March 11, 2022

Earlier this week, we looked at how some companies faced increasing pressure from consumers to halt their operations in Russia during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. While chains like McDonald’s eventually listened to the outcry and shut down their Russian locations, other companies could not join the “corporate exodus” as easily. Burger King, for instance, has about 800 locations in Russia that are owned by independent franchisees, meaning the company cannot shut them down directly.

But with the eyes of Continue reading

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March 8, 2022

Last week, we looked at how retailers like H&M and Nike as well as major corporations like Apple and ExxonMobil suspended their operations in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. And while this list of companies is long and full of prominent names, it does not include major American brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, KFC, and many others that continue to operate in Russia. As a result, users on social media have recently piled criticism onto these companies to pressure Continue reading

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March 4, 2022

The appalling invasion of Ukraine has convinced many companies to halt their operations in Russia during this catastrophic event. Last week, for instance, the clothing company H&M announced that it would close its 170 Russian stores while Nike shuttered its 116 retailers in the country. Other big brands like Apple, T.J. Maxx, and Ikea followed with announcements that laid out similar plans to close stores during this frightening time.

“The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, and our Continue reading

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March 2, 2022

For years the home workout company Peloton promised customers that it provided more than just a stationary bicycle–it was a way of life. But while Peloton thrived during the height of the pandemic as people stayed indoors, the video below shows how this once promising brand collapsed due to falling demand and mismanagement. 

Questions:

  1. What sort of customers did Peloton initially market its product to? How did this change over time?
  2. How did the pandemic benefit Peloton, and why Continue reading
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February 25, 2022

In theory, overdraft fees charged by banks are meant to be a “convenience” for customers so that their purchases are not declined when they are unknowingly low on funds. In practice, however, these fees have become a major revenue generator for banks that charge an average of $33.58 for each overdraft. That means consumers can be hit with multiple fees if they accidentally make numerous purchases while past the limits of their account. Studies show that this practice particularly harms Continue reading

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February 23, 2022

Last year, we looked at how rising inflation and supply chain delays caused by the pandemic were taking a big toll on small businesses, a situation that has not improved in 2022. In fact, small-scale entrepreneurs have struggled for years at this point while their corporate counterparts have thrived thanks to the advantages brought on by huge reserves of capital. “Larger firms have been able to weather rising costs and labor shortages better than smaller firms, which is likely Continue reading

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February 18, 2022

Chowing down on a big bowl of crickets probably doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? According to a range of experts interviewed in the video below, though, our disgust at the thought of eating insects might just be a matter of perception. This extensive report from the New York Times shows how lobsters went from disgusting to delicious in the eyes of American eaters, a branding journey that bugs might also take in the near future.

Questions:

  1. What are some Continue reading
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February 15, 2022

For 34 years, USA Today has tracked consumer appreciation of Super Bowl commercials in its annual Ad Meter poll. This year’s top spot went to a light-hearted ad featuring Anna Kendrick picking out Barbie’s dream house for Rocket Mortgage, which also won last year with a funny celebrity cameo commercial. Amazon similarly scored big with a self-deprecating spot featuring Scarlett Johnansen and Colin Jost while Doritos landed in the top five thanks to a song from Megan Thee Stallion Continue reading

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February 11, 2022

With the 2022 Winter Olympics in full swing, this video looks at how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) earns billions of dollars through brand partnerships. Along with providing benefits for both major companies and the IOC, these big-time deals have also led to some challenges during this current edition of the games. 

Questions:

  1. Do you think it is worth it for companies to spend billions of dollars on brand partnerships at the Olympics? Why or why not?
  2. Why are Continue reading
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February 8, 2022

With Super Bowl LVI less than a week away, football fans around the country are stocking up on snacks and drinks for Sunday’s big game. In fact, each year Americans eat more than 112 million pounds of snacks during the Super Bowl, with the most popular items being potato chips, pretzels, and tortilla chips. Although these items will be available and affordable as ever this year, economists at Wells Fargo estimate that the cost of fresh items like salsa and Continue reading

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