December 2, 2016

Heinrich-Boll-StiftungFor years crowdfunding sites have provided cash and marketing boosts to entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to reach out to the public. In exchange, donors receive prizes for their support, ranging from simple displays of gratitude to enormous giveaways for the most generous individuals. One reward they haven’t been able to receive, however, is a stake in the company. For instance, the makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset brought in millions from their 2012 Kickstarter campaign. Facebook eventually purchased Continue reading

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November 29, 2016

Thomas8047This past weekend the holiday shopping season kicked off with a bang as millions of Americans sought out Black Friday deals both in stores and online. While brick and mortar sales rose about 8 percent from last year, online outlets saw sales increase by 11 percent. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this spike in e-commerce can be credited to the more than 108 million consumers who shopped online over the weekend. Meanwhile, approximately 99 million people visited physical Continue reading

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November 22, 2016

With 43.5 million Americans expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year, drivers will likely have to deal with more traffic jams and slowdowns than usual. Then again, at least these dedicated travelers will be making their journey by car rather than on horseback. But while this preference for pedals seems like a no-brainer today, the situation was much different a century ago when automobiles were new and confusing to many consumers. This video shows how carmakers marketed these Continue reading

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November 17, 2016

DavidSteadmanWhile the holiday shopping season in the U.S. doesn’t officially kick off until next week, Chinese retailers are already counting their profits from the phenomenon known as Singles Day. Founded in the 1990s by a group of college students celebrating their bachelorhood, the November 11 holiday has since morphed into a nationwide shopping spree. This year the online retailer Alibaba brought in nearly $18 billion in sales, far more than what the entire American retail industry earns during Black Friday Continue reading

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August 18, 2016

OlympicImageWhen master salami maker Elias Cairo opened his restaurant Olympic Provisions in 2009, the company’s name seemed to be a gift from fate. Not only did the brand resonate with his Greek heritage, but it also paid tribute to the original resident of his eatery’s building, Olympic Mills. Early success allowed Cairo and his partners to expand the packaged salami-selling side of the business, which eventually grew into a major operation with distribution in 46 states. More restaurant openings and Continue reading

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July 26, 2016

As anybody with a social media presence knows well, Pokémon Go’s massive popularity has only grown since it landed in American app stores earlier this month. On July 22 the augmented reality game launched in Asia, racking up ten million downloads in Japan on a single day. Still, not everything about the app’s Asian expansion was ideal: Pokémon Go remains banned in China, by far the region’s most lucrative market.

And that’s not the only bad news currently confronting the Continue reading

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July 18, 2016

As the immense popularity of Pokémon Go shows, brands that had their heyday in the 1990s can enjoy a second life with today’s nostalgia-obsessed consumers. This summer PepsiCo intends to test the limits of that commitment to the Clinton years by reviving its clear cola brand Crystal Pepsi. The beverage originally launched in 1992 on the back of a $40 million ad campaign that included a bizarre Super Bowl commercial. PepsiCo predicted that the colorless soda would grow into Continue reading

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July 12, 2016

One of the first phrases children are taught to say is “thank you.” This simple expression of gratitude then sticks with us throughout life, acting as the appropriate response to a range of situations both simple and serious. In the eyes of Citigroup, however, “thank you” is more than just a common reply. Since 2004 the banking giant has operated a rewards program called “ThankYou” that allows customers to earn points from their purchases. As a result, the company trademarked Continue reading

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April 26, 2016

When a company rebrands a popular product, they usually alert the public to the upcoming changes through a widespread marketing campaign. For iconic food and drink brands, however, the process isn’t as straightforward. After all, every marketer remembers what happened when Coca-Cola launched its New Coke brand in the 1990s. Consumers reacted viciously to the soft drink’s revamped recipe, creating a rift with the public that took Coca-Cola years to repair.

Executives at Kraft took horror stories like these to Continue reading

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January 18, 2016

For years the post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza known as Black Friday commanded the attention of the nation. Even if people didn’t leave the comfort of their couches, they likely watched in awe as a procession of news reports detailed the long lines forming outside of stores and the chaos that ensued when they opened. But these once standard scenes of retail madness are becoming increasingly rare. Although Americans’ love affair with holiday shopping shows no sign of stopping, customers may have Continue reading

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