If a consumer is curious about the quality of a particular product, there are plenty of websites where they can read endless reviews from both satisfied and dissatisfied customers. For a more scientific perspective, however, they can turn to Consumer Reports. The video below details how this 82-year-old nonprofit organization rigorously tests products to see if they live up to the claims put forth by their marketing campaigns.

Questions:

  1. Why do you think Consumer Reports purchases all of its products 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 30, 2018

American millennials’ tastes have turned many markets on their heads. From choice of food to the ways companies structure leadership, this large generation makes its preferences known. One trend companies are considering is how millennials tend to prefer amazing experiences rather than accumulating “things.” How can companies adapt traditional products and services to appeal to millennials?

As we know, people of all generations share experiences from travel, life events, and plain everyday life on social media. However, to earn 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 19, 2018

Last week, a manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the police on two African-American men who were waiting for a friend to arrive. Their subsequent arrest was caught on video and quickly went viral as thousands of social media users directed their outrage towards the coffee chain. Starbucks then took the drastic step of announcing that it would close all stores on May 29th for racial sensitivity training. Along with showing clips of the offending video, this short report also Continue reading

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April 13, 2018

Way back in 2014, we looked at how changing tastes had led to declining interest in the art and business of clowning. Unfortunately for these red-nosed entertainers, matters haven’t improved much in the following years. In fact, 2017 may have marked an all-time low for American clowns. Not only did the Ringling Bros. circus shut down after nearly a century and a half in operation, but also McDonald’s ended its regional Ronald McDonald program. Without the work that these Continue reading

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April 5, 2018

With its rolling mountains and vibrant fall foliage, Vermont ranks as one of America’s most beautiful states. But while these sights attract thousands of visitors every year, they’re apparently not enough to convince some residents to remain in Vermont for the long term. In fact, the state’s labor force is smaller today than it was before the last recession. Young people have largely led this exodus, causing Vermont’s median age to become the second-highest in the nation. Combined with a Continue reading

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April 3, 2018

With their fuzzy frames and quizzical expressions, alpacas might be one of the world’s goofiest looking animals. Of course, these llama-like creatures have much more to offer than just their funny faces. Alpaca fleece ranks as one of the finest textile materials available, similar to sheep’s wool only warmer and without any prickliness. In the 1990s these key qualities fueled a boom in alpaca fleece production that also encouraged many Americans to purchase their own animals for breeding. Once called Continue reading

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February 13, 2018

In 1912 Leon Leonwood Bean sold his first 100 pairs of boots to local hunters, promising that the footwear would “give perfect satisfaction in every way.” Soon enough, though, 90 customers brought their boots back after the bottoms became separated from the tops. While Bean nearly went bankrupt providing refunds, he knew that he had to stick to his word in order to regain his customers’ trust. As a result, people continued to support his business, which eventually grew from Continue reading

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