March 15, 2015

As a metal products manufacturer for more than 125 years, Alcoa is constantly searching for new ways to improve its efficiency. After all, the New York-based industrial company makes enormous products that can sometimes take years to finish. For instance, Alcoa’s most in-demand items are gas turbines, or the gigantic engines that power planes for Boeing and Airbus. Able to withstand temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the turbines must be developed and tested for more than a year before Continue reading

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March 12, 2015

These days, any office must have a unified communications system in place in order to compete. Years ago this could have been accomplished by installing a series of linked landline phones with conference call capabilities. Now, however, services like Google Voice allow users to ditch their landlines and receive calls directly on their smartphones. Companies currently spend as much as $75 billion per year on Internet voice systems. This figure is expected to increase as disruptive startups take unified communications Continue reading

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February 19, 2015

Even though Rockstar wasn’t the first energy drink to hit the market, it didn’t take long for the brand to make a big impact in a crowded field. Consumers quickly responded to Rockstar’s affordable price and large serving size, which set the brand apart from more exclusive products like Red Bull. During its first six years, revenue at Rockstar soared as high as $405 million while it grew at an average annual rate of 103 percent.

By 2007, however, the Continue reading

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February 13, 2015

With a consumer pool of more than one billion people, India has become the next big expansion destination for companies around the world. While some businesses are still working the bugs out of their strategies for the subcontinent, other operations have hit the ground running and quickly grabbed up market share. Domino’s, for instance, now sells more pizza in India than anywhere else besides the U.S. thanks to its savvy combination of local and Western tastes. On the other hand, Continue reading

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February 7, 2015

As the world’s manufacturing superpower, China is home to thousands of factories producing millions of items each day. Keeping track of all that industrial output is far from easy, though. With little oversight to monitor them, some Chinese factories make knock-off or simply poor quality products, and then sell them to retailers as if they were up to standard.

While pirated items are mainly a headache for the company that gets ripped off, products made cheaply or without regard for Continue reading

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January 11, 2015

For decades the brand name Timberland has been synonymous with rugged outdoor footwear. At least, that’s how some people see the iconic boot company. If you’re a hip hop fan, you may associate “Timbs” with the dozens of rappers who have name-dropped the brand over the years. And if you happen to be Italian, you’re more likely to wear Timberland boots for a fashionable stroll about town, not a long hike in the woods.

All these overlapping interpretations of Timberland’s Continue reading

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January 7, 2015

For decades it seemed like nothing could stop McDonald’s march towards total fast food domination. By the time 2011 rolled around, the company was boasting eight consecutive years of same-store sales growth while also holding the title of top performing stock on the Dow for five years running. But just when everything seemed to be going right for the chain, the golden arches started to lose their shimmer. Changing consumer tastes and a rocky transition between CEOs are leading towards Continue reading

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January 5, 2015

Movie theaters have worried about being phased out by home entertainment even before the VCR started dominating living rooms in the 1980s. While Hollywood has largely continued to thrive over the decades despite these fears, today the rise of streaming video presents movie theaters with their greatest challenge yet. The industry is especially afraid of losing touch with young moviegoers who are growing up with on-demand services like Netflix and Spotify. The cracks may already be showing: attendance of movie Continue reading

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December 19, 2014

Fitting rooms provide brick and mortar clothing retailers with one of their few advantages over online outlets. After all, consumers are more likely to purchase an item that they have actually tried own versus something they’ve only seen on a screen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean people will buy everything they bring with them into the changing room. In fact, many consumers will simply give up on an item if it doesn’t fit them immediately.

In order to reverse these Continue reading

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December 15, 2014

In the world of online advertising, the “click” is king. That’s because nearly every major website bases its ad rates on the number of hits it receives over a specific span of time. The idea is to attract potential clients by emphasizing how much traffic the website receives. But just because clicks act as currency in mobile marketing doesn’t mean that they’re reliable indicators of an ad’s effectiveness. After all, a person could have spent ten seconds or ten minutes Continue reading

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