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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February 8, 2018

Earlier this week we looked at how audiences responded both positively and negatively to this year’s lineup of Super Bowl ads. While a number of funny spots seemed to go over well with the public, a Dodge Ram ad prominently featuring a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decidedly did not. After the commercial aired, thousands took to social media to condemn the company for stealing the words of such an admired humanitarian. Of course, these critics soon Continue reading

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February 6, 2018

Unlike last year’s historic comeback, Tom Brady wasn’t able to turn around the fortunes of his New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LII. The Philadelphia Eagles ultimately left as champions after a thrilling game that saw plenty of action on the field. The tone during the commercial breaks was far less tense, however, as marketers largely relied on humor for 2018’s crop of Super Bowl ads. Among the top spots on USA Today’s annual Ad Meter poll are Continue reading

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