March 15, 2014

At first glance it may be difficult to figure out what a tech giant like Google shares in common with the women’s feature-smoothing undergarment line Spanx. Although they may seem like completely different operations, both companies share one crucial element: they each have memorable founding stories. With Google, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page hammered out their first search engine while holed up in a friend’s garage. Meanwhile, Sara Blakely demonstrated the power of Spanx by using a pair of Continue reading

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March 14, 2014

This video documents the personal sacrifices one Texas woman had to make in order to get her bilingual school off the ground.

 

http://nyti.ms/1dpXt7s

 Questions:

  1. What key marketing basic did Adriana use to start her business?
  1. What did Adriana do to help ensure her success in business?

From The New York Times

 

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January 23, 2014

As emerging markets like India and Brazil continue to grow, more and more of their citizens will enter the middle class. This relatively untapped consumer group presents plenty of lucrative opportunities for companies across the globe. However, finding the right products to sell to this expanding class is not so simple, even for companies operating in their home countries. For instance, Tata Motors launched its ultra-cheap Nano model as an introductory vehicle for Indian consumers. But with a price tag Continue reading

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January 1, 2014

This video takes a look at how BlackBerry went from the hottest smartphone on the market to a victim of its own success.

 

http://nyti.ms/1kRYQDu

 Questions:

  1. What’s the important lesson to be learned from this video?
  1. What does it mean that Blackberry failure was due to “commitment escalation?”

From The New York Times

 

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December 10, 2013

Engaging with customers through social media has become an essential part of doing business in this digital age. But in many cases, it’s not what companies say on social networks that connect with consumers; it’s what they show. A recent study of the top brand pages on Facebook found that photos gather more than twice the likes of regular links. That’s nothing compared to videos, though, which are shared by users 12 times more often than text.

One gets an Continue reading

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December 1, 2013

 

This video chronicles the famous saga of a woman who spilled McDonald’s coffee on herself and won a huge settlement, along with the ire of a nation.

http://nyti.ms/15WTRbJ 

Questions:

  1. Why did McDonald’s fight to not change the temperature of their coffee?
  1. Why did the actual facts in this case never come to light?

From The New York Times

 

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November 30, 2013

 

People today are becoming less and less dependent on cash, though you wouldn’t know it from looking at most vending machines. More than 40 percent of American adults said in a recent survey that they could go a week without paying for something in cash. Meanwhile, many of the nation’s vending machines continue to accept only bills and coins. This reluctance to change likely led to the vending industry’s 18.3 percent drop in sales between 2007 and 2011. When Continue reading

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November 13, 2013

As Americans become more health conscious, food companies have had to come up with increasingly creative ways to keep people snacking. In fact, just last month we featured an article in the newsletter about how smaller packaging can lead people to eat more than they normally would. But for a growing number of consumers, fatty snacks like candy and potato chips are to be avoided no matter how they’re packaged. That’s why a number of niche brands have popped up Continue reading

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October 30, 2013

Though it might not seem like it to the casual snacker, packaging plays a big part in the way we eat. Food companies spend a fortune studying the psychology behind our eating habits in order to discover the most effective pathways into America’s stomachs. Surprisingly, they’ve found out that perhaps the best way to keep customers snacking is through resealable packages rather than individually wrapped ones. For example, research conducted by Hershey showed that individual wrappers on items like candy Continue reading

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