Oral-B’s Genius X-Factor

Oral-B’s Genius X-Factor

November 14, 2019

Oral-B introduced a “smart” electric toothbrush called Genius X that connects to your smartphone to help you brush better using artificial intelligence.

The app informs you with a rating for how well you brushed – where you applied too much pressure or missed certain spots.  Genius X is an improvement over earlier models, as you don’t need the phone’s camera or the help of a dentist to perfect your brushing.


Video Spotlight: Oral-B Genius X first impressions of the AI toothbrush


This post is based on The Verge article, Oral-B’s new $220 toothbrush has AI to tell you when you’re brushing poorly, by Jay Peters, October 25, 2019, and the YouTube video, Oral-B Genius X first impressions of the AI toothbrush, by TechAdvisor, February 26, 2019. Image source: sebra/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What role does technology play in introducing Oral-B’s Genius X toothbrush?

Guidance: Oral-B has integrated artificial intelligence in its core product to improve its design and maintain its position as a leader in Internet-Of-Things technology.

2. What are the strategic implications of Oral-B’s focus on innovating electric toothbrushes?

Guidance: Oral-B maintains leadership in product innovation, demonstrates its competence in integrating technology in Continue reading

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Party Continues for Fiesta China

Party Continues for Fiesta China

November 9, 2019

The Homer Laughlin China Company (HLC) of Newell, West Virginia, navigates a tough business environment to maintain its iconic Fiesta brand as the last large commercial pottery maker in the U.S..

Despite strong competition from China, Mexico, and India, affordable pricing, and a heavily manual manufacturing process, HLC has diversified its business into 60% consumer market and 40% food service industry.

The company also started its own online sales 10 years ago.

As a result, HLC is able to remain competitive with its top quality Fiesta China carrying the made-in-America credentials since 1871.


Video Spotlight: How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made


This post is based on the Forbes article, The Family-Owned Company That Makes FiestaWare Counts On Diversification And Online Sales For Growth, by Jim Vinoski, October 24, 2019, and the YouTube video, How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made, by Insider, September 9, 2018. Image source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges of the commercial pottery industry in the U.S.?

Guidance: The challenges include strong foreign competitors from China, Mexico, and India on labor costs, strong local competitions with 30+ pottery makers, price competition, and a heavily manual manufacturing process.

2. How did Homer Laughlin Continue reading

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Plant-Based Sausage Pizza in a Round box

Plant-Based Sausage Pizza in a Round box

November 3, 2019

Pizza Hut is adding to the growing list of restaurants that are experimenting with or adopting plant-based meat.

In one Phoenix restaurant location, for one day only, on October 23, 2019, Pizza Hut introduced a Morning Star Farm’s plant-based sausage pizza, and packaged it in a “planet friendly” round pizza box made by Zume, Inc.

If the one-day test goes well, Pizza Hut will evaluate rolling out one or both innovations to more locations.


Video Spotlight: Pizza Hut testing plant-based sausage topping in Phoenix


This post is based on the Nation’s Restaurant News article, Pizza Hut Testing Plant-Based Sausage Served in Zume Round Box, by Nancy Luna and Gloria Dawson, October 22, 2019; the Fast Company article, Two Years in The Making, Pizza Hut Tests a Round Pizza Box, by Jeff Beer, October 22, 2019; and the YouTube video, Pizza Hut testing plant-based sausage topping in Phoenix, by 12 News, October 22, 2019. Image source: D. Hurst / Alamy

Discussion Questions:

1. Why introduce a plant-based sausage?

Guidance: The tremendous success of other plant-based meats by several fast-food restaurants is driving more restaurants to consider adding it to their menus.  Several have seen Continue reading

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