Increasing manufacturing jobs in the U.S. requires innovation and variety — Donald Rosenfield

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Don Rosenfield

In the last 10 years, there has been a dramatic reduction in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. due to a combination of factors, such as the economic crisis and foreign competition. But manufacturing jobs can return to the U.S., and a key component of that return involves innovation to facilitate product variety.

Companies that manufacture products abroad typically do not offer significant product variety, as the support costs — like inventory, markdowns and returns — are too high. It’s more economical to produce a narrow product line when you’re shipping to warehouses from across an ocean. Read More »

A Fashion Don’t: Why Partnerships Between Luxury Brands and Mass Retailers Often Fizzle–Renée Richardson Gosline

MIT Sloan Prof. Renée Richardson Gosline

From Huffington Post

My latest research* has to do with how people express themselves through the brands they consume. It’s a topic that has interested me for some time.

I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of immigrants in a happy but definitely modest household. I didn’t go to a fancy high school — although, living in New York, I was very aware of fashion and labels. In fact, while riding the subway to school, I was regularly exposed to conspicuous consumption — from Wall Street bankers in their custom suits, to fashionistas who sported the latest styles. I got the distinct impression that “when you got it, you flaunt it.” So when I arrived for my freshman year at Harvard — the ultimate ivory tower and in a way itself a luxury brand — I had some pretty clear expectations of how people would signal their status. I had in mind something like Dan Ackroyd’s country club-going character Winthrop in the movie Trading Places. But what I saw got me thinking about what status signals really mean. Read More »