The New Cooties – Gender Contamination

The term “gender contamination” was first introduced by HBS Senior lecturer Jill Avery and refers to how uncomfortable men and women become when a product they use to symbolize their gender also appeals to another gender. Avery first noticed this while working for Gillette, especially how they highlighted a particular product as Gillette for women to increase the separation between the women and man razors. This theory can be applied to numerous other situations such as the divide between diet and non-diet sodas or even yogurts and ice-cream.

After reading this blog post on the Harvard Business review, I thought it was ridiculous that certain products such as a simple soda can be more appealing to one gender than the other, but then I started thinking about my own experiences. When my cousin was born, we only bought clothes of the color pink because she was a girl. When I pick up an energy drink I tend to go for red bull instead of Monster because of its aggressive appearance. If just our gender has an influence on our preferences of goods and services, I wonder what other factors drive our decisions.

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Una Mezcal más, por favor

In almost every country around the world, there is a Mexican restaurant or culture. Their lifestyle is valid in various places and so are their drinks. Mexico has always been famous for its Tequila and tasteful beer, which can be, consumed everywhere in the world because of exporting. They have started to export another drink, Mezcal. The spirit is now booming within Mexico and is being consumed by every social class from the country’s ranchers to their urbanites, and is especially favored by youths. From being regarded as a blue-collar spirit, Mezcal is now viewed very highly and is seen to be “cool”. By exporting this new spirit, Oaxaca’ mezcal producers are now closing in on the global economy, sparking a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Not only is Mezcal now the new “it” drink, but also the consumption of tequila and Mexican beer has been on the rise, especially in the United States. In fact, Corona is one of the top-selling import brands of beer in North America.

The thoughts associated with Mexico will no longer be about the beautiful beaches or the scrumptious food but the massive variety of alcohol.

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Victoria’s Real Secret

Victoria Secret is one of the top retail brands in North America and the UK. In 2012 alone sales were a whopping $6.12 billion. After seeing a post on Cheralyn Chok’s blog, I too got excited by the opening of the flagship store on the corner of Robson and Burrard in Vancouver.

Not only does Victoria Secret have great merchandise but also effective marketing strategies. This includes an annual fashion show hosting worldwide entertainers such as Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift as well as famous and absolutely stunning models from around the world. I agree with Cheralyn that the fashion show has extremely high costs of approximately $13 to $15 million but it also has high returns. The revenue and exposure that is generated from the single fashion show demonstrates that it is a worthwhile investment. Additionally, the lingerie and clothing brand is advertised in many different outlets that consist of television time, online advertisements and magazines. With an efficient online store and numerous stores worldwide, their products are really accessible any where.

It is evident that Victoria’s real secret does not involve angels at all but marketing strategies.

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Lululemon – Sweet or Sour?

After reading a post on lululemon by Matthew Anderson, I was immediately drawn. I have heard of numerous cases in which the designers and managers of a company did not believe that their clothes were meant for everyone, including Ambercrombie and Fitch, as well as Tommy Hilifiger, but I never thought that one of the brands would include lululemon. After learning so much about the company in class and their work with the environment and society, I was surprised to find out that such a socially responsible corporation could be so close-minded.

Along with Matthew and consumers of lululemon I am angered by the CEO’s statement that ” Some women just can’t wear lululemon pants”. I personally believe that it is the consumer’s decision whether they can or cannot wear a pair of pants. The statement was unnecessary and the CEO should have put more thought into before announcing it. Not only did it anger potential and existing consumers, it may also be a cause for the significant drop in stock prices (from $84 a share to $69 a share).

Lululemon is an ideal brand that showcases corporate social responsibility, I hope they can rectify this situation and continue their good work and hopefully influence other clothing companies to adopt some of the same practices.

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Technologically Advancing on the Cheap!

India recently launched a small spacecraft, Mangalyaan, to the planet Mars. For us mere mortals, that is approximately 140 million miles away and a journey of 300 days. For a project of this kind of caliber, one would expect costs to be in the hundreds of millions or even billions considering the research and development that goes into it; however, Indians have proved than an extraordinary task such as this can be completed with only $75 million. India will be the first country in Asia and fourth in the world to have successfully deployed a spacecraft to Mars.

As Indians love their movies, it is only suitable that the costs of launching be compared to the Bollywood, Indian movie industry. One commentator believes that the 75 million used for the launching of the spacecraft is approximately equivalent to the budget of four bollywood movies.

In the last decade, India has gained a lot of recognition for its low-cost and high profit innovation, especially in the fields of health care and education. The Mangalyaan is an ideal example of how innovation could decrease costs. With such ingenuity, the Indian space unit can maintain their budget or perhaps delegate it to fields where capital is lacking. The real question that comes from the Mangalyaan, is where will Indian be cutting costs on next?

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Knock Out! The Industries that beat the recession!

