Going big, taking risks, and creating a market

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Photo by Ben Bateson on Unsplash

Success. Some attribute it to luck. Some to hard work. And, some to risk. The story of Wrigley’s teaches us that it might be a mixture of three. Let’s go.

Look Sideways. Always.

We often look for inspiration far ahead, but it’s actually happening all around us. If we’re paying attention, we can see a lot of things happen by the side.

William Wrigley was always looking. Looking sideways.

In 1891, a 29-year old William Wrigley Jr. came to Chicago with the idea of Wrigley’s Scouring Soap. Soaps were not happenstance. …


How a war, an island state, and a brand shaped the way you dress to the office

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Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash

The Office Dress Code

Offices have changed and so have the ways we dress to the office.

In an era of process-oriented companies, the ’50s sported a lot of greys. Men were mostly in grey flannel suits and high-waisted pants and women were in slim-fitting tweed suits and below-the-knee skirts. It was formal.

The landscape has changed quite a bit from then.

A results-oriented approach has led to the rise of casual dress culture. Casual in its approach to clothing, as long as the work gets done. For anyone peeking from the ’50s, today’s offices are a riot of colours.

The casual dress code has evolved from being about comfort to an important part of the corporate culture. One of the universal exports of this culture is our beloved Casual Fridays.


AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

The importance of clarity of thought in communicating company mission

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Amazon Communication Culture

The Amazon communication culture is a well-circulated body of knowledge. These include popular rules like the “Two Pizza” and “No Powerpoint rules.”

Press Release

I dug into Amazon’s press release archives to see if I could find other examples of remarkable communication. What I found was a remarkable clarity that echoed right from their first release.

First, let's read through their original release which is reproduced from their public archives here.

World’s Largest Bookseller Opens on the Web

October 4, 1995 at 12:00 AM EDT

Amazon.com Offers Million+ Titles, Orders Pour In from 45 Countries in First 4 Weeks

SEATTLE, WA (October 4, 1995) — Amazon.com, the business and domain name of the most voluminous new retailer on the Internet, has thrown open its virtual doors to offer the largest collection of books in the world to anyone with World Wide Web access. The Seattle-based company currently offers more than one million different titles, 40 times more than typical mall bookstores, and more than 5 times as many as the country’s largest book superstores. …


The secret of brand building is giving people a reason to stick around

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Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Hero With a Purpose

Batman and the Joker are my favourite hero-villain combination. Almost every time they meet, the Joker reminds Batman of how much fun they have together.

JOKER: Kill you? I don’t wanna kill you. What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No. No. No! No you — you complete me.

Without the Joker, Batman is just some Bruce. With the Joker, Bruce Wayne is Batman. A hero fighting against evil.

The Joker, the villain, creates tension and gives purpose to the hero’s existence.

Creating Tension

Tension evokes emotions and creates situations. Conflict, stress, worry, anxiety, doubt, and fear are a few by-products of tension. …


THE FUTURE OF DELIVERY

Crystal gazing through the patents of the world’s largest retailer

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Customer Focus

If you read Amazon.com’s first shareholder letter from 1997, you will note it’s composition around one word — customers.

I’ll save you time by sharing that the word ‘customer/s’ is used 25 times. The next highest noun usage is of ‘Amazon’ — 12 times.

It is no surprise that ‘customer obsession’ is their №1 leadership principle from a list of 14. Earth’s most customer-centric company, is what they aspire to be.

Customer-focussed companies make the customer experience easier, faster, better, and more cost-effective and innovation plays a key role. Amazon is no exception.

Proprietary innovation needs protection, and patents are a great reward for taking risks. Patents provide a glimpse into potential plans, and roadmaps of companies and that makes it fascinating. …


A look into the growing industry making billions in style

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Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

Except for our palms, lips, and soles, five million hair follicles cover the human body. Out of these, a million reside on our head and a tenth of that on our scalp (i.e., 1,00,000 follicles).

We are a lot of hair.

Let’s get to the root of the matter.

The Root Facts

  • The color of your hair decides the number of strands.
  • Natural blondes have around 130,000 hairs, brunettes around 110,000 hairs, and redheads around 90,0000 hairs.
  • Hair strands grow approximately 1.25 inches a year and can keep growing for two to eight years.
  • As soon as a hair is plucked from its follicle, a new one begins to grow.


Clear communication supports a grand vision

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Amazon Communication

The Amazon communication culture is a well-circulated body of knowledge in business circles. Two familiar ones are the Two Pizza and No Powerpoint rules.

Jeff Bezo’s “Two Pizza” rule is a popular heuristic.

It states that meetings should only be held in numbers where two pizzas can feed the which entire group. The rule enables productive meetings.

Amazon executives do not present via PowerPoint. Instead, they communicate via the “Six Page Memo” which the entire team goes through silently before discussions begin.


A peek into a surprising industry that grows every day

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Photo by King Lip on Unsplash

Once Upon A Time

There was a beautiful girl with incredibly long hair which had magical healing powers.

She was raised in captivity by a witch who locked her up on top of a tower with no doors. The witch used to visit her by climbing up her long hair. A sneaky prince stumbled on this cheat code and started visiting the beautiful girl. They did fun things, too.

The witch soon finds out about the after-hour visits. In anger, she cuts off her hair and kicks her out to fend for herself. …


The language of colours and their impact on marketing

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Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

In the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep explains to her fashion-skeptical assistant, played by Anne Hathaway, why she happens to be wearing a sweater in a very particular shade of blue known as cerulean.

She says cerulean was popularised by Oscar de la Renta before it “filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner, where you no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin.”

“That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs,” she says.

Six years before the release of “The Devil Wears Prada,” in 2000, Pantone’s forecasters named cerulean the company’s first-ever Color of the Year. …

About

Arun Rafi

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