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A Cup of Cheer

Starbucks transcends hokey marketing tactics with its controversial 2015 holiday cup

It’s no secret Starbucks’ holiday cuptroversy has created a lot of extra buzz for them this season. By removing the ‘“symbols of the season,” the coffee giant is being accused of going overboard to be politically correct. This new, bold design ignited an overblown conspiracy theory that got the internet chattering. But instead of mourning the loss of kitschy graphics, we are applauding Starbucks on their brand’s success.

Dec 17, 2015 Rebecca Plumb & Meghan Phillips

‘Tis the Season to Support Small Business

A year after opening, Display: California rings in the ‘HollaDays’ once again

One year ago, the husband-and-wife team of Roshaun and Maritza Davis opened their Display: California pop-up retail store, selling holiday gifts from about 30 artists in the Sacramento area. They called it, “The HollaDays.” The “HollaDays” are back at the shop’s location on 34th Street and Broadway in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood. But Display isn’t simply a seasonal gift shop. 

Dec 16, 2015 Joan Cusick

So, You Want To Be the Next Big Thing?

5 tips for launching a successful product

Sometimes, a real no-brainer, problem-solver of a product can crash and burn spectacularly upon entering the market. This isn’t limited to the Pepsi Clears of the world, where sheer ridiculousness doomed the idea from the start: According to Nielsen data, 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods will fail within two years. Marketing snafus, bad luck and timing aside, pitfalls in the process of product design are often to blame. Catching oneself before blundering into them takes a conscious effort, as several local designers and makers illustrate.

Dec 8, 2015 Andy Galloway

Show Them That You Care

10 ways to let your clients know you appreciate them

Of course we care about our clients, but are they feelin’ it? You may think you are doing a great job of appreciating clients, but consider this disconnect: According to a Harvard Management Update generated by Bain and Co., 80 percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. Obviously, it’s time to consider some appreciation tactics. 

Nov 23, 2015 Gordon Fowler

The Marvelous Mentor

Chris Johnson’s massive success affords next-gen business leaders the opportunity to grow

In the coming months, Chris Johnson will ask a lot of his employees, whose average age is just 24 years old. He expects to do $30 million in retail sales this third year of manufacturing, recently signed a powerful licensing deal with Disney’s Marvel, and plans to expand from the four products currently on shelves to more than 100 next year. But Johnson’s hiring strategy emphasizes passion over experience, something he says his team has in spades.

Nov 17, 2015 Andy Galloway
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The Many Shades of Structure

What legal structure is best for my business?

For many years, I have been making furniture that I sell to friends and family, and at local fairs and boutiques. It has become so successful that I’d like to work toward officially starting my own business. I know there are many ways I could set up my company; how do I know what will be best for me?

Sep 9, 2015 Coral Henning
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How to Make a Living as a Yogi

Financially sustainable best practices for yogapreneurs

Yoga instructors keep so many of us fit, grounded, mindful, focused and from going postal. Which is why I decided to put my professional talents to work on a market research project for yogapreneurs. The notion was solidified over coffee with one of my favorite yogis who agreed that what yogapreneurs need is what they can’t afford: the strategy and market insights to support their passion-fueled careers.

Aug 27, 2015 MaryJayne Zemer

Polish that Message

10 strategies for creating a diversified ad campaign

Super Bowl ads aren’t for everyone. If you’re a multi-billion-dollar global brand, shelling out $4.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime may be perfectly reasonable. For the rest of us, there are a few, slightly more affordable options for spending those marketing dollars. And spend them you should. A solid advertising strategy is essential to growing your business.

Aug 27, 2015 Gordon Fowler
photo: Jessa Ciel

WAL Street

Meet some of R Street Corridor’s newest neighbors

Energy: That’s the word that gets repeated often around the Warehouse Artist Lofts on R Street between 11th and 12th streets, and for good reason: The mixed-use loft project is teeming with artists, creative retailers and enterprising restaurants whose diversity is matched only by the eclectic mix of business owners who have bought into developer Ali Youssefi’s plan for the building.

Aug 19, 2015 John Blomster