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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August 3, 2015

For those who don’t have a feline friend of their own, any advertisement for cat food they encounter will probably fall under the radar. That is unless the words “Meow Mix” happen to enter their ears. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the company, more people knew the melody to Meow Mix’s iconic 1970s jingle than the national anthem. This fact is even more incredible considering that the company hadn’t run an ad with the tune since 1996. Throughout Continue reading

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Modern retailers stock so many items that consumers can usually buy whatever products they want whenever they want them. Still, a number of companies utilize limited-run sales and exclusive partnerships with brands in order to generate buzz about their business. Target is one of the biggest users of this strategy, teaming up with more than 150 companies in one-off joint ventures since 1999. The retailer’s latest gimmick sale brought them together with the clothing and lifestyle brand Lily Pulitzer, a Continue reading

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April 15, 2015

The mission of marketers is to make a product appealing to customers. To accomplish this task, ads often depend on eye-popping visual imagery or memorable music in order to form a quick impression. But as many marketers are beginning to realize, consumers have three more senses to stimulate besides sight and sound. Anything from a pleasing smell to a feeling of warmth can make people more receptive to buy, leading a number of companies to ramp up their sensory marketing Continue reading

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January 7, 2015

For decades it seemed like nothing could stop McDonald’s march towards total fast food domination. By the time 2011 rolled around, the company was boasting eight consecutive years of same-store sales growth while also holding the title of top performing stock on the Dow for five years running. But just when everything seemed to be going right for the chain, the golden arches started to lose their shimmer. Changing consumer tastes and a rocky transition between CEOs are leading towards Continue reading

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January 5, 2015

Movie theaters have worried about being phased out by home entertainment even before the VCR started dominating living rooms in the 1980s. While Hollywood has largely continued to thrive over the decades despite these fears, today the rise of streaming video presents movie theaters with their greatest challenge yet. The industry is especially afraid of losing touch with young moviegoers who are growing up with on-demand services like Netflix and Spotify. The cracks may already be showing: attendance of movie Continue reading

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November 2, 2014

Although it’s been more than six years since the start of the Great Recession, many in the restaurant industry have failed to adjust to the “new normal” created by the downturn. In fact, visits to U.S. restaurants have fallen by a staggering 1.3 billion since 2008. As American eateries become desperate for business, many have turned to gimmicky menu items to drum up interest. From Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco to the $100 “Never Ending Pasta Pass” at Olive Garden, restaurants Continue reading

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October 8, 2014

burgAs we mention in Chapter 3 of the textbook, culinary tastes can vary wildly all over the globe. Even the largest fast food chains step out of their comfort zones in order to cater to local flavors. For instance, KFC’s menu in China includes a traditional fried duck wrap, while Japan’s Pizza Hut outlets offer squid and sweet mayonnaise as toppings. But even these items pale in comparison to the latest unusual creation presented to Japanese consumers, this time courtesy Continue reading

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