Anyone who’s ever tried out a Yogibo knows that you don’t just sit on a Yogibo, you experience it. It’s a beanbag, yes, but it’s also so much more. The stretch fabric technology filled with frictionless beans allows the Yogibo to transform and mold to the user’s body, always resulting in the perfect fit, or, as one customer put it, a “shockingly comfortable” experience.
“When people see the Yogibo they think it’s a bean bag, but when they try it, they realize it’s not,” says Eyal Levy, founder of Yogibo. “They don’t anticipate it to be as comfortable as it is.”
Read more: Yogibo
There is never a foot that walks into a Town Shoes Ltd. store that can’t be paired with its perfect match. As the largest branded footwear retailer in Canada, Town Shoes Ltd.’s supply chain ensures its customer service is top-notch and merchandise is always available at any store because of its efficient supply chain.
The Toronto-based company has been providing footwear, handbags and accessories since 1952 under the umbrella of four brands: Town Shoes, The Shoe Co., Shoe Warehouse and Sterling. Its merchandise varies by banner ranging from luxury to affordable. “In Canada, we are the largest branded footwear retailer and that gives us an edge in the marketplace,” Vice President of Planning and Supply Chain Ilona Williams says. “We pride ourselves on offering world-class customer service. It’s one of our key pillars both in the field at the store level and in our support center.”
Read more: Town Shoes Ltd.
T-Mobile, the fourth-largest cell phone and wireless network provider in the country, is aggressively working to win new customers away from its competitors – AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint – with its year-old “Un-carrier” strategy. And it’s working. T-Mobile added 4.4 million customers in 2013, making it the fastest-growing U.S. telecom last year.
T-Mobile experienced two other boons last year: It became an iPhone carrier and merged with Metro PCS, a prepaid wireless service. With business booming, there’s tremendous pressure on the supply chain to meet demand and operate efficiently. Companies dream of having this kind of “problem” — even the guy in charge of managing the supply chain.
Read more: T-Mobile USA
In the burgeoning craft beer segment, it is better to create trends than follow them, says Tomme Arthur, director of brewery operations and co-founder of Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey. “We’ve done a really good job of what we call being ahead of the curve,” Arthur declares. “We never look at the trend. We’re always evolving. One of the goals of the company for us is to not be concerned about what others are doing, but concentrate on what we are doing. If we focus our energy on what we can do, we should be OK. My point is that we don’t tend to react to trends or look to be a part of them.”
Port Brewing and Lost Abbey does not reason backwards by trying to find out what style of beer people want to drink and then brewing a product that matches consumers’ tastes. Rather, the brewery has proceeded confidently to brew what it likes and assume that drinkers will follow its lead.
Read more: Port Brewing and Lost Abbey
From its Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters, Pilot Flying J has become the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America. Today, it has more than 650 locations in the United States and Canada, while its Pilot Logistics Services subsidiary is one of the fastest-growing energy logistics companies in North America. The company is the top seller of over-the-road diesel fuel in the nation and one of the 40-largest private carriers in the country. Recently, it has reinvested hundreds of millions of dollars into existing facilities, remodeling travel plazas and renovating shower facilities.
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Dr. Howard Murad’s unique path to becoming a dermatologist allowed him to pave the way for the creation of Murad Inc., the first brand of clinical skincare products. Dr. Murad had completed his studies as a pharmacist before attending medical school and opening a dermatology practice in Westchester, Calif. His training as a pharmacist enabled him to compound custom formulas to help his patients, and he ultimately pioneered the medi-spa concept to give people broader access to high-performance skincare services.
“I was struck by the number of patients who were not getting the help they needed from established treatment protocols,” Dr. Murad says. “I looked for innovative ways to help my patients. Back then, there were very few effective products available to address things such as acne, wrinkles, age spots and pigmentation.”
Read more: Murad Inc.
Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains in a small North Carolina town stands one of Main Street’s most iconic places: the Mast General Store. Established in 1883, the Mast General Store was not only the place community members gathered, but also the store that carried everything the residents needed. “If you can’t buy it here, you don’t need it” became its slogan and that tradition continues today.
When the doors of the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, N.C., closed in 1977, residents believed it was just for the winter and that it would reopen in April. Much to their dismay however, those plans didn’t pan out and local residents banded together in an effort to save the old store. But it wasn’t until 1979 when John and Faye Cooper purchased the old store and reopened it in 1980 that it regained its reputation of “the store that had everything.”
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The word “innovation” has a very simple meaning: a new idea or method. It’s the ability to look at something and figure out how to do it better, faster and sometimes cheaper. Although many of today’s new ideas arrive with great fanfare and shareholder frenzy, often it’s the simple things that have the most impact on a business and its customers.
So how do you create the optimal climate for creative thinking that solves problems and pushes boundaries? At the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), one of the biggest purchasers of beverage alcohol in the world, Executive Vice President Dr. George Soleas says you focus on the strengths of your people instead of trying to fix their weaknesses, and you let their ideas be heard.
Read more: Liquor Control Board of Ontario
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