My wife’s favorite holiday is Halloween. As such, we were in the market for a life-sized skeleton for the house. We also recently became Costco members, so that seemed the natural place to get some discount decorations. We purchased some (I mean a lot) of Halloween candy there, but didn’t pull the trigger on Costco’s…

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What will Gillette do? As a starter, they cut prices by 12%. Good for consumers (and society overall), bad for investors. Competition’s role is to drive prices down and quality up. This is part of the reason private capitalism is better than state-controlled enterprise.

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“It’s not that Penney has been sitting idly by. On the contrary, CEO Marvin Ellison has been moving quickly to try to keep Penney on track with moves such as bringing back appliances last year after 33 years, expanding the number of Sephora beauty shops within a Penney store, and introducing new plus-size apparel lines,”…

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Millward Brown’s brand valuation analyses provide strong evidence of the importance of branding for business leaders. Brand is about reputation. A brand generates trust for a company, for its products, and for its services. The brands mentioned in the BrandZ top 100 list are the world’s most trusted.

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High barriers to entry must be keeping competitors from providing alternatives to off-patent generic drugs. What could be the source of these barriers to entry?
It isn’t the lack of know how. Many firms are able to produce chemicals, even specialized chemicals in the life sciences. And, that is what a drug is: it is a chemical. As observed in animal health care, agricultural chemistry and many other specialty chemical companies: competition keeps prices relatively low. Yet, in human life sciences, there is insufficient competition.

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Whereas airlines are a particularly visible example of an industry struggling with price structures and value offerings, every company in every industry should pay close attention to their customers and what their customers value. Airlines are a particularly visible example of an industry struggling to think creatively about how best to capture the right price for the value provided.

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JC Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson has had a tough go at it. Stock valuation is down roughly 40% since the time Johnson took over. Customer sales are down 20% from last year. Some are calling for his resignation. But before we chant “off with his head” with the Twitterati, let’s see if we can’t help him find a way out of his quandary.

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