How great brands came about
Speaking now about world-famous companies and brands, it is sometimes difficult to imagine that once their founders were inexperienced start-up entrepreneurs, global retail chains started from one single small store, and large-scale production – from small “home” factories. However, the great businessmen of our time also were once young startups that no one knew.
The stories of the emergence of currently known brands are for the most part interesting and instructive, and in some cases even inspirational for their own business achievements.
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Roy Raymond, being a loving husband, decided to pamper his wife with a gift – a new set of women’s underwear. Going alone to the store, Roy was simply confused among the huge number of options that sellers were offering him. Not many of them knew how to work with male buyers, and Roy felt very awkward in all this “female realm” of underwear. He never managed to pick up a gift, however, an idea arose in his head that became fateful for Raymond. It was the idea of opening her own store of women’s underwear, in which both women and men would feel equally comfortable.
To implement the idea needed 80 thousand dollars. Roy borrowed half this amount from friends, half at the bank at interest. The first Victoria’s Secret store was opened at a mall in Stanford. Women in such stores feel like fish in water, but sellers were trained to work with male buyers separately. This allowed all representatives of the stronger sex to feel as comfortable as possible in such a store. And yes, the idea shot in the first year of work. After a while, Victoria’s Secret began selling its products through catalogs, which brought Raymond huge revenues, and the brand worldwide fame.
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Harland Sanders, founder of the KFC global fast food chain, began his great business journey quite late. Until his forty years, he had practically no ambitions in terms of entrepreneurship. Having no education (except for the sixth grade of the school), Harland worked as a fireman, a conductor, a laborer on a farm, and a tire seller. He did not stay long in any of these professions. Harland lived quite poorly with his wife.
When he was forty years old, Sanders decided to open a small car repair shop. The business went well, and after a while the entrepreneur added to the main service also a small cafe in the workshop. Sanders prepared the food for the customers on his own, and he was especially good at fried chicken in batter. Very quickly, the fame of a delicious dish in a car repair shop cafe spread to the whole village, and even beyond. Sanders cooked the chicken according to his original recipe, adding eleven different spices to it in a certain proportion.
The business began to develop not as Sanders expected, however, very successfully: the majority of customers did not visit the workshop to use auto services, but to taste the Harland Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken. A few years later, Sanders opened the Sanders Court & Cafe hotel, in the territory of which he placed a restaurant. There he continued to serve his already famous fried chicken in batter, constantly improving the recipe. With the development of business, Colonel Sanders (this honorary title was awarded to him by Governor Lafon) began opening his restaurants throughout America, calling them KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).
How great brands came about
Read the success story of yet another fast food giant: Subway.
Victor Mills, a specialist chemist at Procter & Gamble, made her daughter happy with three grandchildren. A caring grandfather often looked after the kids and looked after them, but, like any person, he sought to greatly simplify his chores. When he was tired of changing his diapers several times a day to his grandchildren, washing dirty and changing them to clean, Mills came up with the idea: “Why wash if you can throw it away? However, you won’t get enough diapers like that … ”
A solution was found – to create a kind of gasket from a material with a good ability to absorb liquid and fasten it to the child’s underpants. Having created several options for his salvation from dirty diapers, Victor Mills first tried them on his own grandchildren. After several experiments, the most optimal and convenient option for implementing this idea was found. By the way, Mills experimented not only with his grandchildren, but also with his wife and daughter.