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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August 19, 2014

 

When Howard Schultz first joined Starbucks as marketing director in 1982, the small Seattle company made most of its money selling coffee-making equipment. Once Schultz landed the CEO position, however, matters changed drastically. Looking to bring the European café experience to American shores, Schultz transformed the regional chain into an international behemoth within two decades.

Starbucks changed again when Schultz stepped down as CEO in 2000. After a rapid expansion saw the company grow to more than 15,000 stores Continue reading

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August 14, 2014

 

With preseason football already under way, it won’t be long now until the NFL season officially kicks into full gear. And although the intensity of the gridiron will undoubtedly remain the same, some fans might notice big changes around their local stadiums. That’s because after years of outcry to green up the game, a number of NFL teams have revamped their arenas with a variety of energy-saving and cost-cutting measures.

In San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium, for instance, an 18,000-square-foot Continue reading

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June 25, 2014

As recently as the early 2000s, the stereotypical image of the corporate careerist typically included a flashy convertible jetting down the highway with a set of expensive golf clubs stashed in the trunk. Nowadays, though, these once weighty symbols of wealth and status have plummeted in popularity. Instead of a cherry red Corvette, modern executives and ladder climbers would prefer to cruise to their next meeting in a big SUV. And thanks to smartphones, the golf links aren’t the same Continue reading

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