November 30, 2018

Way back in 1856, a California dry-goods merchant named Levi Strauss marveled at a new type of garment created by one of his customers. Working as a tailor in Nevada, the customer had developed a pair of rivet-fastened pants that were far more durable than anything else available at the time. The two soon filed a patent on the product and founded Levi Strauss and Company, the world’s first producer of denim jeans. And while the company continues to thrive Continue reading

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November 27, 2018

Last week retailers kicked off the holiday shopping season with Black Friday, a day once known for “door-busting” deals that sent consumers into a frenzy. And while companies still offer all sorts of markdowns and discounts on the big day, there are noticeably fewer news reports featuring crowds of angry people fighting over televisions. Not only have many Black Friday shoppers started digging for deals online, but also the event itself isn’t as special as it used to be. After Continue reading

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November 20, 2018

With Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, America’s grocery stores will soon be flooded with consumers looking to pick up a few last minute ingredients. And while these time-crunched cooks will likely spend a long time waiting in the checkout line, they at least won’t be greeted with a steep bill once they reach the register. That’s because the American Farm Bureau Federation said that this year’s average price for a Thanksgiving dinner has dropped slightly in comparison to Continue reading

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November 16, 2018

In 2001, a company called Segway introduced a two-wheeled “personal transporter” that it claimed would revolutionize how people traveled in big cities. 17 years later, though, and the Segway is mainly a vehicle for security guards and tourists. Along with chronicling the ways that the company failed to live up to expectations, this video also looks at how Segway could still leave a big impact on the transportation industry.

Questions:

  1. Why did Segway fail to connect with consumers in the Continue reading
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November 9, 2018

Visit the candy section of any American drug store and you’ll likely find some Kit Kats stocked unceremoniously alongside an assortment of other brands. But at the Don Quijote market in Tokyo, the chocolate-covered wafer bars occupy a place of honor in the megastore’s vast candy section. That’s because the seven-story market is one of the few places where consumers can browse through dozens of Kit Kat varieties developed exclusively for the Japanese market. From fruit-based variations to bolder flavors Continue reading

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October 30, 2018

Tomorrow night, children across the country will put on costumes and head out in search of as much candy as they can carry. And while many adults will accompany these kids on their sugary quests, plenty of others will be getting into the Halloween spirit without doing any trick-or-treating. After all, in recent years adults have become just as excited about All Hallow’s Eve as the most candy-crazed kids.

In fact, last year half of all Americans purchased a costume Continue reading

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October 26, 2018

We’ve all been there before: you go to the store with a carefully prepared shopping list only to walk out with tons of stuff you had no previous intention to buy. These types of impulse purchases are such a vital source of revenue that some retailers design their store layouts to encourage as much emotion-driven buying as possible. This video looks at how IKEA depends on winding pathways and strategic lighting to do just that.

Questions:

  1. How does IKEA’s store Continue reading
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October 19, 2018

Although Americans can buy a Coke just about anywhere, no other place seems to make the soft drink better than McDonald’s. And that’s not an accident: the company has had a special connection with Coca-Cola since the burger chain’s founding in 1955. Back then, McDonald’s boss Ray Kroc struck a handshake deal with a local Coke supplier, establishing a close business relationship that continues to this day. “Those two companies helped each other grow and expand around the globe,” said Continue reading

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October 11, 2018

In recent years airlines have grown increasingly stingy with the perks they grant to economy class customers. While passengers not so long ago could check up to two bags, most airlines now charge fliers for placing even one suitcase in the plane’s cargo hold. Many people also can’t make changes to their travel itineraries without incurring fees as high as $500. As a result, many casual travelers have started turning to alternative air carriers like Spirit or WOW. Although these Continue reading

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October 9, 2018

During the summer, we looked at IHOP’s temporary name change to “IHOb” and the social media sensation that followed their announcement. As it turns out, the pancake chain wasn’t the only company experimenting with their branding around that time. In August, Dunkin’ Donuts dropped the second word out of their name at a number of locations in the Boston area. While some customers went online to vent their frustration about the change, many others apparently didn’t mind that the word Continue reading

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