July 19, 2018

As far as Instagram influencers go, Lil Miquela might not seem all that unique at first glance. More than 1 million people follow the teenager’s feed as she regularly shares stories about her life and shows off her stylish wardrobe. Miquela isn’t real, though, and not just in the “nothing is real on Instagram” sense: she is a computer-generated creation made by a Los Angeles startup. While that might seem bizarre at first, CGI influencers like Miquela give us a Continue reading

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July 17, 2018

Amazon’s Prime Day has a bit of a misleading name: the e-commerce site’s annual offering of deals actually lasts 36 hours, starting yesterday afternoon and going until midnight tonight. One matter that isn’t up for debate, however, is the promotion’s ability to bring in a lot of money. Analysts expect that this year’s Prime Day will generate about $3.4 billion in sales for Amazon, which would beat 2017’s total by more than $1 billion. But despite this upcoming windfall, so Continue reading

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July 13, 2018

Since its 1997 founding, the Build-a-Bear Workshop has made more than 160 million teddy bears for kids who play a key part in their assembly. The process starts when a child picks an un-stuffed animal from a bin before heading to the stuffing machine to transform their creation into a friend they’ll treasure forever. But customers don’t stop there: they can also purchase a variety of costumes and accessories for their bears. By the time the Build-a-Bear experience is over, Continue reading

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July 10, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup hits the home stretch this week, with the semifinals taking place today and tomorrow followed by the final match on Sunday. While the end of this month-long festival of soccer will be bittersweet for many fans, few people will be sadder to see it go than the people who run the Italian publishing house Panini. The company specializes in making stickers that feature every player in the tournament along with a free booklet to place Continue reading

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June 19, 2018

Given that airlines charge thousands of dollars for seats in business class, they try to make the experience as luxurious as possible for their premium passengers. On Etihad Airways, for instance, wealthy fliers can stay in a three-room “residence” that includes a private bathroom and double bed. While other carriers can’t quite match that level of extravagance, they strive to provide passengers with first-class amenities like upscale blankets and fine tableware.

The only problem is that these items don’t remain Continue reading

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June 12, 2018

Although founded in the 1950s as the International House of Pancakes, for more than 40 years consumers have known the breakfast chain better as IHOP. For most companies, gaining this kind of brand recognition with a simple acronym would be a dream come true. Last week, however, IHOP announced that its “P” was changing into a “b,” lowercase and all. And yesterday the chain revealed the meaning behind the switch: it turns out the “b” stands for “burgers.”

The announcement Continue reading

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April 30, 2018

American millennials’ tastes have turned many markets on their heads. From choice of food to the ways companies structure leadership, this large generation makes its preferences known. One trend companies are considering is how millennials tend to prefer amazing experiences rather than accumulating “things.” How can companies adapt traditional products and services to appeal to millennials?

As we know, people of all generations share experiences from travel, life events, and plain everyday life on social media. However, to earn Continue reading

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April 27, 2018

In the early 20th century, the Coca-Cola Company was quickly growing in popularity both with American consumers as well as imitators who hoped to duplicate the soft drink’s success. This very brief video looks at how Coca-Cola fought off the copycats by designing a distinctive bottle that it still depends on to this day.

Questions:

  1. Besides making things harder for imitators, how did Coca-Cola’s bottle redesign help the young company’s brand?
  2. Do you think Coca-Cola would have grown to be Continue reading
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April 19, 2018

Last week, a manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the police on two African-American men who were waiting for a friend to arrive. Their subsequent arrest was caught on video and quickly went viral as thousands of social media users directed their outrage towards the coffee chain. Starbucks then took the drastic step of announcing that it would close all stores on May 29th for racial sensitivity training. Along with showing clips of the offending video, this short report also Continue reading

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April 13, 2018

Way back in 2014, we looked at how changing tastes had led to declining interest in the art and business of clowning. Unfortunately for these red-nosed entertainers, matters haven’t improved much in the following years. In fact, 2017 may have marked an all-time low for American clowns. Not only did the Ringling Bros. circus shut down after nearly a century and a half in operation, but also McDonald’s ended its regional Ronald McDonald program. Without the work that these Continue reading

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