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L'impero dei mattoncini

Wow   10.06.17  

Nascita, caduta e resurrezione dell'impero dei mattoncini. Il segreto del successo del brand Lego raccontato dal Guardian.

From its founding in 1932 until 1998, Lego had never posted a loss. By 2003 it was in big trouble. Sales were down 30% year-on-year and it was $800m in debt. An internal report revealed it hadn’t added anything of value to its portfolio for a decade.

Consultants hurried to Lego’s Danish HQ. They advised diversification. The brick had been around since the 1950s, they said, it was obsolete. Lego should look to Mattel, home to Fisher-Price, Barbie, Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys, a company whose portfolio was broad and varied. Lego took their advice: in doing so it almost went bust. It introduced jewellery for girls. There were Lego clothes. It opened theme parks that cost £125m to build and lost £25m in their first year. It built its own video games company from scratch, the largest installation of Silicon Graphics supercomputers in northern Europe, despite having no experience in the field. Lego's toys still sold, particularly tie-ins, like their Star Wars and Harry Potter-themed kits. But only if there was a movie out that year. Otherwise they sat on shelves.

"We are on a burning platform," Lego's CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp told colleagues. "We're running out of cash... [and] likely won't survive"

In 2015, the still privately owned, family controlled Lego Group overtook Ferrari to become the world’s most powerful brand. It announced profits of £660m, making it the number one toy company in Europe and Asia, and number three in North America, where sales topped $1bn for the first time. From 2008 to 2010 its profits quadrupled, outstripping Apple's. Indeed, it has been called the Apple of toys: a profit-generating, design-driven miracle built around premium, intuitive, covetable hardware that fans can't get enough of. Last year Lego sold 75bn bricks. Lego people — "Minifigures" — the 4cm-tall yellow characters with dotty eyes, permanent grins, hooks for hands and pegs for legs — outnumber humans.

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Le fragole bianche

Wow   04.06.17  

Originarie del sud America le fragole-ananas o pineberry sono una curiosa varietà di fragola dal colore bianco, più dolci e dal sapore che per l'appunto ricorda vagamente quello di un ananas.
Great Big Story è andato in Giappone per visitare le serre di Yasuhito Teshima, a Karatsu, dove questa varietà di fragole giganti viene coltivata con un ottimo profitto.

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Vieni a Riga

Wow   22.05.17  

La campagna di promozione turistica della città di Riga prodotta dall'agenzia DDB ispirandosi all'eccentrica cifra stilistica del regista Wes Anderson. Capolavoro.

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Il luogo di nascita della salsa di soia

Wow   12.05.17  

Si ha notizia di salse fermentate a base di soia in Cina da circa 1.000 anni, ma la salsa di soia come la conosciamo oggi nacque in Giappone nel XIII secolo per merito di un monaco buddista che si stabilì nella cittadina di Yuasa. Oltre sette secoli dopo il processo di lavorazione della salsa di soia si svolge immutato.

Yuasa, a small coastal town in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, is a fishing port and the producer of one of Japan's most well known mandarin oranges, the Arida mikan. But a stroll through the traditional streets, including the only stretch of the famous Kumano Kodo pilgrim route that runs through the center of a town, takes you back to an age before westernization, when Yuasa was a vibrant hub of gastronomy in Japan. For it was here, in the 13th century, that soy sauce as we know it was first established and produced, and even now the streets are rich with the smells of fermenting soy sauce, still produced exactly the same way it was more than 750 years ago.

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