Classified ads on steroids

dadfYears ago, a young entrepreneur in Australia named Dick Smith started his own small business. He opened his own small store and called it Dick Smith Electronics. As the name suggests, he started selling electronics. But not just any electronics. Dick sold only novelty electronics. He bought electronic from overseas. He bought products that were not yet introduced in his own country and sold it in his small store. Thus he differentiated himself from other small electronics shops that were cropping up everywhere.

People often heard about his store from their friends and would visit it too. The store was prospering slowly but steadily. To speed it up, Dick Smith decided to do some advertising. To get more people to visit his store, he ran small ads in the local newspapers. The ads didn’t cost him much and did attract a few people to his store. Continue reading “Classified ads on steroids”

Ringing Earrings

freadgE. Joseph Cossman was a master seller.  It was known that Joseph Cossman only sold products on one condition: that he received exclusive rights to sell it in a specific region.

One day, a man came to Joseph and told him he couldn’t sell his earrings and make a profit. He gave Joseph exclusive rights to sell them. The earrings were unqiue.  The earrings had little bells attached to them. No earrings like those were available in the market. And so Joseph took on the rights.

But he soon found out that having a novel product does not necessary mean that people would buy it. He was having trouble selling the earrings too. The earrings were just not sellable through mail order.  But Joseph Cossman didn’t give up. He put on his creative cap and starting thinking. Continue reading “Ringing Earrings”

The Godfather

adcvMarlon Brando, who played Godfather, passed away recently. I have seen a number of films of his, however…none stuck with me like the Godfather.   I loved the Godfather and have watched it many a times.

And I learned one of the most important marketing lesson in that movie. Continue reading “The Godfather”

Squeezing the Hollywood Brand

fafNew Line Cinema doesn’t make movies. They make big brands. Brands such as Austin Powers, Lord of the rings, Matrix and Harry Potter. The good movies and the great marketing behind them generate a lot of hype and attention.

New Line Cinema makes a killing in distribution and foreign rights of the films. They earn a lot in selling movie related merchandise too. Now they wanted to make use of the net to increase their merchandise sales.  They created a whole new e-commerce department, which bought in steady revenue for some time. And then they tried one new tactic that more than doubled their sales.

Continue reading “Squeezing the Hollywood Brand”

The rich young entrepreneur

paperboySome years ago, a young 12-year-old kid named Michael in Houston wanted to earn some extra pocket money. He decided to become a paperboy. He went down to the paper where he was given a bundle of papers and a list of names selected randomly that didn’t have a subscription to the paper yet. The people were scattered all over the city.

Young Michael’s job was to get the people on this list to become subscribers. He did manage to get a few subscribers here and there, but nothing to boast about. But soon, he saw a pattern emerging. Continue reading “The rich young entrepreneur”

Selling bulbs with a twist

gyoIt was the fall of 1987. Steve Leveen had just been fired from his software design firm. His wife Lori Granger Leveen was pregnant. Steve read about halogen light bulbs in the International Design Yearbook and he saw a huge potential in the market for halogen lamps. He and his wife decided to start selling the halogen lamps.

Then the real troubles began… Continue reading “Selling bulbs with a twist”