"PANDA-MONIUM": The Great Build-a-Bear crisis of 2018

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Show Notes

We're turning two!

After 7 years and 2 billion dollars Magic Leap created... Snap Spectacles?

  • Magic Leap is a U.S. startup company that is working on a head-mounted virtual retinal display, called Magic Leap One, which superimposes 3D computer-generated imagery over real-world objects, by "projecting a digital light field into the user's eye", involving technologies potentially suited to applications in augmented reality and computer vision.

  • After 7 years of funding and almost 2 billion dollars, Magic Leap shows off new Magic Leap One.

  • The general reaction of the Magic Leap One has been disappointment. Magic Leap has partnered with several companies, including AT&T as a carrier partner for their wireless, who Phil asserts is the "worst carrier" in the US.

  • They are "sort of definitely shipping"? We hear this every three months, so who knows when we'll actually have it.

How has Build-A-Bear outlasted Toys-R-Us?

  • Almost too good to be true "pay your age promotion" from Build-A-Bear seems bigger than any iPhone release, with lines of people wrapping around malls.

  • Creative promotion, fun experience, a product that people build themselves and that lasts a long time.

  • Innovative toy brands like Funko that have experiential retail or take a more storied approach to engage with customers tend to do better than those who don't.

  • Build-A-Bear has more licensed products than not. Customers can further customize products they already know and love. Our modern mythology is influenced heavily by storytelling through movies, comic books, etc. (see Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology by Richard Reynolds) and these tie into the retail experience for fanbases.

Build-A-Bear, but for adults

  • Consortium is a NYC pop-up clothing shop that allows customers to customize their products much like Build-A-Bear but instead with fashion.

  • Brands like Coach, Consortium, and even Nike are capitalizing on customers needs to have an affiliation with luxury goods. They have in-store offers in certain stores where personalized items can be made to order and the customer can take them home in a matter of minutes.

  • The Nike Kicks Lounge in Omotesando, Tokyo sells blank shoes that customers can commission local artists to paint a design on them. They then dry the paint and the customer can take them home in about 20-30 minutes.

  • Doing this adds a deeper meaning to the product by having a long-lasting piece of art that is connected to your community. This could play into different products that are longer lasting such as jackets, coats, and bags.

AR in customization

AR has become a powerful tool in customized products. Brands have been utilizing AR to allow customers to see products in their home. Amazon has also been pushing their AR functionality, which is already built into their app.

Starbucks Innovation - The Grown Up Sippy Cup

  • The inception of the Starbucks "sippy cups" started with nitro cold brew and now that the iconic green straws are leaving, the sippy cups are the future.

  • What produces more backwash: straw or sippy cup?

  • Dunkin Donuts bragged that they are getting rid of styrofoam by 2020.

  • It's time for companies to make changes like this, even if it hurts their "brand". It's a positive example of companies that are saying, "it's not worth it".

Adidas has partnered with Parley to create a running shoe that is made from 95% recycled materials. Yes, it's a good and positive message, but it could also spur some innovation and create new jobs and technologies.

In 2023 we'll be styrofoam free and Jeff Bezos will be colonizing the moon trying to prove his rocket is bigger than Elon Musk's. It's the space race of the 60's but for Lex Luthor types.

Full Circle

  • The future consistently hasn't been delivering as quickly as we all hoped it would. Ex: Magic Leap

  • We're in a sweet spot where there is too much technology in commerce to take advantage of. So much so that the advancement of technology in retail and commerce won't happen until we capitalize on what's here already.

  • This show will become "Future Iterations of Things We've Already Been Talking About for a Long Time Commerce"

  • One thing that hasn't changed is that consumers want a personalized experience. Now retailers are being challenged to have deeper meanings and stories for their products.

109 episodes available. A new episode about every 9 days averaging 44 mins duration .