With the worldwide economic recession, most small businesses believed they were going to do worse than they ever have, until a financial information company, Sageworks proved otherwise. The company has recently founded industries, which have grown at double-digit rates over the past year. The top industries with the highest growth rates include:

  • Oilseed and Grain farming
  • Building finishing contactors
  • Real estate agents and broker offices
  • Architectural, engineering and related services

What the following article did not disclose however, was why and how these industries are still growing despite the economic recession. I personally believe it is primarily because they are necessary to human life as the industries involve food and shelter. As populations continue to grow exponentially, the following industries will always be needed. Unlike most small businesses, the following industries do not produce or distribute only luxury goods and services; no matter what social or economic class consumers are, they still have a need for food and housing services, which allows the small businesses to still thrive in the harsh economic environment.

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The New Mark Zuckerberg

The world believed that the only billionaire to ever wear slippers and a hooded jacket to a boardroom was Mark Zuckerberg, but watch out Mark because Yoshikazu Tanaka may just take your place. The 35-year-old Japanese entrepreneur built a mobile social gaming business, Gree that took over the world. Valued at over $2.2 Billion, Tanaka is more than able to take Gree to the international markets especially countries in Europe, the United States and Brazil. He aspires to increase the number of Gree users to a billion, fives times the current level.

It is believed that the company will be able to follow through it goals of expanding into international markets as it has just partnered with Tencent. Tencent is one of China’s major social network businesses, which recently acquired a large US gaming company, OpenFeint. Partnerships are a means of a faster way to grow and evolve. This may mean that Gree has a bigger market share in the gaming market. Working with other businesses also means sharing of good practices and ideas.


Boykoff, Pamela. Japan’s ‘Zuckerberg’ leads new wave of entrepreneurs . 7 October 2013. 7 October 2013 <>.

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The Price of Terrorism

On the 21st of September, Nairobi’s main shopping center, Westgate mall was the site of a terrorist attack that left over 68 dead. Adding on to the tragic event, the Kenyan economy is left devastated. Since the year 2002, the country’s economy has been growing by approximately 5% each year. The country’s economy was expected to grow by more than 6% this year, but in the light of recent events, it is expected to drop substantially.


Nairobi’s main source of income relies on the tourism industry. Millions a year go on Safari in Kenya, especially in the Great Rift Valley and the Serengeti. Economist and local business owners fear that Kenya’s political instability will horrifically impact the economy and cause the number of tourists visiting to drop by 30% from its statistic of 1.8 million tourists in 2011. Not only will this adversely impact the country’s GDP and the success of businesses directed to tourism but the standard of living in Nairobi. It is believed that as a result of the political instability, the future of the Kenyan people does not look so bright. With less money and business coming into the country, health and wellness as well as the quality of life should decrease and the world’s largest slum may just become bigger.

Sweet, Ken. Before Attack, Kenya’s Economic Future was Bright. 22 September 2013. 26 September 2013 <>.

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“Modelpreneurs” – It Pays to be Pretty

Step aside pumps, women in silhouettes now run the business world! In this day and age, Models are no longer just the figures in front of the camera, but the leaders of the business world. Brazilian Model Gisele Bundchen was named one of the richest models earning over $42 million dollars from endorsement deals from various brands such as H&M, Chanel and Victoria’s Secret. 

Tyra Banks slowly follows behind by making her money a different way. Known as the main judge and creator of a world famous show America’s Next Top Model and the Tyra Banks show, Banks has created an entire empire under her name. In this era, it clear Models are not only pretty but also smart!


McKenzie, Sheena. Beyond the catwalk: Meet the new generation of ‘modelpreneurs’ . 13 September 2013. 14 September 2013 <>.


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One Kiss too Far, An example of Unethical Marketing

Ethics are the moral principles that guide decision-making and strategy. An ethically and socially responsible business is likely act morally in its treatment towards workers, customers, shareholders and the natural environment. Unethical Marketing is a form of unethical business and refers to the actions that cause offense to members of the general public. Examples of unethical marketing include the bait-and-switch, whereby a deal that is too good to be true is advertised to entice customers and when customers are finally hooked on a deal they discover that the deal is no longer available or was not what was advertised. Other unethical marketing strategies involve unsubstantial claims such as “4/5 people prefer.” which uses promotional declaration that cannot be proved or product misrepresentation e.g. the Rasberry phone.

The advertisement below by the clothing brand Sisley depicts two women snorting what is obviously a shirt but could be perceived as an illegal substance as suggested by the words junkie. The ad indirectly promotes drugs to a target audience of young girls, therefore being highly unethical.

The advertisement by the United Colors of Benetton, another clothing brand on the other hand uses a false photograph of Pope Benedict XVI and Egyptian figure head Ahmed El-Tayeb sharing a kiss. It does not only disrespect religion, but also homosexuality and international relations, making it extremely unethical.

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