Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 8/29/14

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Big Cola, Jell-O, Little League, IBM, and Starbucks.

From Amitava Chattopadhyay: Lessons for Coke from Peru’s Big Cola

“An emerging cola brand from Peru schools the giants on how to achieve big growth.”

From Candice Choi: Jell-O can’t stop slippery sales slide

“Yet despite its enduring place in pop culture, sales have tumbled 19 percent in the past four years, with alternatives such as Greek yogurt surging in popularity. Executives at Kraft Foods, which owns Jell-O, say they’re confident they can revitalize the brand. But their efforts so far have been a disappointment.”

From Josh Peter: Little League means big business as revenues soar

“The images remain quaint — kids sprinting around the basepaths, fans watching from grass hills, Norman Rockwell-like scenes abound at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., that culminates Sunday with the championship game. But make no mistake, Little League is big business.”

From Brad Power: How Watson Changed IBM

“Remember when IBM’s ‘Watson’ computer competed on the TV game show ‘Jeopardy’ and won? Most people probably thought ‘Wow, that’s cool,’ or perhaps were briefly reminded of the legend of John Henry and the ongoing contest between man and machine. Beyond the media splash it caused, though, the event was viewed as a breakthrough on many fronts.”

From Julia Hanna: Starbucks Reinvented

“Harvard Business School Professor and historian Nancy Koehn has studied Starbucks and its leader, Howard Schultz, for close to 20 years. For her, the company represents much more than a phenomenal success story.”

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