From Knowledge@Wharton – “Like many food companies, Kraft Foods has had to deal with the rising costs for commodities, as well as the changing wants and needs of consumers. Several years ago, the company — which has annual revenues of more than $18 billion and a 27-brand portfolio that includes Velveeta, Jell-O and Kool-Aid — was launching new products at a rapid rate, but it wasn’t really investing in any of them. In recent interview on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111, Barry Calpino, Kraft’s vice president for breakthrough innovation, discussed how Kraft rethought its strategy and reaped the rewards of a multi-year, multi-channel mindset to marketing.”
From Economist Magazine – “Unilever defines sustainability broadly. It includes not just environmental factors but improving the lot of customers and workers—its own and those in its supply chain. It also aims to contribute to society as a whole. These goals are seen as necessary to maintain the firm’s ‘licence to operate’ in an age when, Mr Polman believes, companies will be subject to increasing public scrutiny.”
From FastCompany – “In the age of smartphones and tablets, it may seem odd when a company that sells its goods online isn’t optimized for mobile devices. But shopping on such gadgets remains so fraught with clumsiness and confusion that 68% of mobile carts are abandoned. To address this pain point, Braintree on Tuesday rolled out new developer tools so its customers–including Uber, Airbnb, HotelTonight, TaskRabbit, and Angry Birds creator Rovio, to name a few–can simplify and speed up the payment process on mobile devices. The release of OneTouch PayPal comes shortly after Visa debuted Visa Checkout, a layer that lets customers purchase products online without having to re-enter their payment information on new sites.”
From FT.com Youtube – FT business education editor Della Bradshaw talks to Adam Kingl, executive director of learning solutions at London Business School, about ways in which virtual team meetings can break biases in thinking and encourage business innovation.
From Washington Post – “Elana Fine, the managing director at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, took questions from readers last week. Here are excerpts, lightly edited for grammar and clarity.”
From Chief Learning Officer Magazine -“The ability to generate, vet and bring new ideas to fruition may be one of the saving graces for companies looking to grow and thrive in the current economy.”
From Bloomberg Businessweek – “Given the explosive growth of China’s urban elite in recent years, there’s money to be made catering to finicky demands. Since 2009, Zhang’s customer base has grown 20 percent to 50 percent a year. Zhang has reeled in $40 million from Western and Chinese investors and millions more in government subsidies. His company generates revenue of $18 million to $24 million a year, and he says he now runs one of China’s largest organic farming and retailing operations, spanning thousands of acres across eight provinces.”
From Washington Post – “Many believe social entrepreneurship means neglecting the bottom line and profit margins. Michaels says that doesn’t have to be the case.”