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Saturday, 12 October 2019

Weekly Reading - Some Interesting Stuff


1) What went wrong at Forever21
From its reign as king of the mall just a few years ago to its tumble into bankruptcy court last month, Forever 21 is a spectacular success story that seems destined for an unhappy ending.
South Korean immigrants Jin Sook and Do Wan Chang started the chain in 1984 with $11,000 that they saved from working in low-paying service jobs. Their first store was a 900-square-foot space in Northeast Los Angeles that offered cheap and trendy clothing to a young, mostly Korean-American clientele.
Their fast-fashion business model, which was based on quick-turnaround designs that could be inexpensively mass produced, proved wildly popular with young customers who didn’t have much money to spend but wanted the latest looks. By 2015, global sales peaked at $4.4 billion, with 480 stores occupying enormous spaces in malls across America

2) Look who is certifying our food
International Life Sciences Institute, a U.S. nonprofit with an innocuous sounding name has been quietly infiltrating government health and nutrition bodies around the world. Created four decades ago by a top Coca-Cola executive, the institute now has branches in 18 countries. It is almost entirely funded by Goliaths of the agribusiness, food and pharmaceutical industries.
The organization, which championed tobacco interests during the 1980s and 1990s in Europe and the United States, has more recently expanded its activities in Asia and Latin America, regions that provide a growing share of food company profits. It has been especially active in China, India and Brazil, the world’s first, second and sixth most populous nations.
After decades largely operating under the radar, ILSI is coming under increasing scrutiny by health advocates in the United States and abroad who say it is little more than a front group advancing the interests of the 400 corporate members that provide its $17 million budget, among them Coca-Cola, DuPont, PepsiCo, General Mills and Danone.

3) Disinformation for hire
The staples of Russian misinformation campaigns—fake news and social media propaganda—are turning up in a new place: the private sector. For a small fee, companies can pay Russian operatives to boost their image or smear their competitors, employing some of the same tactics used by the Kremlin to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The range of services offered by the Russian PR firms is startling. Not only do the firms deploy fake accounts on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, but they offer a service to plant news articles in English-language media outlets.

4) Mental toughness is the key to success
Research is starting to reveal that your mental toughness — or “grit” as they call it — plays a more important role than anything else when it comes to achieving your goals in health, business, and life. That’s good news because you can’t do much about the genes you were born with, but you can do a lot to develop mental toughness.
Mental toughness is like a muscle. It needs to be worked to grow and develop. If you haven’t pushed yourself in thousands of small ways, of course you’ll wilt when things get really difficult.

5) How Fogg came to dominate the deo market and displaced MNCs
An old article on how Fogg went about dominating he market and overtook HUL, ITC, Nivea and others. The domination continues even today.
The answer lies in the brand’s ability to reinvent itself, constantly. From being a newbie pitching product attributes such as ‘No Gas, Only Perfume’ to a brand talking to youngsters as well as the older generation, Fogg has done it all in a bid to stay relevant to its consumers.
Patel admits his strategy has been to expand the toehold that Fogg initially gave him. ‘No Gas, Only Perfume’ was all about how the fragrance of the deo lingered on the body rather than vaporising into thin air, which was a flaw in most deodorants back then.
Fogg also advertised this proposition heavily in its early days, comparing number of sprays of average deos versus its own ability to do so. The consumer was clearly excited. 

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