Live to Tell | April 12, 2019

The underground story of business, entrepreneurs and influencers.

Watch the full episode here.

Fantastic: How Burger King Bounced Back

When Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz was tasked with revamping the brand six years ago, it was averaging half the revenue of McDonald’s. In the years since, Burger King has made a complete 180. Using franchising as one of the vehicles to propel its growth, the brand’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International, saw $5.4 billion in revenue last year, up 17 percent from 2017. And with the exception of a recent blunder by a New Zealand franchisee that insensitively promoted a new Asian-inspired burger in an ad with chopsticks, the brand continues to excel in the engagement category of its business, an area that is proving more and more pivotal for brands today.

Celebrity: Law & Order Meets Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Do you think she just woke up one morning and said, “I think I’ll go to law school?” Well, not exactly. But in her Vogue cover story, Kim Kardashian announced that she’s hoping to take the bar exam in 2022 following a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco. If you’re wondering what this has to do with business, you’re likely not alone. But the answer is that it actually has a lot to do with it — specifically, it can serve as a warning. In today’s social media-centric society, brands can’t sleep on the latest trends, from technology to influencers. A decade ago, Kim was considered to be a D-list celebrity who was waiting for her 15 minutes to be up. And last year, she met with the sitting President in the Oval Office to help a woman get out of prison. Brands that are smart enough to recognize the potential for something new and different have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of what could be the next big thing.

Cash Money: Brands Are Bragging About How Well They Treat Their Employees

In a tight labor market, publicizing worker compensation is a surefire way of attracting and retaining employees. While retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target have all announced wage hikes for employees to bolster their workforce — Jeff Bezos recently challenged other retailers to match his company’s $15 minimum wage — restaurant brands more constrained by operational costs have taken a different approach, turning to improved benefits like four-day work weeks and tuition-assistance programs.

Forward Thinking: Amazon Continues its Quest for World Domination

What’s more “business” than a fight between two billionaires? In response to Amazon’s announcement of a plan to launch more than 3,000 satellites into orbit with a goal of bringing high-speed internet to more regions of the world, Elon Musk sent a tweet in which he tagged Jeff Bezos and wrote, “copy [cat emoji].” Musk’s gripe is that his company, SpaceX, received FCC approval in November for a similar project with the same goal. Regardless, if Amazon’s plan, Project Kuiper, comes to fruition, world domination can’t be far behind.

Friend or Foe: Cheeseburgers Might Kill You Before Your Cigarette Does

Eleven million deaths around the globe are linked to poor diets, making it the leading risk factor for deaths due to lifestyle-related diseases, according to a new study published by peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet. The study analyzed the diets of people in 195 countries, then estimated the risk of death from heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes, as well as deaths related to other relevant risk factors like smoking and drug use. If unhealthy diets are a larger determinant of ill health than tobacco, are cheeseburgers still your friend?

Heating Up

It’s the plot line of nearly every sci-fi movie ever made — robots take over and everything goes to hell (before an actual human saves the day). But are robots really coming to steal things from us, including our jobs? According to No Limit Agency CEO and 1851 Publisher Nick Powills, they are — at least in sales. But that doesn’t mean that it’s all downhill from here. While robots are 100 percent data-based, they don’t have the same power or potential that people do. Brands should absolutely be figuring out how they can leverage technology to drive their businesses. But at the end of the day, brands — and robots — don’t sell brands. People do.