Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 4/3/15

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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 Lego, Airstream, Green Giant, WalMart, and GoDaddy

From Mikkel Rasmussen: Lego’s Serious Play

“Most companies study consumers to figure out how they make decisions, in order to hijack the decision-making process and sell more products. But Lego does not simply wish to understand why kids play. The company has a different approach to its research, one that is far more ambitious. It aims to understand children’s cultures, the interplay between kids and their parents, and the social dynamics that shape people’s aspirations. The company’s sustained efforts toward achieving a deeper comprehension into consumer behavior give it a unique perspective on what’s important to kids and how to construct meaningful experiences for them. Lego’s focus and sense of direction are unparalleled in the toy industry.”

From Charles Fleming: Airstream’s silver bullets still flying

“Now owned by recreational vehicle giant Thor Industries, Airstream has been building its signature riveted aluminum travel trailers since 1931. The company says that 65% of all Airstreams ever built are still on the road. So fans of the iconic vacation capsules are surprised to learn the Airstreams on the road aren’t all vintage units.”

From Mike Hughlett: General Mills looks to put a fresh face on its Green Giant brand

“Trends in the vegetable market mirror shifts throughout the food industry. The grocery store’s periphery — home to fresh produce, meat and dairy products — has been gaining sales. The ‘center store’ — home to more processed foods — has been losing its luster. General Mills has a foothold in fresh vegetables, but it licenses the Green Giant brand to independent produce companies. Frozen vegetables, which Mills packages itself, are the anchor of the Green Giant business, and canned product is still important.”

From Paul Ziobro and Serena Ng: Wal-Mart Ratchets Up Pressure on Suppliers to Cut Prices

“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is increasing the pressure on suppliers to cut the cost of their products, in an effort to regain the mantle of low-price leader and turn around its sluggish U.S. sales.”

From Shira Ovide and Telis Demos: GoDaddy Out to Lose Bad-Boy Image

“GoDaddy’s image makeover is part of the plan behind the IPO, according to people close to the company. Commercials with model Bar Refaeli and race-car driver Danica Patrick are gone. A Super Bowl ad in February showed a business owner skipping the big game to work at his desk. GoDaddy also wants to tell the world it is more than Web addresses. The company seeks to convince its 13 million customers to buy newer services like company-specific email addresses, bookkeeping software and e-commerce tools.”

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