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 10, 2024

With tens of thousands of locations worldwide, hotel chains like Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt dominate the global hospitality industry. But as the video below shows, these companies often don’t own the properties that bear their names. This report from the Wall Street Journal explains how Marriott and others license their brands to independently operated hotels, who then benefit from widespread recognition as well as customer reward programs. 

Questions:

  1. Why did hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton move away from Continue reading
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April 3, 2024

Credit card firms provide both consumers and businesses with a convenient way to handle payments that eliminates the need to deal with large amounts of cash all the time. Still, this service doesn’t come for free: not only can customers rack up large amounts of interest on their credit card bills, companies also must pay a fee for every transaction they make. These “swipe fees” can add up quickly. Last year alone, U.S. merchants paid $101 billion in swipe fees Continue reading

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March 29, 2024

Although meal kit services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron both enjoyed a boom in business during the pandemic, only one of those companies continues to thrive today. The video below explores the growing dominance of HelloFresh in the meal kit industry even as it struggles to keep customers, who mainly tend to cancel their subscriptions once the sign-on deals end. 

Questions:

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks of HelloFresh’s strategy of using discounts to attract customers?
  2. Why is it Continue reading
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March 22, 2024

The world of plush toys is not typically known as a hotbed of conflict, but that all changed last month when two big names in the industry clashed in court. The legal battle began when the parent companies of Squishmallows sued Build-A-Bear Workshop, alleging that its new “Skoosherz” line looked suspiciously squishy. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, comparing the Squishmallows original products to Build-a-Bear’s copycats speaks volumes,” said Moez Kaba, an attorney representing Squishmallows’ parent companies Kelly Continue reading

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March 19, 2024

With more than 51 million monthly active users in the United States, the Chinese e-commerce outlet Temu has expanded significantly in recent years thanks to its huge selection of cheap goods. This video looks at the platform’s low-price strategy and how it’s winning customers the world over in spite of reports of poor quality products and possible ethical issues.

Questions:

  1. Why do you think Temu’s business model is appealing to customers?
  2. Which e-commerce strategy do you think is most effective Continue reading
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February 21, 2024

Fast food companies pour billions of dollars into marketing every year, and a big portion of those costs come from expensive video shoots for commercials. This video takes a detailed look at the extraordinary skill that goes into seemingly simple fast food ads, from hand-painting burger patties to moving items precisely with the help of robot technology.

Questions:

1. Why do fast food companies spend so much money to make their menu items appear realistic on camera?
2. How does Continue reading

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