July 22, 2021

In the coming months, regular drinkers of the sugar-free soda brand Coke Zero might notice a slight change in the taste of their favorite beverage. According to company officials, the formula for Coke Zero will be altered in order to “deliver an even more iconic Coke taste.” While this might seem like a relatively harmless change, any alteration to a Coca-Cola product draws plenty of public scrutiny after the company’s disastrous launch of “New Coke” in the 1980s.

Back then, Continue reading

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July 15, 2021

Those who have concerns about privacy on smartphones often focus on apps that track users’ internet browsing history or even their movements through GPS. But while such violations of privacy are becoming more well-known to users, many others appear to be unaware that some apps have open access to their contact lists. For instance, therapist Gabriela Buendia was shocked to discover that the payment app Venmo had shared a list of her phone contacts as well as data about everyone Continue reading

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July 14, 2021

The uncertainty and strain of the coronavirus pandemic caused a significant uptick in stress among millions of people across the country. According to a survey conducted by the CDC, nearly one-third of Americans said that they had recently experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety. In 2019, that number sat at just 11 percent. 

As a result, companies are making sure to emphasize stress-relief and wellness in their marketing campaigns and as features of new products. For instance, Lincoln is Continue reading

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June 24, 2021

Last year, companies across all industries scrambled to figure out how to continue doing business during the coronavirus pandemic. As time went on, subscription services proved to be dependable profit sources given that they required customers to provide regular payments every month. Subscriptions to streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus skyrocketed in 2020 while many restaurants also found success with membership models. 

For instance, in early 2021 six eateries in the Washington, D.C., area joined forces to create Continue reading

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June 17, 2021

After a year-long delay due to the pandemic, the UEFA European Football Championship is finally taking place across the continent until mid-July. Along with giving sports fans a smorgasbord of summertime soccer to watch, the Euro tournament also provides major brands with a golden opportunity to reach captive global audiences. But as Coca-Cola found out this week, sometimes grabbing attention on such a large stage can backfire big time. 

On Monday, the Portugese superstar Christiano Ronaldo held a press Continue reading

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June 15, 2021

In fall 2020 McDonald’s launched the Travis Scott meal, a branded partnership that significantly boosted sales at the fast food chain and earned more than $20 million for the rapper himself. The success of this promotion led to more collaborations with recording artists, including McDonald’s latest branded venture with the South Korean pop group BTS. According to observers, U.S. sales of the BTS meal are currently outpacing last year’s Travis Scott promotion, with restaurant visits up 12 percent from the Continue reading

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June 10, 2021

In 2017, the startup Moviepass offered film buffs a deal that seemed too good to be true. For $9.95 per month, subscribers could see up to one movie per day at all major theaters located throughout the country. Moviepass hoped to offset the costs of purchasing so many tickets by brokering bulk deals with theater chains and by monetizing users’ data. None of these plans ever came to fruition, however, which left the company with more than three million subscribers Continue reading

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The pandemic led to widespread disruptions across the world’s supply chains, leading to inflation and higher prices for many commodities. In response to these increasing costs, some companies have elected to reduce the size of their packaging rather than raise prices. For instance, Walmart shrank its Great Value paper towel rolls from 168 sheets to 120 sheets while the Tillamook County Creamery Association reduced its family sized ice cream containers from 56 ounces to 48 ounces. 

“Consumers check the Continue reading

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As warmer weather returns throughout the country, many Americans are stepping out of their heavily used kitchens and heading back to restaurants. According to data from the review site Yelp, restaurant reservations are up 46 percent compared to 2019 and a whopping 23,000 percent compared to last year near the start of the pandemic. The reservation site OpenTable reports similar surges in restaurant traffic as more people receive vaccinations and restrictions ease across the country. 

“States that had restrictions Continue reading

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As the pandemic forced millions of people to stay indoors, virtual worlds like Roblox boomed in popularity with gamers as well as investors. This video looks at how the platform appeals to more than 30 million active monthly users, including independent creators who can earn big bucks by building games within Roblox. 

Questions:

  1. Why did games like Roblox explode in popularity last year?
  2. What sort of challenges does Roblox face as it looks to expand its user base?
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