Starbucks Stirs Up New In-Store Web Hub

Description: At the Think Mobile conference in San Francisco, Starbucks VP Adam Brotman outlines the company’s vision for a new Web-based network available in its coffee shops. In partnership with Yahoo, the new site will offer movies, music, and premium content from The Wall Street Journal and Zagat for free.

Source: BNET.com  – video report

Date: 09/23/2010

Link: http://www.bnet.com/videos/starbucks-stirs-up-new-in-store-web-hub/467814

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the plan at Starbucks to expand into other businesses by using the web?
  • Do you think this plan will be successful?
  • What other online strategies would you recommend to Starbucks that allows it to leverage its brand and stores.

World’s largest off-shore wind farm

Description: Off of the coast of Great Britain, 100 wind turbines power 200,000 homes

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report
 
Date: 09/23/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2010/09/23/n_gb_off_shore_wind_farm.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Do you think this energy business would be as successful, without government subsidies?
  • What role should government play in helping emerging enterprises establish themselves?
  • Are subsidies fair to other energy companies?
  • How important is the “global” nature of this business?
  • Why are governments so ready to offer subsidies to this sort of business start-up?
  • What could be a limitation to the long term success of this business?

Oprah Blesses Facebook Founder Zuckerberg’s $100 Million School Gift

Description:  You have to be impressed with Mark Zuckerberg. Not just because the 26-year-old has packed a lifetime of achievement into a period when most late adolescents are still trying to find themselves. In seven years he’s gone from being an awkward college freshman to a reported net worth of nearly $7 billion.

Source:  BNET.com
 
Date: 09/24/2010

Link: http://www.bnet.com/blog/business-decision/oprah-blesses-facebook-founder-zuckerberg-8217s-100-million-school-gift/250?tag=content;feature-roto

Questions for discussion: 

  • Do you think Zukerberg’s motivation is altruistic?
  • What value does Facebook receive in exchange for Zukerberg’s generosity?
  • What additional value is there to making this announcement on Oprah?
  • Do you think there is an educational application for Facebook?

Home video biz has become ‘quite baffling to consumers’

Description:  Apple CEO Steve Jobs sang a familiar tune this month when he described a big selling point for his newly revamped Apple TV. The device, which connects TV sets to the Internet, will make it “really simple” for people to rent movies on demand, he said.

Source: USAToday.com
 
Date: 09/23/2010

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2010-09-23-homevideo23_CV_N.htm

Questions for discussion:

  • What does this article say about the changes taking place in video?
  • Do you agree with the arguments and predictions presented?
  • What would you advise Steve Jobs to do at Apple, if you were able to present your ideas?

Blockbuster Chief Says He Will Evaluate `Every Single Store’

Description:  Blockbuster Inc. Chief Executive Officer James Keyes said he will evaluate “every single store” in the video-rental chain as it reorganizes to compete with competitors that provide movies online and by mail.

Source: Bloomberg.com
 
Date: 09/24/2010

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-24/blockbuster-chief-says-he-ll-evaluate-every-single-store-in-video-chain.html

Questions for discussion:

  • Why did Blockbuster fail?
  • Why is closing down Blockbuster stores a quick way to help salvage the firm?
  • What else could be done to reduce the loss of money?
  • What would you do to revive the firm?

Burger joint’s social media recipe

Description: 4Food uses social networks like Twitter and Foursquare in lieu of traditional marketing to let customers share their own burger creations.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: 09/16/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2010/09/15/t_4food_burger_donut_twitter.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • What do you think of the use of social marketing, as demonstrated by this small business?
  • Do you think social media works better for small businesses than it can for big?
  • Would you use social media to promote this business as expected by the owners?
  • Why do you suppose so many people have responded to this promotional strategy?
  • How can this small business encourage more compliance by customers and response by receivers of social media messaging?

iPad clones hit shelves in China

Description: As Apple launches the iPad in China, locally-made wannabes are released at a fraction of the price.

Source: CNNMoney.com  – video report

Date: 09/17/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2010/09/17/t_iclone_china.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Do you think consumers will look at these devices as equivalents to Apple iPads? 
  • How is Apple able to sell iPads at five times the price of these devices?
  • Why do you think the price is so much lower than Apple’s  iPads?
  • How important is the software in these devices to consumers?
  • On what basis should the Chinese manufacturers market these products to consumers?

Why Great Companies Don’t Stay Great

Description:  Ever wonder why there are so few perennially successful companies like Cisco and Microsoft? Or why so many once-great companies, like Dell and Nortel, suddenly hit a wall? No, it’s not about innovation or culture, although they are factors.

Source:  BNET.com
 
Date: 09/17/2010

Link: http://www.bnet.com/blog/ceo/why-great-companies-dont-stay-great/5585?tag=content;feature-roto

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the arguments made in this article?
  • Do you agree with the analysis presented?
  • What strategies should be applied by managers, with these arguments in mind?

Crowdsourcer Threadless’ Life Beyond T-shirts

Description:  With designs vetted by devotees, Threadless has helped Dell sell computers and Havaianas sell flip-flops. Next up: Expanding into brick and mortar retail chains

Source: Businessweek.com
 
Date: 09/16/2010

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_39/b4196024715129.htm

Questions for discussion:

  • Why does this marketing strategy work so well?
  • What other businesses do you think could succeed by using the same “voter/buyer” social media model?
  • Are there any limitations to this marketing approach?

Please, for the Love of God, Upgrade Your Browser

September 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Part 4: Marketing Management

Description:  Internet Explorer 9, Chrome, and Firefox are great, but outdated software is still holding back the Web.

Source: Slate.com
 
Date: 09/16/2010

Link: http://www.slate.com/id/2267673/

Questions for discussion:

  • What does this article have to say about consumer adoption of new technologies?
  • Why is it difficult to persuade consumers to upgrade their software, even when it is available free of any monetary cost?
  • What is the solution proposed by the author of this article?
  • Do you believe it can work?

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