For more than a decade, the British chef Jamie Oliver has been world famous for his global empire of restaurants and campaigns against junk food. But while he remains committed to using his platform to promote healthy eating, his name doesn’t appear to hold the same branding power as it once did. A few weeks ago, the celebrity chef announced that 22 of his 25 U.K. eateries would close after the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group filed for bankruptcy protection. Although Continue reading

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In the 1980s Coca-Cola was losing market share to its rival Pepsi at an alarming rate. Blind taste tests performed by Coke even showed that consumers seemed to prefer Pepsi’s sweeter flavor. So in 1985 the Atlanta-based company scrapped its classic formula in favor of a sugary but smooth cola that came to be known as “New Coke.” The change shocked soda lovers across the country, prompting boycotts and letter-writing campaigns that did significant damage to Coke’s brand image. After Continue reading

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Starting in the late 1990s, Atlanta business owner Frank Reiss struggled to keep his small bookstore in operation. Along with the growing dominance of Amazon, he also lost much of his lucrative rare book business to the online auction house eBay. Reiss considered closing his beloved A Capella Books in the early 2000s until his father suggested that hosting events with authors could turn things around for the better. The plan worked: A Cappella sold more than 500 books Continue reading

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April 12, 2019

By 2020, experts estimate that companies could pay social media influencers as much as $10 billion annually to market products online. These Internet personalities leverage their enormous followings on platforms like Instagram to earn big money through sponsored content. For instance, last year a British fashion influencer named Jess worked with 22 brands, charging $1,000 for every sponsored post that went out to her more than 230,000 Instagram followers.

But while the money that marketers paid Jess was real, the Continue reading

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March 21, 2019

Since about the turn of the 20th century, elaborate fashion shows have helped some of the most successful style companies build lasting brands. After all, designers aren’t just displaying their wares when they send models down the runway in expensive outfits. By showcasing lines of high-end clothes that not everyone can afford, companies construct brand identities centered around luxury and opulence. So while Ralph Lauren or Michael Kors won’t sell many of their most expensive garments, the sophistication and taste Continue reading

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March 7, 2019

On March 1 the Backstreet Boys began a residency at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater in Las Vegas that will run for 80 nights through the end of April. Although the legendary boy band are certainly playing plenty of shows, getting a ticket for one doesn’t come cheap. For instance, it costs up to $250 for a spot in the general admission area in front of the stage. For concertgoers who want to quickly find a good place to stand, though, Continue reading

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March 1, 2019

Red Bull has grown into one of the world’s most powerful beverage brands thanks in no small part to its innovative approach to marketing. This video takes a close look at the Austrian company’s trailblazing sponsorship of extreme sports events and how the Red Bull brand is about a lot more than just selling energy drinks.

Questions:

  1. Why did Red Bull choose to sponsor extreme sports events rather than well-known leagues like the NFL or NBA?  
  2. How did Red Continue reading
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February 26, 2019

Since launching in late 2017 Fortnite has earned more than $2.4 billion, a staggering amount of revenue for a video game that is free for anyone to play. The battle royale title makes its money from virtual items like special outfits or victory dances that players can purchase from an in-game store. Given the breakout success of this business model, companies throughout the more than $100 billion video game industry have been scrambling to develop a credible Fortnite competitor.

In Continue reading

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February 12, 2019

With its signature stack of three buns and two beef patties covered in special sauce, there are few fast food items as famous as the Big Mac. That’s why over the years McDonald’s has tried to protect its flagship burger by pursuing legal action against any possible imitators. One of the company’s latest targets was Supermac’s, an Irish chain that sold a suspiciously similar sandwich called the Mighty Mac. Unfortunately for McDonald’s, though, this particular case didn’t go exactly as Continue reading

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February 5, 2019

This past Sunday, the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in one of the most boring Super Bowl matchups of all time. The winning team only managed to score a single touchdown, and even that exciting moment didn’t arrive until the fourth quarter. As a result, ratings for the big game dropped to their lowest point in a decade. While CBS managed to bring in 111.3 million Super Bowl viewers in 2017, two years later that amount fell Continue reading

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