This is the first issue, the format and the commentary will improve in short order. The Two PM letter is curated for polymathic professionals who see the ever-growing connections between brand, eCommerce, media, data science, and digital innovation. So let's begin!
Why this is insightful: they are willing to invest billions to make FedEx, UPS, and DHL suffer. If Amazon does what they normally do, the existing express delivery hierarchy will become acquisition fodder in a decade's time.
Why this is insightful: Over the last several months, Under Armour has seen 95% growth in shoe sales as Nike's growth has flattened. With Under Armour opening a new office in Nike's neck of the woods, the talent battle will intensify. Nike succeeded early with a preemptive strike. Dave Dombrow also received a one year paid vacation while his non-compete runs.
Why this is insightful: B2B eCommerce tools have been slow to evolve. And data is becoming more and more useful for smaller eCommerce outfits. CloudCraze's B2B processes just improved after a recently announced partnership with Adobe.
Why this is insightful: the retailer has a disproportionately high exposure to the best malls and many of the best digital eCommerce brands. Brands like Bonobos and Trunk Club have rebranded Nordstrom as a startup-savvy member of the old guard.
Why this is insightful: the Wall Street Journal shares that a new report from real estate brokerage firm CBRE estimates that, for a warehouse operation with 500 employees, a $1 increase in average hourly wages could result in $1 million in additional annual costs.
Why this is insightful: .Gif's aren't so funny anymore. Giphy is taking on the biggest, weirdest branding challenge online today: How to become the go-to company for a new kind of internet culture. And brands are flocking to the .gif
Why this insightful: this is the story of the world’s most popular sport – football – that spans more than 100 years. Notably, gender equality was an election issue during the highly publicized FIFA presidential election to replace the former president, Sepp Blatter, who is serving an eight-year suspension from all football-related activities.
Why this is insightful: each March, executives from nearly every industry descend on Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) – also known as the “premiere destination for discovery.” The best-performing brands were the most authentic. Apparently authenticity takes work.
Why this insightful: launching with 100,000 units in circulation is a huge feat. The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, is the CEO of Robb Report's ownership group. He is expanding their digital footprint and doubling print over the next two years. He can't win in hoops, so he's attempting the win in men's high life. International luxury is being reborn in Cleveland, Ohio.
Why this is insightful: Touring the brands that had built VR experiences at SXSW in Austin - you could begin to see a future where the relationship between brands and consumers was changing in a meaningful way. What seems to be exciting to consumers is a new immersive world where content and brands are increasingly intermixed.
Why this is insightful: with a reported 35,000 clicks on this article - in one day - and 240 'recommendations', it's only a matter of time before retail brands leverage Medium to reach new people. Can you imagine a Medium from Uber? Airbnb? The MLS?
A last word: Instagram's new algorithm
Activity will fall for the vast majority of users. For the brands who focus on generating content home runs, engagement will rise faster than pre-algorithm's day. So will the rate of organic follower growth. Users will feel more comfortable following more accounts now that Instagram has begun to organize their timelines for them. Building a plan for engaging content should be priority number one for brands who emphasize Instagram's community. Instagram influencers will be in high demand and so will the platform's ads which will improve in efficacy over the coming months. Timeline algorithms don't just increase ad buys, they improve existing ad interactions by reducing our baby pictures, fitness transformation photos, and self-motivational quotes.