Sell something: Mobile phone

New smartphones come on the market at least every year. Each model has its own pros and cons, giving that company the opportunity to beat out its nearest competitors for a share of the market. But it's a tough market! If you were going to introduce a new phone, you'd need to make it pretty special.

That's exactly the task required here: you and your teacher are going to come up with a new phone and create an ad that will persuade consumers to buy it.

Try to include two or more of the following power words:

  • hottest;
  • effortless;
  • daring;
  • savings;
  • attractive; and/or
  • phenomenal.

Rant: Marketing school is failing

A "rant" is passionate, typically angry, speech or writing about a particular topic.

The topic of this rant from 2013 is the failure of marketing schools to prepare students for the new internet-based marketing industry. 

Take a deep breath and try to read as emphatically as you can.

"Unfortunately, the curriculum taught in today’s universities does not reflect the social media reality. Not one résumé from a 2013 marketing graduate on my desk contains a single social media account, blog or website URL. These are bare-minimum requirements to work as a marketer today. When asked, every candidate has openly admitted that they don’t read any blogs.

"The interview process proved what the résumés hinted at—that today’s marketing graduates have virtually zero Internet marketing training or knowledge. 

Aeon aims to attract older shoppers

Retail giant Aeon Co. has renovated 13 outlets across the country to cater to seniors, offering earlier opening hours and services that encourage asatomo (morning friends) get-togethers.

Kohei Nakahara, a store manager, canvassed elderly people who frequent nearby parks to better understand their needs. “We brought what they want to do into our store, and it resulted in them staying longer. We want to make the store a place like a community hall for neighbors,” he said.

Aeon Retail positioned one store each in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka as model outlets for seniors. Aeon Kasai, the first newly-renovated store to open since 2013, has tried to attract seniors by offering various services from health checkups to a shop that sells fashionable canes.

Uniqlo's change in strategy

Uniqlo has made the most of inexpensive labor in Asia to become a leading global SPA player. But making goods overseas is not necessarily compatible with responding quickly to customer needs. That is why the company is rethinking the typical approach of churning out products in emerging economies.

To more swiftly respond to customer needs, the company is working on a system for sending out goods in as few as 10 days. To achieve that, airplanes will be essential, although costly.

Not every product needs to be delivered by air. But how to decide which item, and how many, should be shipped via plane? That is what the Ariake office is working on. It has established a system that suggests the best course of action after factoring in such variables as production status, inventory level, shipping time, shipping capacity for surface and air options, and delivery to the store.

Why is Amazon buying Whole Foods?

Amazon swooped in to buy the high-end grocer Whole Foods on Friday, paying $13.7 billion, or $42 a share—a healthy 27% premium on the previous day's closing price.

So what's in it for Amazon?

There are a couple of strategic plays at work for the online retail giant.

For starters, acquiring Whole Foods' 440 US stores—many of them in prime locations—could bolster the network for AmazonFresh, the company's grocery delivery service.

"To efficiently ship groceries to consumers, you need physical distribution (item-picking to put parcels together, click-and-collect points) close to the consumer," analysts at Bernstein wrote in a research note. "Stores are ideally located for that. They won't look like stores in five years' time, but they will be in those locations."

Instagram to gain users in Germany

Instagram will see a double-digit user gain in Germany in 2017, according to eMarketer’s first-ever estimate for that social network’s use in the country, led by adoption by younger users.

But Facebook’s gains will slow to a trickle as user penetration for the country’s leading social network plateaus.

Instagram has enjoyed strong user growth in Germany in recent years, and that expansion will continue in 2017.