Friday, January 19, 2018
How often have you been sitting in a meeting thinking, "Why am I here?" It happens to all of us! In this Wall Street Journal video, we learn why so many manager "fall into the trap" of inviting too many people to meetings. And we learn how the phenomenon of "social loafing" relates to meetings.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
LaCroix is a brand of flavored sparkling water that's really "catching on" in the USA. "Catch on" means to gain popularity. What other idioms do you hear in this news segment?Watch the video
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Gillette is changing its razor strategy based on increasing competition from startups. Can you identify the idioms used in this video?
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Today we're looking at an article about Facebook from the New York Times. As you may have heard, Facebook is making more and more money by selling ads on its site. In this article, we learn of a company finding success selling fish oil through Facebook. The words and idioms we'll focus on are highlighted in blue:
The idea was to come up with a big, sweeping campaign to market MegaRed, a premium alternative to fish oil pills, to users of the social network. Each ad had to be so compelling that it would get people to stop scrolling through their news feeds ...
But from where Mr. Rodrigues sat, as the guy who would write the checks for the proposed campaign, the Facebook people seemed to be missing an essential point.
The advantage of advertising on the world’s largest social network was that it could do something television ads could not: Using sophisticated analytics, it could help him find people who were already buying fish oil or other products that suggested they were concerned about the health of their hearts, and perhaps persuade them to switch to his brand.
At the meeting, the company’s ad strategists were saying they wanted him to spend money to show ads to every American woman 45 and older on Facebook. Finally, with some exasperation, Mr. Rodrigues — the marketing director for vitamins, minerals and supplements at Reckitt Benckiser, the company that owns MegaRed — blurted out what he’d been thinking. For that kind of broad blitz, he said, “I can go to television at a quarter the price.”
Now let's look at the highlighted words and phrases:
compelling - attracting interest; very interesting and appealing
missing [the] point - not understanding the problem; focusing on the wrong thing
exasperation - annoyance; intense irritation
to blurt out - to say suddenly or without thinking; to say something sensitive that nobody is expecting you to say
blitz - an advertising campaign (often a large one). Note: this is from the military, meaning a campaign in which bombs are dropped from airplanes
I hope you enjoyed this short Business English lesson! If you're looking for more Business English, please check out the new app Business English Negotiations for iPhone and iPad: http://bit.ly/UNaSCQ
Thursday, May 23, 2013
In our last Business English lesson, we featured an article on cupcakes. Today we're continuing in our sweet series with a video on the growing demand for chocolate in China. Hershey's chocolate — a leading chocolate brand in the USA — is now entering the market in China. This video has lots of terrific English idioms. Read the idioms with their definitions below. Then listen for them in the video. Repeat that process again (this time while snacking on a piece of chocolate!). Then think about how you could use these expressions in your daily life (as in: "It's an uphill battle trying to get my kids to keep their rooms clean." or "I hope our customers will snap up our new product.")
Business English Especially For Those With a Sweet Tooth!
(to) play catch-up – to make a big effort to overcome a late start; when you are behind and you have to take actions to get to the level of your competition
uphill battle – a difficult fight (when you are "facing an uphill battle," you face difficult circumstances)
(to) gain market share – to increase one's share (or piece) of a market (definited in percentage terms). This can refer to either dollar market share or unit market share
(to) pay a premium – to pay a higher price for something (because it's better quality or has a better brand, for instance)
(to) snap up – to buy quickly, or in large quantities (this term implies that the product is very desirable, so that many people are buying it)
mass market – produced in large numbers and sold through retail outlets, such as supermarkets
(to) move upmarket – to start appealing to high-income consumers
bullish on – optimistic about a market (often used when describing investors, as they're "bullish on" a certain stock)
Want to learn useful English expressions and idioms every day? Got two minutes a day to study English while you're taking a break for a piece of chocolate? "LIKE" the new Facebook, Speak English with Amy Gillett.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Today's business English lesson may make you hungry! In the United States over the past 10 years,
cupcakes have had a huge rise in popularity. They went from being a favorite at kid's birthday parties to being a popular treat for adults too. They got fancier and fancier and of course, more expensive. Cupcake shops sprang up all over the USA. Many cupcakes sold for a pretty penny (a lot of money) -- some for $4.50 each. Like any great craze, this one is now crashing. Maybe Americans just ate too many cupcakes. Maybe the cookie is back in vogue. Whatever the reason, cupcake shops are now struggling. Let's read a piece of an article from the Wall Street Journal entitled "Forget Gold, the Gourmet-Cupcake Market is Crashing. The words and expressions we'll explore are highlighted:
|The great cupcake craze might be over ... but I'd still like |
to take a big bite out of this one!
The icing is coming off America's cupcake craze. The dessert became a cultural and economic phenomenon over the last decade, with gourmet cupcake shops proliferating across the country, selling increasingly elaborate and expensive concoctions.
The craze hit a high mark in June 2011, when Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. a New York-based chain, debuted on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol CRMB. Its creations—4" tall, with fillings such as vanilla custard, caps of butter cream cheese, and decorative flourishes like a whole cookie—can cost $4.50 each.
After trading at more than $13 a share in mid-2011, Crumbs has sunk to $1.70. It dropped 34% last Friday, in the wake of Crumbs saying that sales for the full year would be down by 22% from earlier projections, and the stock slipped further this week.
Crumbs in part blamed store closures from Hurricane Sandy, but others say the chain is suffering from a larger problem: gourmet-cupcake burnout.
"The novelty has worn off," says Kevin Burke, managing partner of Trinity Capital LLC, a Los Angeles investment banking firm that often works in the restaurant industry.
Now let's look at the words and expressions in bold:
(to) proliferate – to grow or expand quickly; to spread
concoction – food or drink made by combining different ingredients (often many different ingredients in an unusual way)
in the wake of – following; as a result ofburnout – having had so much of something that one no longer wants it (note: also, often describes what happens when people work too hard and get too stressed out -- they suffer from burnout)
The novelty has worn off – something that was once new and popular, but no longer is; something that people have lost interest in (note: novelty means something new)
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