This course includes videos from:
Sara Blakely, founder and owner of Spanx
Tim Ferriss, podcaster and author (The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans)
Chip Conley, best-selling author, founder of the Modern Elder Academy
Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut
Note: This course was produced by Big Think. We are pleased to host this content in our library.
Skill Level Beginner
- You have to have the right product, it has to be the right price, you have to have the right distribution, and you have to have the right name. So if you have all of those, you're going to catch lightning in a bottle. (soft upbeat music) One of the key ingredients to the success of Spanx is absolutely obsessing the product, and I am not a believer of iterating on the consumer, like just put it out there and we'll keep making it better when you know it could already be better. It's always all about the fit and giving women that amazing results, but not sacrificing comfort. Spanx is 16 years old. We've basically never advertised. So this brand became a household name because of the love for the product. (soft upbeat music) I worked really hard on the name Spanx. I came up with really bad names for two years. I wrote them on scrap pieces of paper, on the back of rental car agreements in airports, and then I knew, when Spanx came to me, I was sitting in traffic in Atlanta, and I sort of saw the word across the dashboard, and I was like, "That's it!" The reason why I felt it was it is because it was a little bit risky. It made your mind wander, and it made people laugh, and by using humor with my name Spanx or Power Panties or Bra-llelujah, it brought all this energy to the space, which sold itself and advertised itself. I mean, radio DJs all across the country wanted me on their show, not because they cared about an undergarment for women that I made, but because they wanted to say Spanx. (soft upbeat music) And I thought, where do I want to sell this? And I wanted to start at the very highest end store because I felt that those consumers would appreciate the quality in it and be less price resistant. And I only had $5,000, so I knew that if this product took off, the competition was going to come full guns blazing, and if I protected my brand and my product in a space that women were willing to pay a little bit more, then I had a chance to survive. 'Cause if I went to mass or a lower level distribution out of the gate, it would have all become about price, and I knew I could never beat the big guys on price. Sometimes you create a product, and the product's unbelievable, but it was priced wrong. And so you give up on the product or you think it was the product and it might be the price, or maybe you have the right price and the most amazing product, but your distribution's off, and you're not sold in the part of the store where people are going, or you're sold in the wrong stores. So it's a real package formula. (soft upbeat music)