How Panera Bread Resists Pricing Cuts, More on Tropicana’s Packaging Problem and Social Networks for Job Search

Highlighted Marketing Stories:

Slicing the Bread but Not the Prices (Wall Street Journal) – The recession has been tough on almost all companies and many have resorted to lowering prices in order to keep customers from going elsewhere.  But as this story explains, Panera Bread Company is taking a different approach and instead of trying to attract customers with lower prices it is attracting customers with stronger product offerings.

“Most of the world seems to be focused on the Americans who are unemployed,” says Panera Chief Executive Ron Shaich. “We’re focused on the 90% that are still employed.”

Is Panera the new “it” restaurant chain and if so do they have long-term staying power?

Managing Risk in a Package Redesign: What Can We Learn From Tropicana? (Brand Packaging) – Poor Tropicana.  They have been pummeled for their change in packaging design.  No doubt their misstep will be a case study in marketing textbooks for years to come.  If you have not followed along then check out this story.

In announcing the move back to Tropicana Pure Premium’s original packaging, a senior Tropicana executive made an interesting point, saying, “We underestimated the deep emotional bond that ‘our most loyal customers’ had with the original packaging…what we didn’t get was the passion that this very loyal small group of consumers have…”

How could marketing research have helped alert the company to potential problems before going through with the change?

How the Web Has Changed Job Searching (BusinessWeek) – The combination of recession and changes in the job search process model have many job seekers bewildered.  Here is a good story examining how social networks are playing a role in job hunting.

While networking is (and has traditionally been) the best way to find a new job, the second-most effective tool is another type of networking: sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, according to a poll released Aug. 17 by placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Is it possible for Facebook to compete against LinkedIn when it comes to networking for jobs?