Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 8/5/16

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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 Yahoo, Hershey’s, Adidas, Whole Foods, and Reebok.

From the Economist: Does it ad up?

“‘POETIC’ is how Marissa Mayer, the boss of Yahoo (pictured), described the sale. Others, remembering better times at Yahoo, see little that is artful about the decline and fall of the 22-year-old internet company. On July 25th, Verizon, a telecoms giant that is also America’s biggest mobile operator, announced it would buy Yahoo’s main internet business for $4.8 billion (a price that does not include the firm’s properties in Asia or its portfolio of patents). The sum is paltry compared with Microsoft’s offer of $45 billion in 2008, which Yahoo’s management turned down, arguing that the firm was worth far more.”

For another look at Yahoo, check out my post: “Yahoo and the strategy that never was.”

From Bob Fernandez: Why Hershey’s chocolate company is facing a historic test

“With mass-market U.S. chocolate consumption on the wane and millennial tastes trending toward health-conscious snacks, the Hershey Co. chocolate giant faces a challenging future, analysts say.”

From Shareen Pathak: How Adidas wiped out a chunk of its own management to drive growth

“In the last year, Adidas has pulled off a massive turnaround and seen its share price go up 250 percent. Much of that success, said the company, is due to an internal reorganization of the brand that directly affected sales.”

From Michelle Gerdes: What Whole Foods Is Learning by Trading Down

“Going down-market isn’t anything new. Many luxury and premium companies have tried to head off the trend of consumers trading down to a different brand by developing a lower-cost line of products themselves (example: BMW’s $32,000 2 Series). But it’s a risky move: Companies don’t want to cannibalize their original higher-cost product too much by putting a same-enough product on the market at a lower price.”

From Don Howard: Case Study: The CrossFit Factor

“How Reebok Used 3D Body Shape Analysis to Reach New Heights in Apparel Performance”

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