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.

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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 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 4, 2022

The company formerly known as Facebook is going through something of an identity crisis.  Rebranded as Meta last year, the tech giant changed its name in order to signal its transition from social networks to the virtual world of the “metaverse.” Although the company has staked its future on this unproven concept, this week Meta had to contend with the consequences of a miserable earnings report that painted a gloomy picture of its present situation. 

In the most Continue reading

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January 28, 2022

Influencers who amass huge followings on social networks like Instagram and TikTok can earn big money through sponsored posts and other partnerships with brands. But promotional opportunities do not come around every day, and often influencers must deal with inconsistent income as brands pay for exposure one month and then opt out the next. That’s why Instagram is testing a new service for content creators that will allow them to charge money to subscribers who will then have access to Continue reading

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January 25, 2022

While iPhones and various Android smartphones dominate the current mobile market, in the early days of these devices no brand was bigger than BlackBerry. This video looks at the history of this once ubiquitous gadget that captured early market share but failed to keep pace with its high tech competitors. 

Questions:

  1. What features made BlackBerry so appealing to businesspeople when it first hit the market?
  2. How did BlackBerry’s resistance to change lead to the downfall of its mobile business?
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January 18, 2022

With so many different products and services on offer these days, it can be difficult for companies to convince customers to purchase a product more than once. And since repeat business is the lifeblood of any enterprise, many firms have turned to subscription models to ensure that they receive steady sources of revenue. Streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ stand out as some of the most recognizable subscription services, while brands like Peloton adopted this model for the home fitness Continue reading

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