April 15, 2015

The mission of marketers is to make a product appealing to customers. To accomplish this task, ads often depend on eye-popping visual imagery or memorable music in order to form a quick impression. But as many marketers are beginning to realize, consumers have three more senses to stimulate besides sight and sound. Anything from a pleasing smell to a feeling of warmth can make people more receptive to buy, leading a number of companies to ramp up their sensory marketing Continue reading

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January 23, 2015

Jeff Oberholtzer, a plumber from Texas City, TX, thought he had seen the last of his old pickup truck when he sold it in October 2013. Unfortunately for him, the Ford F-250 he offloaded popped up more than a year later in a place he never would have expected. In mid-December 2014, a terrorist Twitter account from Syria posted a picture of two extremists firing a homemade anti-aircraft gun from the bed of a truck. While the picture normally would 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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December 13, 2014

 

In past posts, we’ve taken a look at the rise of mobile ads and how they were starting to beat out older forms of media for marketing dollars. Despite this growing dominance, however, the overall effectiveness of mobile ads remains suspect. For many they’re little more than a nuisance, something along the margins of the screen that can be easily ignored. Others see them as an intrusion on their privacy given the way that many mobile ads target certain Continue reading

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November 15, 2014

Thanks to tough legislation and widespread public education, the number of U.S. smokers has declined 50 percent since the habit’s heyday in the 1950s. Although this significant customer drop-off has hurt many tobacco companies, business has been booming over the last few years for the iconic lighter brand Zippo. The Bradford, PA-based company earned $200 million in sales last year, a record for the lighter maker. What’s more, Zippo’s expanded global presence and diversified product line has increased sales by Continue reading

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October 31, 2014

The multi-billion dollar home goods company Procter & Gamble produces hundreds of items, but the iconic business owes much of its success to just one brand. More than 135 years ago, James Norris Gamble led a team that created a vegetable oil-based soap with a distinctly white hue. The color presented the company with the perfect brand name, Ivory, while the item’s ability to float provided a unique selling point. What’s more, Gamble advertised the bar of soap as being Continue reading

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October 28, 2014

For more than 50 years, the Red Delicious has dominated the American apple market. But while no one can dispute the fruit’s famous color, many consumers have begun to take exception to the “Delicious” portion of its name. Even though the U.S. still produces 54 million bushels of Red Delicious annually, production of the fruit has dropped 40 percent since 2000 as demand for other varieties has increased.

The Red Delicious began its ascent way back in the 1870s when Continue reading

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October 26, 2014

 

With so many teenagers equipped with smartphones, it can be easy for older Americans to feel a little jealous of their younger counterparts. After all, cramming at the last minute before a big history exam is a lot easier if you can quickly double check facts on your iPhone. If the subject’s algebra or calculus, however, today’s high school kids have about the same technological edge as students did 10 years ago. That’s because the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator Continue reading

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September 30, 2014

In 1988, just two states allowed casino gambling. Today, New Jersey and Nevada are joined by more than 35 other states that have legalized casinos. Over the years, local governments across the nation promoted gambling as a way to generate additional tax revenue. Plenty of municipalities bought into the idea, leading to a rush of casino construction throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Like so many other industries, business was good until the recession hit in 2008. Since then, not only Continue reading

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September 10, 2014

Walmart became the largest retail chain in the U.S. by offering customers the same low prices every day. As it expanded globally, however, the company found out that not every culture responds to this pricing strategy. For instance, Walmart has had a hard time winning over Brazilian consumers despite opening 550 stores in nearly 200 cities. That’s because most people in the large South American nation are happy to hunt for the best deals at a variety of stores rather Continue reading

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