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.”

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In the Understanding Business profile for Chapter 8, we looked at how Denise Morrison brought a lifetime of business experience to her role as CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. She landed the job in 2011 just as the company was ready to undergo some major changes. Rather than continuing to use unhealthy, processed ingredients, under Morrison’s leadership Campbell’s began to focus on developing more organic options. “We believe we need to participate in this, so you can either lead Continue reading

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From picking up apples to distressing jeans, automation is spreading to almost every business you can imagine. And if you happen to live in the Boston area, you could swing by the new restaurant Spyce today and have your lunch prepared by robots. This automated eatery is the result of a partnership between a group of young engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Together these intrepid entrepreneurs claim they have created “the world’s Continue reading

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With more than 26,000 locations nationwide and thousands more around the globe, Subway ranks as the world’s largest restaurant chain. Despite its size, though, the sandwich giant has shown some signs of decline recently. Along with three consecutive years of falling sales (including a 4.4 percent drop in 2017), foot traffic in Subway restaurants has plummeted by 25 percent since 2012. In fact, insiders estimate that as many as one-third of the company’s locations are not profitable.

To combat this Continue reading

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Famous for its sugary Slurpees and Big Gulp soft drinks, 7-Eleven allows people to grab a quick snack and get back on the road without a second thought. Although this business model has served the chain well since the 1940s, recent changes in consumer behavior have executives worried that 7-Eleven could be falling behind its competitors. According to the leading trade association of the convenience industry, the nation’s more than 155,000 convenience stores sold $53.3 billion worth of prepared foods 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 26, 2018

Americans spend roughly $30 billion each year on food for their dogs. As millennials have grown to be the top dog-owning demographic, they’re changing the way our furry friends eat. The growing trend, at first created for humans and now for pets, is to increase foods’ nutritional value while also keeping food sources environmentally sustainable.

American dogs are the fifth highest consumers of meat in the world. In addition, pets are responsible for 64 million tons of greenhouse gasses each Continue reading

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March 13, 2018

Last week McDonald’s scored a major marketing hit when the company flipped its famous Golden Arches into a “W” in honor of International Women’s Day. But the logo is far from the only thing the burger chain plans to turn upside down in 2018. In an effort to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, McDonald’s recently announced some big changes that will make it more sustainable. Along with getting rid of styrofoam cups, the chain is also switching to fresh beef Continue reading

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March 2, 2018

A good idea can come from anywhere. Whether the inspiration is drawn from years of research or a sudden flash of brilliance, the best organizations know how to spot new concepts and bring them to life no matter their source. That’s why in the 1990s the then-CEO of Frito-Lay sent a video message to his employees encouraging them to speak up if they had something to contribute. “We want every worker in this company to act like an owner,” said Continue reading

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February 20, 2018

The world is home to billions upon billions of chickens, which would seem like more than enough birds to stock an average KFC restaurant. This weekend, however, hundreds of the chain’s locations in the U.K. closed after failing to receive their usual shipments of chicken. “We’ve brought a new delivery partner on board, but they’ve had a couple of teething problems – getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex,” said the company in a Continue reading

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