Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 6/17/16

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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 Delta Airlines, Procter & Gamble, The Gym Group, El Sembrador, and Chick-fil-A.

From Scott Mayerowitz: Delta’s new CEO: consider service and reliability over price

“Delta Air Lines is posting record profits and is generally envied by the rest of the industry, due largely to its success in catering to high-paying business passengers. While other carriers try to copy that model, Delta’s new CEO, Ed Bastian, has turned his attention to the rest of the plane. Bastian wants to convince leisure travelers to choose Delta not based on price, but on the experience. That could be a hard sell in a culture where most fliers look for the cheapest flight that fits their schedule.”

From Jennifer Reingold: Can Procter & Gamble Find Its Aim Again?

“It’s been a humbling decade for the consumer products giant. Now leaner and more focused, with its third CEO in three years, can the king of brands regain its relevance after years of subpar returns?”

From Rebecca Smith: Why John Treharne is making traditional gyms sweat

“The founder of no-frills The Gym Group tells MT how he’s forcing upmarket operators to get in shape.”

From Joseph A. Mann, Jr.: El Sembrador sells yuca, and more, in 31 states

“Miami-based L&J General International Corp., which does business as El Sembrador (‘The Planter’ in Spanish), produces and sells a wide range of processed foods — from yuca and beans to frozen guava pulp and tostones — with packaging in English and Spanish.”

From Virginia Chamlee: How Chick-fil-A Went from Cult Favorite to Fast Food Behemoth

“In a sea of electric-hued burgers, ‘O’-shaped chicken rings, and fried chicken patties masquerading as sandwich buns, Chick-fil-A’s menu stands out. Unlike many of its fast-food brethren, the chicken chain has shunned gimmicks in favor of a relatively forthright menu — by fast-food standards, anyway. While KFC was busy touting the latest iteration of the Double Down, Chick-fil-A quietly introduced a new salad. While McDonald’s was shilling mozzarella sticks, Chick-fil-A unveiled a fairly unremarkable new line of sauces.”

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