How Little Innovations Produce Big Results

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When Sarah Robb O’Hagan, a general manager at Nike, agreed to assume leadership of Gatorade in 2008, she thought she was taking over an iconic brand that had grown a little tired. But when she arrived at Gatorade headquarters in Chicago in July of that year, what she found was something else—a struggling brand in obvious decline.

Gatorade had invented the sports drink category in the 1960s. But in 2007, sales had stalled, and in the fifty-two weeks preceding Robb O’Hagan’s arrival, they had actually dropped 10 percent, while sales of cheaper archrival Powerade had grown 13 percent. The Gatorade ...

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