The Covid-19 pandemic took an enormous toll on people’s mental health. The World Health Organization estimates that the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent during 2020. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one-third of Americans have recently reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. Some patients struggle to book appointments with therapists, however, either because their insurance doesn’t cover their specific needs or because demand for mental health services has skyrocketed. 

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April 28, 2022

While Crocs have had their fans since launching in 2002, the clog brand really took off during the pandemic as housebound Americans searched for comfortable indoor shoes. This video looks at how Crocs won over a doubting public thanks to its unique design, customization, and exclusive partnerships with brands and celebrities. 

Questions:

  1. Why did Crocs close its retail stores and move to a distribution model that focused on online sales? How did it benefit from this switch? 
  2. How Continue reading
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April 21, 2022

Before the pandemic, enormous shipping vessels bound for the West Coast of the U.S. from Asia usually took the same predictable and profitable voyages. After docking in either the port of Los Angeles or Long Beach, the ships would unload their cargo and then head up north to Oakland, where they stocked up on agricultural goods from California’s expansive farmland. This cargo would ultimately end up in markets around the world after journeying across the Pacific and disembarking in Southeast Continue reading

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April 5, 2022

After the invasion of Ukraine last month, thousands of companies around the world either ceased operations in Russia or started divesting from the aggressor nation. This corporate response to the invasion followed a string of sanctions by governments around the world who intended to deal an economic blow to Russia. But cutting financial ties with the country has also led to some unexpected ripple effects on small businesses as well as multinational companies who must adjust to this complicated situation. Continue reading

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March 31, 2022

Sales of houseplants skyrocketed during the onset of the pandemic, and ever since growers around the world have struggled to keep up with ever-increasing demand. Not only are they reaching production capacity, but growers are also in a race against time to get their plants to market before they die on store shelves. This video takes a detailed look at the advanced growing techniques used on modern houseplant farms as well as the flood of TikTok-driven demand that growers must Continue reading

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March 15, 2022

The Swedish company Oatly began making oat milk in the early 1990s and steadily grew a dedicated following among health conscious European consumers. But the beverage really took off in the late 2010s when Americans got in on the craze, sending Oatly’s sales soaring and attracting interest from high-level investors. To enable the brand to grab market share while it was available, Oatly received major investments from companies like Blackstone Group as well as celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z. 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 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 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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