Basics brands are commodities. Why do people keep building them?

The hidden secret of most businesses is that the more boring the business, the better the business—the flashier, the worse. This heuristic is especially true in the consumer goods landscape, where brands run the hazard of seeking attention over…


Tactical and Timeless — with Luc Lesénécal of Saint James

On the 58th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, a show about the rapidly changing consumer economy, we talk with Luc Lesénécal, the president of Saint James, the french heritage brand known for its sweaters and stripes. This was the oldest brand…


The Grinds: Fenty Beauty outpaces competition, Alibaba moves offline, H&M curbs expansion, Mall landlords fight over tenants, Apparel sales hit all-time low

Fenty Beauty becomes the fastest-growing celebrity cosmetics line To-the-point analysis about one of the five important stories from the week.   What happened Sales for Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics line created by Rihanna, Sephora and…


The uncertain road from a single product to lasting brand

A single-product company that desires to become a brand needs to diversify its products over time to maintain interest and evolve with the market. But few single-product based companies have been able to build lasting brands with a wide assortment…


Building Bulletproof Brands — Part I: Why don’t brands last like they used to?

How does one build a brand that lasts for centuries? Today, in the consumer goods space—specifically in apparel, fashion, footwear, beauty, cosmetics, accessories, and furniture—it's an especially challenging quandary given the ferocious speed at…


Mickey Drexler and the death of a supply-driven world

J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler Confesses: I Underestimated How Tech Would Upend Retail read the headline of a big feature in the Wall Street Journal, which ricocheted around the retail and technology world last week. The piece highlighted J.Crew's…


If people are price-sensitive to ethical products, then redefine the pricing scheme

Liz Pape, the founder of Elizabeth Suzann, a direct to consumer brand based in Nashville, recently wrote a thorough post about the complexity of making ethical clothing and running a successful business in a time where consumers are increasingly…