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Brands Tackle an Online Foe: The Meme

Brands Tackle an Online Foe: The Meme

Once the infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad was released and roundly criticized last month, it was only a matter of time before the memes started. One Twitter message featured a screen shot of the moment in the commercial when Ms. Jenner hands a can of Pepsi to a police officer who is responding to a protest. The caption: “Throw this away for me. I’m rich.” Another Twitter user posted a civil rights era photo of a black man on the ground while two police officers, one with a raised baton and a fistful of the man’s shirt, loomed above him. The caption on that one was: “Kendall please! Give him a Pepsi!”

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Step Into Our Selfie Booth And Help Us Build Our Brand

Step Into Our Selfie Booth And Help Us Build Our Brand

First there were selfies. Then there were selfie sticks. Now comes a new phase: selfie booths, which some stores and other businesses are adding as a sort of next-generation photo kiosk. In the age of ubiquitous social media, these booths and rooms seem to be the latest way to engage customers and build a brand. At several branches of the optical company Warby Parker, myopics unsure if those tortoiseshell frames are really “them” can jump into the on-site selfie booth, snap off some images and email them to friends and family for a second (and third, fourth and fifth) opinion.

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Community Bankers’ Political Capital Soars in Washington

Community Bankers’ Political Capital Soars in Washington

WASHINGTON — Main Street lenders emerged from a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump this week confident that his vision for an overhaul of banking regulation would set up a favorable environment for their industry. Reducing lending rules for the industry, a key source of credit for small businesses and farmers that has been shrinking and struggling under post-financial crisis regulation, is one of the few things both political parties as well as the president can agree on.

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Banks Are Finally Sprouting Anew in America

Banks Are Finally Sprouting Anew in America

WASHINGTON—Startup banks are close to coming off the endangered species list. Eight groups have filed applications in recent months with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to open new banks, spurred by an improving economy and an expected deregulatory push by Republicans in Washington. That is the most in a year since regulators clamped down on bank startups following the financial crisis, though it pales in comparison to the hundreds of applications regulators routinely received annually in the precrisis period. President Donald Trump last week signed executive actions aimed at unwinding parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Some in the financial industry hope reduced regulation will spur broader interest in starting community banks and, over time, more lending that will bolster economic growth. “We believe that hopefully the new administration will bring some relief to the regulations that have come down the last eight to nine years,” said David Dotherow, the founder and chief executive for the proposed Winter Park National Bank in Central Florida. Mr. Dotherow has helped open several community banks, the last being New Traditions National Bank, which he opened in 2008 and sold in 2015 to a nearby competitor. Mr. Dotherow applied to start another bank in December because the FDIC recently said startups could provide a three-year business plan in their application instead of the seven-year plan required after the crisis. “It tells me they’re serious about groups starting a new bank,” Mr. Dotherow said of the business-plan change.

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Web-Retail Startups Turn for Growth to Bricks and Mortar

Web-Retail Startups Turn for Growth to Bricks and Mortar

Casper Sleep Inc. rattled the mattress industry with a bed-in-a-box that is sold only online, shipped free and comes with a 100-night guarantee. But after three years of robust sales as it lured customers through Facebook ads and podcast sponsorships, Casper is finding it can no longer shun the storefront. The startup is turning next month to Target Corp. TGT -1.39% to sell pillows, sheets and other accessories—though not yet beds—in 1,200 stores nationwide.

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U.S. Social Sentiment Index

U.S. Social Sentiment Index

Measuring the content of millions of Twitter messages each hour is one way to gauge the nation’s changing mood in near-real time. Here, the Wall Street Journal and IHS Markit have plotted that sentiment, comparing it to recent norms.

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Why Do Gas Station Prices Constantly Change? Blame the Algorithm

Why Do Gas Station Prices Constantly Change? Blame the Algorithm

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands—One recent afternoon at a Shell-branded station on the outskirts of this Dutch city, the price of a gallon of unleaded gas started ticking higher, rising more than 3½ cents by closing time. A little later, a competing station 3 miles down the road raised its price about the same amount.

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‘If you change the rules we’re going to disconnect you, fintech’

'If you change the rules we’re going to disconnect you, fintech'

As one of the banking industry’s largest vendors, FIS says it might be well suited to help banks effectively navigate the world of fintech. I recently caught up with Anthony Jabbour, the company’s chief operating officer. The conversation turned to and stayed on fintech competition. As Jabbour sees it, the number of banks that use FIS puts it in a position to leverage that power in taking on changes in payments, lending and other parts of the banking ecosystem.

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State Street’s CEO on Creating Employment for At-Risk Youths

State Street’s CEO on Creating Employment for At-Risk Youths

In 2014 the Massachusetts governor’s office called and asked me to serve in a public/private partnership. The group hoped to improve the quality of community colleges in the Commonwealth. Workforce development is an issue I care about, and every CEO gets calls like this from time to time. I try to help out when I can, so I said yes.

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How to Make Sure Your Emails Give the Right Impression

How to Make Sure Your Emails Give the Right Impression

Given the avalanche of email we receive each year — 121 messages per day, on average — it’s no wonder that we have become somewhat desensitized to its impact on our professional brand. We’ll spend hours polishing our LinkedIn profiles and revising our résumés, but hastily hit send on an unintelligible missive simply because we’re in a rush. “Sent from my device, please overlook typos” is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for shoddy communications.

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