Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell
Until Josiah Wedgwood, Britons ate from wood and pewter plates. Until Henry Heinz, women toiled over pickled foods. Until Michael Dell, few people owned a personal computer, let alone dreamed of buying one "built to order." According to business historian Nancy F. Koehn, these pathbreaking entrepreneurs shared a powerful gift: the ability to discern how economic and social change would affect consumer needs and wants.
In Brand New, Koehn introduces us to six extraordinary leaders of brand creation who lived and worked during periods of widespread change: Josiah Wedgwood in the Industrial Revolution; Henry Heinz and Marshall Field in the Transportation and Communication Revolution; and Est?e Lauder, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, and Michael Dell in the Information Revolution. Through compelling and engaging profiles of these entrepreneurial visionaries, she reveals a provocative relationship between economic turbulence, household priorities, and company strategy that holds important lessons for today's brand builders.
According to Koehn, these forward-thinking individuals understood the profound effects that socioeconomic change has on what customers want, have, and can afford as much as on what companies make-and were masters at exploiting the enormous business opportunities these demand-side shifts created. Indeed, the brands and companies created by these individuals have become such a part of everyday life that we've made them part of common speech: we pass the Heinz; eat off Wedgwood; order a Starbucks.
Koehn draws from their diaries, correspondence, and official business records to demonstrate that these entrepreneurs were more than savvy marketers; they were institution builders. She shows how each used brand not as a logo, but as a vital strategic tool for creating best-of-class companies-and for building powerful organizational capabilities that supported their connections with customers and helped make new markets for their offerings.
Distilling critical lessons for businesses operating in both the traditional and on-line worlds, Brand New will convince every entrepreneur of the remarkable power of brands to transform start-ups, gain competitive advantage, and change lives.