Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 5/1/15

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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 dressing up at restaurants, Snapchat, Detonics, Apple, IBM, and Avon.

From Kyle Arnold: At some local restaurants, dressing up lives on

“In a region that welcomed 62 million sun- and fun-seeking tourists last year, dress codes have largely disappeared as ‘upscale casual’ blurs the lines between fine dining and other restaurants. Most restaurants that require formal clothing have either gone out of business or have relaxed their dress codes to accommodate diners in almost any attire. Only a few Central Florida restaurants are hanging on to dressier standards.”

From Paresh Dave and David Pierson: Cheap content, growing reach make Snapchat a fast-rising star

“Critics dismissed Snapchat early on as a smartphone app that didn’t do much but let lovers trade the type of photos they didn’t want saved. But the huge audiences that Snapchat is gathering on a new feature called Stories is the latest example of how a tiny company can rise up fast with a business strategy that could make it the next hot technology sensation out of California — much like Facebook in its early days. Early Stories advertisers include Coca-Cola, Universal Pictures, Macy’s and Samsung.”

From Tim Barker: Army’s quest for new handgun could take it through Millstadt

“At first glance, it seems absurd to suggest that a small company on the outskirts of St. Louis could be a serious player in the race to provide the U.S. Army with its next handgun.”

From Jeff Sommer: Apple Won’t Always Rule. Just Look at IBM.

“Like IBM in the 1980s, the stock market giant has room to grow, but there are early signs of the end of its dominance.”

From Ellen Byron and Joann S. Lublin: Lackluster Avon Explores Makeover

“Everyone seems to know who the Avon lady is—except for Avon. The company is struggling with its identity. It remains heavily entrenched in the U.S., even though most of its business is abroad. It is one of the biggest direct sellers of beauty products and relies heavily on personal relationships, but it lagged behind in developing an online strategy and hasn’t capitalized on the opportunities of social media. And while its focus is beauty, its representatives are busy selling a wide assortment of housewares and other products, a sort of human”

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