October 10, 2016

BobBAs of this writing, Hurricane Matthew is currently roaring up the Carolina coast. (Hopefully anyone from the area reading this post is doing so in a safe, relatively dry place.) Federal and state officials flooded social media and television urging residents to evacuate the area before the cyclone hit land. Nevertheless, some people ignored their warnings and stayed put. In most cases, the diner chain Waffle House would be among these stubborn stragglers. The company has an official policy in Continue reading

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October 6, 2016

BargainmooseIn the 2000s, clothing brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle and Aeropostale were kings of the mall. These retailers rose to prominence by making preppy clothes with large logos that broadcast a certain prestige to the world. After all, teenage customers wanted to make sure everyone knew that they shopped at cool stores. Companies made this message easy to receive by placing an enormous emphasis on branding, thus making the logo even more important than the design of their Continue reading

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September 16, 2016

TechCrunchFor Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, establishing a clear narrative around a startup’s foundation and purpose is essential to success. Few people understood this concept better than Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the formerly acclaimed blood-testing firm Theranos. She founded her company in 2003 at the age of 19 after dropping out of Stanford University’s School of Chemical Engineering. Holmes left college early because she claimed to discover a revolutionary new method for medical testing: rather than drawing a significant amount of blood Continue reading

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September 6, 2016

YunHoLeeLast week we shared a video about how food companies label some items as “natural” even though they’re no healthier than their non-natural counterparts. While that term may soon come under regulation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently banned another marketing buzzword from use on commercial products. As of last Friday, “antibacterial” soaps are no longer allowed on U.S. store shelves after manufacturers failed to prove they were safer or cleaner than regular products.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes Continue reading

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August 26, 2016

IgorMaynaudCigaretteFrance is home to more than 13 million smokers, which includes one-third of teenagers and a quarter of adults. For years the nation’s health ministry has attempted to reduce this enormous number by spearheading initiatives that target the consumer appeal of cigarettes. For instance, the French government has long followed European Union laws requiring tobacco companies to cover 65 percent of their packaging with health warnings. In May, however, lawmakers took this concept a step further by passing “neutral packaging” Continue reading

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August 18, 2016

OlympicImageWhen master salami maker Elias Cairo opened his restaurant Olympic Provisions in 2009, the company’s name seemed to be a gift from fate. Not only did the brand resonate with his Greek heritage, but it also paid tribute to the original resident of his eatery’s building, Olympic Mills. Early success allowed Cairo and his partners to expand the packaged salami-selling side of the business, which eventually grew into a major operation with distribution in 46 states. More restaurant openings and Continue reading

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April 5, 2016

Last year millions of Americans celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage. But they certainly weren’t the only ones applauding the landmark ruling: dozens of brands showed their support on social media. Such an outpouring of advocacy from established companies would have been unthinkable just a decade ago. Times have changed, though, and businesses today have started to realize how important LGBT issues are to many consumers, especially young people. As a result, companies that Continue reading

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February 8, 2016

Aside from being an exciting night for Denver Broncos fans, Super Bowl 50 didn’t exactly provide viewers with much entertainment on the field. In fact, the 63 commercials that aired nationally during the big event may have generated more online conversation than the game. But the impact of this year’s ads can’t be attributed solely to some sloppy play on the gridiron. After all, many brands now hype their ads with the same gusto as the NFL’s pregame festivities.

For Continue reading

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February 3, 2016

For almost a decade, the Brooklyn chocolate company Mast Brothers seemed to embody the New York borough’s newfound artisanal spirit. Touting their product as handcrafted “bean-to-bar” chocolate, founders Rick and Michael Mast took center stage in marketing campaigns that celebrated their candy’s quality and authenticity. Dressed in antiquated suits and sporting long Civil War-era beards, the pair soon became just as famous for their appearance as their $9 candy bars. But this meticulously crafted image may have been spoiled for Continue reading

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January 29, 2016

Chipotle enjoyed years of rapid growth thanks in part to its heavily marketed commitment to fresh ingredients. However, that established image has crumbled over the last few months as the burrito chain grapples with a major E. coli outbreak at its restaurants. Chipotle’s problems began in summer 2015 when customers began falling ill in California and Washington. Attention then shifted across the country to more than 140 Boston College students who received food borne noroviruses from a local Chipotle. By Continue reading

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