Kylie Cosmetics and the industry’s quest to decipher its growth

In Part II of our ongoing series on Kylie Cosmetics, we wrote about the recent announcement that the brand would start selling in Ulta this holiday season. We concluded that while the move is clearly beneficial for Ulta, it exposes the potential…


Playbook: How to balance running a for-profit company with actualizing a social mission

In today’s hyper-globalized and -politicized world, more consumer product companies are seeking to align with initiatives that ameliorate society and the world, either at inception or later in their life cycle. Whether environmental sustainability,…


The hypocrisy of philanthropy: Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos’ great fortunes and delayed charity

In today’s hyper-globalized and -politicized world, more consumer product companies are seeking to align with initiatives that ameliorate society and the world, either at inception or later in their life cycle. Whether environmental sustainability,…


Kylie Cosmetics’ shift to Ulta and the online-only growth ceiling

There’s no mystery as to why Ulta wants to sell Kylie’s products. She created one of the fastest growing beauty brands with very wide appeal and exposure, and her products sit at an accessible price point, aligning with Ulta’s audience. The deal…


Untangling the complexities of Farfetch’s business

This week Farfetch, the luxury platform that connects customers, brands and retailers around the world, filed its initial form to go public. The company is one of the few fashion/luxury technology companies to reach a large scale—second only to…


Less is more: How companies are controlling supply while maximizing demand in a digital and physical world

Scarcity is a powerful psychological force. It compels consumers to change their behavior while simultaneously raising the value of products and services. However, putting locational, temporal or inventory limitations in place may seem contrarian at…


Money has flowed into digitally-native brands. When will it flow out?

As heavily-funded brands, Honest Company and Harry’s were once thought to be the new guard of digitally-native retail, along with many other companies that have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital. But what has become of…


The Grinds: Bulletin opens its third New York store, Aesop expands its retail footprint, Shopify moves offline, Walmart will sell Harry’s razors

Bulletin is opening its third New York store, continuing its quest to champion women in business. Bulletin, which began as an online magazine in 2014 featuring digitally-native women-led brands, will open its third flagship store in the historic…


Disney World: How Disney used entertainment and hospitality to build an ecosystem, both online and offline

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


The Grinds: Instagram launches in-app payments, Sephora opens its second Studio, Online returns are hurting landlords, Birchbox sells a majority stake to one of its investors

Instagram launches in-app payments for select brands, which could substantially increase its share of commerce. What happened For the in-app payments, an extension of Facebook Payments, Instagram allows users to create a profile that includes their…


Playbook: How to Navigate the Off-Price Epidemic

As the off-price market continues to grow despite the improving economy, many brands and retailers are falling into a trap, selling more off-price products to compete in the consumer economy, and lowering their margins in the process. This Playbook,…


Dear Goop: One Thing I Would Do

Goop sits among a special class of brands that have used the celebrity and values of their founders—authenticity, honesty, humility and a dose of luxury—to cultivate a passionate audience. What smartly started as a media play is evolving into a…