Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Small Ideas = Big Business, Part 4

Read part 1 here!
Read part 2 here!
Read part 3 here!

Frank Mars was a candy salesman. But he needed something new. Something nobody had ever tasted before.

At the time (1923), the chocolate malted milk was the most popular drink in the nation. So he wondered, “Why not put that flavor into a candy bar?”

Then he did something no other candy maker ever attempted: he ran consumer taste tests. “In order to be a national success, it would have to suit public taste everywhere,” claimed Mars.

And it did! After all, who doesn’t love a delicious, creamy Milky Way?

1. Test the market first.
2. Capitalize on popular trends.
3. Everything tastes better as a candy bar.

They Don’t Need to Try Harder
Most 22 year olds don’t revolutionize the automobile industry. But Walter Jacobs had other plans. Pondering the effectiveness of renting horses and buggies, he then thought, “Hmm. If people rented horses, why wouldn’t they rent cars, too?”

At the time he worked as an auto salesman. Eventually he raised enough capital to quit his job, buy 12 used Model T’s and begin renting the cars. After 8 months, he had 20. A few years later his fleet was up to 565 and annual revenues exceeded $1,000,000.

Not bad for a kid in the 1920’s!

Jacobs’ thriving rental business attracted the interest of Chicago Yellow Cab owner John Hertz. He eventually bought the young man’s business and created what is now the #1 rental car company in the world.

1. Find a verb that sells, then change the noun.
2. When you’re successful, they come to you.
3. Never buy the rental car insurance. It’s a total scam.

Creativity is cool, huh?

Post your own "Creativity Trio" here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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