July 12, 2024

Consumers across the world have different tastes and preferences when it comes to food. For instance, a dish that people think is mild in one place might be considered extremely spicy in another part of the world. As the global economy pushes products across national and cultural lines, many businesses have come to discover the potential difficulties of selling food to customers in unfamiliar markets. In fact, an instant ramen company in South Korea learned this lesson the hard way Continue reading

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July 10, 2024

Over the last few years, the rise of streaming video has created many problems for the old-school movie studios that once dominated Hollywood. Paramount, for instance, enjoyed more than a century of success as it produced huge film franchises like Top Gun and Mission: Impossible while owning major television networks like CBS, Nickelodeon, and MTV. But Paramount struggled as customers shifted away from movie theaters and traditional cable packages and toward streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. The company tried Continue reading

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June 14, 2024

The fashion startup Rent the Runway seemed destined for long-term success when it launched as an industry-disrupting force in the late 2000s. As this video shows, though, not even a $1 billion IPO could save the company from established competitors and the impact of a global pandemic. 

Questions:

  1. How did the pandemic affect Rent the Runway’s business? 
  2. What advantages do established competitors like Urban Outfitters have over startups like Rent the Runway?
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June 12, 2024

Although some consumers are becoming wary of the rising cost of fast food, there’s one product that a growing number of people are willing to splash extra cash on: candles. Over the last year, Americans have spent $222 million on candles at upscale department stores and beauty retailers as well as online outlets. Sales of candles that cost more than $75 have increased by 25 percent, representing a small but expanding segment of the market. For instance, the singer Continue reading

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In the late 1990s, the seafood chain Red Lobster was one of the fastest growing restaurants in the nation as it earned billions of dollars in annual revenue from more than 700 locations. As the years went by, though, poorly planned promotions and wider economic factors took their toll on the company. This video looks at how the pandemic and an endless shrimp promotion brought Red Lobster to the brink of bankruptcy.

Questions:

  1. How did Red Lobster’s endless shrimp promotion Continue reading
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Business is all about giving the customer what they want, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out exactly what that is. Some brands get to know their fans by giving them a platform that directly asks for their input, providing companies with much-needed ideas while customers feel included in the development process. For example, in 2008 Lego launched its initiative Lego Ideas where builders submit original designs to be evaluated among a wider community of enthusiasts. If an Continue reading

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The fashion company Zara became a multi-billion dollar force in the industry thanks to its unique ability to churn out stylish clothing at low prices. Of course, critics of the Spanish firm would not likely call its business model “unique”: Zara has long been accused of ripping off its designs from luxury fashion houses. Those days might be in the past, however, as the company looks to reinvent itself as a high-end brand working with some of the world’s top Continue reading

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A few weeks ago, we examined TikTok’s uncanny ability to provide entrepreneurs with major marketing opportunities at the expense of brand control. The potential downsides of the latter became clear last week when President Biden signed a bill into law that could ban the social network in the U.S. Under the provisions of the bill, which passed both the House and Senate with considerable support, TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance has 270 days to sell the app to an American Continue reading

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April 24, 2024

In 2009, five students at Texas A&M University began posting videos to YouTube where they would sink seemingly impossible basketball shots with ease. Their channel Dude Perfect developed a massive fanbase in the years that followed, boasting more than 60 million subscribers and over 17 billion views. This huge audience attracts both marketers and investors alike: along with earning millions annually through ads on YouTube, Dude Perfect recently signed a deal with the financial firm Highmount Capital. Reports indicate that Continue reading

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April 17, 2024

Earlier this year, we looked at how the century-old brand Stanley skyrocketed to viral fame after the company’s drink tumblers went viral on TikTok. Of course, Stanley cups are far from the only product to become a blockbuster thanks to the video sharing platform with more than 1 billion daily active users. For example, in 2018 the cleaning solution The Pink Stuff was a little known item with a bright look, fun name, and not much else going for it. Continue reading

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