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Ryan Mathews

Founder, ceo
Black Monk Consulting

Apple culture seems to be built around the notion of community, diluted perhaps a bit over the years with the introduction of the iPad and the iPhone, but strong enough to still give it the feel of a benign cult despite its mass appeal.

It's about technology, of course, but...

Reading through the comments I'm struck by how some see this as a brand question and others see it as a test of the viability of rugged individualism.

Let's take these points one by one.

In the end, it is all about branding and selling cigarettes is obviously antithetical to positioning...

Great idea but — as many have already noted — somebody has to pay for it. And if it isn't advertisers, who is it?

The first impulse is to suggest that users won't support the idea of content that used to be "free" — at least to them.

Good thinking ... until you look...

Like Stephen I have also worked in this space a good deal including — if you will pardon the pun — a deep immersion last year.

But, unlike Stephen, I now think gaming is perhaps the least important area to focus on in terms of VR, and more importantly AR (Augmented Reality),...

The answer, of course, depends on how smart, observant and objective the retail executive in question is.

Assuming all those boxes are checked I think it's a great idea — as long as they bring along a trained ethnographer, cultural anthropologist, social psychologist or anyone else that is an expert in...

A better question is, do you expect consumers to start thinking of J. C. Penney as a logical, and preferred, place to buy appliances? And the answer to that question is a guarded no.

Of course, in malls where they co-exist, Penney and Sears may go head-to-head for some sales,...

First of all, has anybody slowed down and asked themselves if consumers want to be digitally led through a mall like some kind of omni-consumptive baby in a capitalist bubble?

Nothing says "creepy" to me more than the idea that not only is Big Brother watching, but he's decided to...

I'd say quite obviously the easier you make it for shoppers to pay, the more likely it is you will capture the purchase. Ever see first-time Nordstrom customers stomp out of the store when they realize their Visa debit card isn't accepted?

As to Costco, they are halfway home already...

As always, we'll see.

There is no magic wand guaranteeing retail success. The issue isn't format or — with all due respect to Burt — even brand. No, the issue is execution.

If Target does their homework, conducts their ethnographic research correctly and picks the right sites, assortments, pricing models and service levels...

Loyalty programs ought to take consumer privacy concerns very seriously indeed. I think most sentient people understand that if the CIA can be hacked then no digital data is ever truly safe.

The issue indeed is what lives in the realm of "it depends."

There are really three major consumer concerns...

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