Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 3/27/15

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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 Luxury liners, Meredith publishing, Kind Healthy Snacks, Urban Outfitters, and Barnie’s Coffee & Tea.

From Jad Mouawad: A Luxury Liner Docks, and the Countdown’s On

“The profitability of today’s giant cruise ships depends on a tightly choreographed routine that’s part Nascar pit stop, part Noah’s Ark.”

From David Pitt: Magazine Publisher Is a Lesson in Knowing Your Audience

“The nation’s top publisher of magazines and websites for women has its origins in a journal sold door-to-door featuring tips to help farmers get ahead in the early 1900s. From there, Meredith Corp. grew and evolved, surviving depression, recession, the Internet and an increasingly crowded field of magazine competitors to now reach more than 200 million people a month. It has done it by developing a keen understanding of its readers, using its huge database to hone in on how women seek and use information in the areas of food, home, parenthood and health.”

From Mian Ridge: Kind Healthy Snacks founder describes his long slog to success

“Every day, as he pounded the pavement of Manhattan, in a new city where he had few friends, shopkeepers told him his products would not sell. Two decades later, Lubetzky is basking in his hard-won success. His New York-based company, Kind Healthy Snacks, sells 458 million fruit and nut bars a year, as shown in a chart in his new book”

From Judith Russell: Urban Legend

“For more than four decades, Urban Outfitters Inc.’s namesake brand has been a favorite among hip young adults in search of edgy products and a cool place to hang out. Though its brand ethos is the envy of many in the apparel world, sales have until recently been on the decline, and the company has had to face the fact that having customers spend more time chilling in its stores doesn’t necessarily increase sales. So what’s an iconic brand to do?”

From Anjali Fluker: How Jonathan Smiga crafted Barnie Coffee & Tea’s turnaround

“Jonathan Smiga wasn’t sure quite what he was getting into when he took over the helm as president and CEO of the then-struggling Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. in 2010. Since then, the company has come back to life.”

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