Groupon needs a group hug

Description: Daily deal site Groupon is finding it hard to compete with Amazon and eBay. A better social media and marketing strategy might help too.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Feb 21, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/investing/2014/02/21/investing-the-buzz-groupon-social-media-amazon.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why has the stock value dropped?
  • What is the new direction management is trying to take the firm?
  • Do you think they can succeed?

VW’s Passat, made in Tennessee

Description: Take a tour of Volkswagen’s $1 billion plant that opened in Chattanooga, TN.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Feb 12, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/02/12/n-volkswagen-vw-plant-tennessee.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • What are the main considerations for where to locate a car plant such as the one illustrated in the report?
  • Why do other businesses typically decide to locate nearby?

Comcast’s future for your TV

Description: Comcast shows off new technology that allows you click a link in tweet, and have a show start playing instantly on your TV or mobile device.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Feb 14, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2014/02/14/t-comcast-twitter.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • How is social media going to change consumer viewing behavior?
  • How will this technology affect the firms that currently produce and distribute content?
  • Do you think there are going to be more opportunities for small producers of content?

Shaun White’s Olympic-sized empire

Description: Snowboarder Shaun White is trying for his third gold medal in Sochi. But his best tricks are off the slopes. Product lines, endorsements and—yes, a record deal — make White’s wallet pretty gnarly.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Feb 07, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/02/07/n-olympic-snowboarding-shaun-white-business-entrepeneur-endorsements.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Describe the “Shaun White” brand image?
  • Which target markets would you focus on if you were in charge of marketing at his brand?
  • Which other business venues do you think he could penetrate?

Gun industry courts women with pink guns

Description: Gun manufacturers are clearly trying to catch the eye and wallet of women, who are becoming a more important segment of their customer base.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Feb 06, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/02/06/n-guns-for-women-pink-firearms-shot-show-2014.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • What is the thinking in this industry as illustrated by this report.
  • Why do you think sales to women have soared in Texas and Florida?
  • Is this a good or bad thing?
  • Should government regulate the design element of these products so as to reduce the fashion appeal?

A Small Business Hopes to Spot Its Olympic Bracelets at Sochi

Description: When Kurt Walchle told people that he wanted to see the athletes on the U.S. Olympic team wearing his company’s bracelets, a lot of people thought the Jacksonville (Fla.) entrepreneur was crazy. After all, everybody knew that only big companies supplied Team USA—not a small business like his, with 66 employees and $5 million in annual revenue.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: Feb 06, 2014

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-06/a-small-business-hopes-to-spot-its-olympic-bracelets-at-sochi#r=nav-fst

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the lessons for entrepreneurs in this report?
  • How can the company grow through product development?

Crowdfunding’s Effect on Venerable Nonprofits Raises Concern

Description: THE ads ran for years. The global charity Save the Children asked for a monthly donation, and in return, a few times a year the donors received a photo and handwritten note or drawing from children in impoverished places like Haiti.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 07, 2014

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/your-money/crowdfundings-effect-on-venerable-nonprofits-raises-concern.html?ref=business

Questions for Discussions:

  • What are the issues raised in this report that should be of concern to donors and fundraising organizations?
  • Is this the new reality of crowded fronts now made more accessible to charities by online technologies?
  • How should managers of established charities respond?

The dune buggy that can fly

Description: SkyRunner is a dune buggy and a power parachute in one. After almost three years in development, it is on track to hit the market later this year.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Jan 31, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/pf/2014/01/31/latt-skyrunner-flying-dune-buggy.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Which target market would you focus on if you were in charge of marketing at this company?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this device in comparison to alternative choices for that customer?

Building engineering toys for girls

Description: GoldieBlox CEO Debra Sterling talks about what makes her toy company different and why she created GoldieBlox, an engineering toy for girls.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Jan 30, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/01/30/n-goldieblox-engineers-toys.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • How is this toy designed for girls rather than boys?
  • Do you think these sorts of toys should be gender-neutral rather than targeting boys or girls?
  • Is this company demonstrating social responsibility in some special way?

After 100 Years, the Shaving Industry Is Finally being Disrupted

Description: The Gillette-Schick duopoly better watch out for Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s, which promise more convenience and less cost to do what men hate most in the morning. Don’t look now, bros but your morning routine is getting disrupted—in a good way.

Source: TheDailyBeast.com

Date: Jan 24, 2014

Link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/24/after-100-years-the-shaving-industry-is-finally-being-disrupted.html

Questions for discussion:

  • Describe the disruption and why it is succeeding.
  • How much market share do you think these new firms can wrestle from the industry giants?
  • How should Gillette and Schick management respond?

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