This case profiles Cutco and Vector Marketing and the direct selling business model, which the company uses to market and sell their products directly to consumers through an independent, volunteer sales force. College students, which make up most of the sales force, are given an opportunity to earn a commission on the products they sell, while gaining sales experience in a flexible work environment. Cutco provides a “forever guarantee” on all of its products, which includes service or replacement of products at any time. Knives are made through a three-stage heat process to ensure the highest level of quality. Cutco prides itself on being one of the few American cutlery companies to manufacture solely in the U.S. They continue to operate in Olean, New York where they were founded in 1949.
Two homeschooled Florida teenagers meet in a homeschool group arranged by their moms, start community college at 14 years of age and discover a shared passion for social entrepreneurship. The result of that passion was the global jewelry and accessories start-up called Trades of Hope, founded in 2010. The company utilizes the direct selling distribution channel to create a supply chain of fair trade artisans in developing countries and a U.S. salesforce of more than 7,000 compassionate entrepreneurs who build businesses of their own. This case reveals the journey from passion to profit is not unique from other successful entrepreneurs on Main Street or in Silicon Valley. The common framework is the effectuation mindset and the process by which they innovate. This case study introduces students of entrepreneurship, marketing, social enterprise, or organizational development to the effectuation methodology, also known as the entrepreneurial mindset, using social entrepreneurship in the context of ethical direct selling and the movement to go beyond social responsibility to social value creation.
On September 4, 2018, Nike, Inc. launched a new ad campaign featuring, Colin Kaepernick, a professional athlete with a highly polarizing image. Kaepernick, known for kneeling in protest during the national anthem at National Football League games, immediately drew criticism from the public. Over the next two days, Twitter ignited with calls for a boycott and images of people burning and destroying Nike products. Nike stock price began falling and consumer favorability, even among key demographics, continued eroding. How can Nike rein in the anger at their brand? Or, should they take advantage of it?
On August 29, 2018 Eric Bauman, Chairman of the Democratic Party of California sent out a midnight tweet exposing In-N-Out Burger’s donation of $25,000 to the Republican party and called for a nationwide boycott. How In-N-Out responds to the viral sensation could affect their reputation in their home state of California and alter their corporate political donation policy.
Global Genes, a patient advocacy group for the rare disease community, must plan for the launch and marketing of Rare X, a new data collection and analysis platform. This moonshot proposal is contingent upon the collaboration of various stakeholder groups and will require strategic communicative efforts to properly deliver the proposal
On July 3, 2018, bookseller Barnes & Noble released a statement saying that their CEO, Demos Parneros, was terminated, effective immediately, for “violating the company’s policies.” In this abrupt firing, Barnes & Noble did not specify the policies that were violated, but did mention that it was not related to any disagreement with the company regarding its financial performance. Suspicion quickly grew that Parneros was just the latest executive caught up in a #MeToo moment.
In 2013, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided 14 7-Eleven stores that subjected about 50 undocumented immigrants to negligent human rights violations. In 2018, ICE conducted a raid of separately owned franchises that resulted in 21 additional arrests. The franchises were held liable. How can tension be resolved between franchises and the parent company?
Winemaker Meaghan Tardif discusses the challenges of hiring and managing employees within a small business.
How do we make a full-time job out of all the different tasks while avoiding burnout?
Anne Tucker, Tasting Room Manager, discusses demographics of consumers and marketing strategies for Fabbioli Cellars.
How are we better able to incorporate new ideas without pushback?
Owner Doug Fabbioli discusses the challenges of marketing and distribution for their agriculturally based local business.
How can we build an efficient plan for our offsite presence while managing our costs?