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PepsiCo Americas CEO Massimo d’Amore has been rebranding Pepsi’s core products top to bottom. Creative destruction—or just destruction?

Source: Business Week.com

Date: 4/23/2009

Keys: Marketing, product development, strategic alliances

Link: http://www.businessweek.com

Questions for discussion:

  • Which strategies do you think are good ones and which would you disagree with? Explain your thinking.
  • Where do you see the beverage industry competitors five years from today?
  • What do you think Pepsi will look like in terms of brands, product mix etc.?

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The legendary investor says the last thing you should do is buy and sell stocks for quick profit.

Source: CNNMoney Reports – video report

Date: 5/07/2009

Keys: Finance, investing, stock markets

Link: http://money.cnn.com

Questions for discussion:

  • According to Buffett, ignoring the “ups and downs” and only looking at the long term “average price” paid for stocks makes sense if you have a long time horizon and the stock market consistently increases. Do you think Buffett’s advice makes sense today for young as well as for older investors?
  • What do you think he means by the term “saver” as opposed to “investor”?
  • How do you think the stock market will perform over the next few years? Explain your answers.

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Solar company Konarka has developed a transparent solar cell that it hopes will be built onto electricity-generating windows.

Source: CNET.com

Date: 5/08/2009

Keys: Marketing, product development, strategic alliances

Link: http://news.cnet.com

Questions for discussion:

  • Is there a market for this innovative product?
  • Is the company making a mistake by trying to compete with conventional solar electricity-generating products?
  • What sorts of special applications (products) could make use of this innovation?
  • How would you go about setting a price for this technology?

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News Corp. reported a 16 percent decline in ad revenue within its Fox Interactive Media (FIM) subsidiary, which includes MySpace. The company said the unit saw reductions in both brand and performance-based advertising.

Source: Clickz.com

Date: 5/07/2009

Keys: Marketing, advertising, strategic alliances, technology

Link: http://www.clickz.com/3633666

Questions for discussion:

  • This report demonstrates how difficult it remains to generate online advertising revenues. What do you think of the prospects for online advertising revenue growth?
  • How well do you think advertising revenues will perform at social networking sites such as MySpace?  How about at the WSJ Online? Explain your answers.
  • Are there other revenue sources that could work at these web sites? Describe them.

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Wall Street lenders opposed to U.S. plan to reorganize carmaker throw in towel. Control of company by UAW and Fiat looking more likely.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 5/08/2009

Keys: Finance, management, government, labor relations

Link: http://money.cnn.com

Questions for discussion:

  • Why do you think the remaining hold-outs accepted the terms for restructuring the ownership of Chrysler?
  • Do you think the new Chrysler will be successful?  Explain your answer.
  • How do you think the new government and labor union ownership will affect the management and operations of the firm?
  • Do you think some people might avoid buying Chrysler in the future? Why?

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The automaker’s long history does include prior troubled times.

Source: CNNMoney Reports – video report

Date: 5/01/2009

Keys: Marketing, brands, finance, management

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2009/05/01/news.050109.chryslerthen.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think Chrysler will rebound this time? Explain your answer.
  • Will the alliance with Fiat be positive or negative for those trying to sell cars in the North American market?
  • What would you do with Chrysler if it was totally up to you to choose?

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Experts worry that auto suppliers will be devastated by Chrysler’s bankruptcy and the shutdown of its plants.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date:
5/01/2009

Keys: Economics, supply chain, operations management, marketing, labor relations

Link: http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/01/news/companies/chrysler_aftershocks/index.htm?postversion=2009050116

Questions for discussion:

  • The article explains the chain reaction resulting from Chrysler’s closing plants and reducing production. What would you do now if you were a parts supplier to the auto industry?
  • An auto worker at Chrysler?
  • An owner of a Chrysler franchise dealership?

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The old children’s game of Telephone, in which a whispered message is passed — and inevitably distorted — among players, has obvious applications on a platform like Twitter. The question is whether those applications can be made to benefit an advertiser.

Source: Clickz.com

Date: 5/01/2009

Keys: Marketing, advertising, strategic alliances, technology

Link: http://www.clickz.com/3633603

Questions for discussion:

  • What do you think of this product concept?
  • Do you think it can be repeated with other products? Which ones?
  • Is there a negative side to using this sort of word-of-mouth promotional tool? Explain your thinking.

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Sure, for a year now, YouTube has trailed Hulu in the number of TV shows and films it offers, but in recent months all the momentum appeared to be with Google’s video site. That was until Thursday, when Hulu announced a partnership with Disney that at least one industry analyst believes has smashed YouTube’s chances of becoming an online hub for top TV shows and feature films

Source: CNET.com

Date: 5/01/2009

Keys: Marketing, distribution channels, strategic alliances,

Link: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10231195-93.html

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think this alliance is good for everyone or better for some players and not very good for others? Explain your thinking?
  • Do you think television shows will eventually be distributed wherever they can be sold?
  • What other distribution deals make sense to you today, given the way viewing habits are changing?

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GM is preparing to ‘kill off’ its Pontiac brand as the carmaker searches for viability.

Source: CNNMoney Reports – video report

Date: 4/24/2009

Keys: Marketing, positioning, brands, operations management

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2009/04/24/news-gm-pontiac-042409.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you agree with the explanations offered for shutting down the Pontiac brand name? Explain your thinking.
  • How would you handle the large number of brands and models under the GM name?
  • How would you rationalize your marketing resources? Explain.