Cold Stone Creamery may have the highest unit volume in the ice cream category, but its aggressive expansion plan has hit the skids over the past two years. In May, the Scottsdale-based chain, known for its marble-slab mixtures and crooning employees, was acquired by Kahala Corp, a quick-service-restaurant franchisor that holds Blimpie and Samurai Sam's. Taking a page from Starbucks, which has proved that cranking out new stores can be antithetical to brand building, Kahala-Cold Stone is shifting strategy and testing more-inventive approaches to growing their business. Read more
Imagine a system that has been conducting research and design not for tens, hundreds or even thousands, but billions of years. What if you took these time-tested principles, and applied them to other systems? From a systems perspective, mother nature is a design expert, and has been the greatest frontier for innovation.
Over 20,000 beaches were closed or warnings posted in 2007 due to contamination from stormwater runoff. Previous solutions to the problem included UV, chlorine treatment, or elaborate systems in some new LEED-certified buildings and factories that recycle runoff or treat it with wetlands, green roofs or filters.
Now, a company called ABTech industries has patented a new, low-tech green approach that does more with less.
Imagine this. You step on to the elevator. The doors are closing. All
of a sudden, the leading pioneer in your field or the CEO of a Fortune
100 company steps on the elevator and pushes the button to the top
floor. The opportunity of a lifetime has just presented itself. Your
mind is racing, you have 30 sec. to sell yourself and present your
brand. What do you say? You may be thinking, ‘I can’t possibly compress
my life into 30 sec. My resume is 2 pages, I’ve accomplished so much,
I’m very valuable, I need more time’… If that is what you are thinking,
I submit to you this.
‘StarBUCKS’ Status. What is the cost of cool? And are you willing to pay the price?
I got the inspiration for this blog in the Minneapolis airport this
weekend. As I went from gate F14 to A6 I saw ‘StarBUCKS.’ I stopped to
get my usual White Chocolate Mocha Grande
with caramel drizzled on top.
According to indie rocker Jill Sobule, there's only one thing record labels are still good for and that’s financing albums. Everyone is preoccupied over which music-distribution model will win out, but the fallout of the Internet's attack on record companies is that it's increasingly difficult for bands to get their music produced in the first place. DIY rough cuts made with GarageBand or Pro Tools might help a band amass a fan base on MySpace, but the goal is still to graduate to a professionally mixed studio album. Read more
In an era of corporate social responsibility, how can a multinational company participate as a patron and sponsor of the Olympic Games without tarnishing its image? Even a better question is who would have thought that sponsoring an organization like the Olympics could bring about negative stigma and public opinion?
On the first truly warm evening of spring, last Thursday, about 50 journalism students, including myself, sat inside the main lecture hall of the Columbia Journalism School. We listened to Susan Lyne, CEO and president of Martha Stewart Living, recount the high and low times in her career. Read more