Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 6/27/14

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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 Happy Hanky, Kevco, Kure, Sephora, and WISErg.

From Diane Mastrull: Daintily Quaint

“Of the mix of ingredients Colleen Corcoran needs to succeed as a small-business owner, these three are key: runny noses, nostalgic consumers, and tears. She would prefer tears of joy. Her product’s name is Happy Hanky, after all”

From Thomas Heath: From Supreme Court to Reagan National, Kevco polishes glass and soaks up profits

“About half those jobs include washing windows. The rest involves cleaning parking garages and building facades. … The company has never lost money in its 26 years.”

From Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie: Making The World A Better Place, One Juice At A Time

“Picture this: It’s 3PM. You’ve already had a long and exhausting day at work, and you have 15 precious minutes to step away for a drink or snack. You know you don’t want to hit the vending machines for a coke and some potato chips, so you step outside and hit the streets, looking for that extra something that will get you through the rest of the day, instead of adding heartburn to your list of problems. You see a bright green sign on the sidewalk. ‘Kure’, it says.”

From Dan McGinn: How Sephora Reorganized to Become a More Digital Brand

“Sephora, the cosmetics retailer, has been widely recognized as a leader in integrating its digital marketing efforts into its overall strategy. As one sign of that, Sephora has a single executive who serves as both chief marketing officer and chief digital officer. Julie Bornstein told HBR how she’s leading Sephora’s efforts online and offline. Edited excerpts:”

From Rachel Lerman: Former Microsoft manager uses software background to reduce food waste

“Former Microsoft manager Larry LeSueur made an interesting career move four years ago — he went from working with software to working with waste.”

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