Snap’s highly anticipated IPO (initial public offering) on the New York Stock Exchange. Some analysts are excited at the popularity of this IPO; others wonder whether investors are being overly exuberant. What do YOU think?

As reported by CNBC:

“Snap soared as much as 45% when it opened for trading at $24 a share on Thursday. Market makers at the New York Stock Exchange indicated the stock was set to open from $23.50 to $24.50 a share. At 200 million shares, Snap raised $3.4 billion and was valued at nearly $24 billion as of its pricing. Sources had told CNBC earlier this week that investors were expecting a pricing of $17 to $18 per share, above the $14 to $16 per share range originally given by the company. The IPO is 12 times oversubscribed, sources said Thursday morning, meaning that there were 12 times more orders for than there were shares offered. Some managers told CNBC they got as little as 2 percent of what they were asking for.”

 

Yet, Felix Richter commented thusly for Statista:

“Snap’s IPO valuation of $24 billion is quite a tall order for a company that has never turned a profit and warned investors that it never might. The company is now valued at 59 times its total revenue for 2016. Even for a fast-growing tech company that is a lot. Facebook in comparison has a price-to-sales ratio of around 14. As our chart illustrates, Snap is valued considerably higher than many American household names. That includes companies such as Ralph Lauren and Harley-Davidson that have been around for decades and probably will be for decades to come.”

Infographic: Snap Is More Valuable Than These Household Names | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

 

Be Careful in Making Promises to Customers

2 Mar

In the current highly competitive global marketplace, marketers face a difficult balancing act. On the one, they must promote their goods or services as superior to other firms’ offerings. On the other hand, if customers become unhappy because they buy something that does not meet their expectations, they may be lost to the overpromising firm forever. What we should do? Here’s one perspective from a company dealing with high-value clients.

As Joshua Hebert (CEO of Magellan Jets) writes for Fortune magazine:

“We know that everyone stumbles, and when that happens, the most important thing to do is minimize the damage and turn the mistakes into a positive. One of our most memorable setbacks was with a private travel customer who wanted us to help out when one of our competitors let her down. This was no small deal — one of the top celebrities in the world had a mechanical issue with her jet, and needed us to get her from London to New York overnight. What we did next wasn’t the best idea: We promised the world. Although we didn’t quite have everything lined up, we said we could make it happen on a moment’s notice. When we put the pieces together for the flight, we found the pilots would have too much time in the air that day. That would violated safety standards, so we had to tell them we could not complete the flight.”

“Here are a few things to keep in mind when big mistakes feel like the end of the world. Don’t delay bad news. If you don’t let people know about an issue, you’re hurting them and potentially creating an even bigger problem. Trust yourself When you make a mistake and say, ‘Here’s what I’m willing to do to fix it, and here’s what I’m not willing to do,’ it lets people know what’s most important to you. Being honest and only committing to submit high-quality work are examples of standards to stick by, even in tough situations. Institutionalize your lessons. It’s important to prevent mistakes from reoccurring. After the celebrity incident, we added a new flight support element to our team. Now, when “ASAP” trips are booked, we call customers every 15 minutes within a few hours of the flight for updates on their upcoming flight. Even if there is nothing to report, we touch base so there is no miscommunication.”

 

Click the image to learn about Magellan Jets.

 

Do You Have a Really Good Concept for a Startup Business?

23 Feb

Thinking of starting a new business? Can you properly and uniquely address the nine topics that are shown in the infographic below by StartBloggingOnline?

 

9 Ways to Validate Your Startup Ideas
 

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