As my parents and I are ready to pay at Target, Wrigley’s Big Red chewing gum catches my eye. I think how tasty the gum is and how William Wrigley Jr. is very successful for making chewing gum. I imagine what it would be like to be William Wrigley Jr. William Wrigley Jr. is one of the most successful and one of the most business smart people of our time. He kept making his business more popular by investing in a lot of stuff like Wrigley Field. William Wrigley Jr. made one of the biggest (possibly the biggest) chewing gum company ever.
William Wrigley Jr. is your classic definition of business smart. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 30th, 1861. He died on January 26, 1932 in Phoenix. When William was 11 years old, he ran away from home. To survive, he sold newspapers to have food and water. For shelter he slept on the park bench. When Winter came William went back home. Unfortunately for him, he went back to school. Soon he got kicked out. He got kicked out because he liked pulling pranks in school, and the teachers could not take it. When his father found out, he made him work in his soap factory. William wanted to sell the soap, but instead he was forced to make the soap. As a soap maker, he had to stir large pots of boiling hot soap. When he was 13, he was promoted to selling soap. William was very persuasive. Whatever he was selling he made it seem like it was the best product in the world. He had a great talent as a salesman. Whenever he sold his product he would give something free with it to make it seem like the product was popular. It started out as baking powder, but soon it became chewing gum. William saw how everybody loved the chewing gum, and he realized that there were only 12 small chewing gum companies, so the idea was easy. For him to create his own chewing gum company.
William saw an idea that could not be passed up, so he stopped selling soap for his father and when he was older, he left and started his own chewing gum company. At first he did not sell his own gum. He discontinued his main product and started selling two brands of gum: Vassar and Lotta Gum which was another companies gum. In 1893, he created his own 2 tasteful flavors, Juicy Fruit and Spearmint. He packaged them in units of 5 individually wrapped sticks with the Wrigley name boldly emblazoned on the package. The Spearmint and Juicy Fruit sold so well, he discontinued the other companies gum because he wanted to start his own chewing gum company. He stayed with those two flavors for a long time but in 1910, he introduced Doublemint.
Beside making a very successful and tasteful invention, William Wrigley Jr. gave back to his community and his town Chicago. In 1916, he invested in the Chicago Cubs. In 1921, he built beautiful Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears to play in. It is one of the most famous and beloved sports facilities in the country. He also provided an extreme age old principle “ The customer is always right” which is used by many selling companies today. Instead of increasing his marketing offers, Wrigley listened carefully to his customers and, based on what they told him, he scrapped his entire product line not once but twice.
Long Term Impact
Sometimes called America’s greatest salesman, William Wrigley Jr. showed how advertising and marketing could be used to develop strong brand recognition. While some of his early gum flavors have disappeared, Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, and Doublemint have remained strong brands throughout the 20th and 21st century. With domestic consumption of chewing gum falling in the latter part of the century, the company found strength in overseas sales in some 111 countries, which nearly equaled U.S. sales. The company remains the world’s largest chewing gum manufacturer, and in the 1990s the Wrigley Company enjoyed record profits. It is now one of the best chewing gum brands all over the world. Wrigleys flexible attitude paid off in the end as quite by accident, he found a product that made him a fortune and made his name a household word throughout the United States. Still under the leadership of the Wrigley family, it continued to manufacture nearly half of the gum sold in the country. In 2002, led by Bill Wrigley, great grandson of William Wrigley, the company recorded net sales of more than $2.7 billion.
William Wrigley Jr. did many important things during his lifetime and even though he is not here today, he is still a household name throughout the world. Some might say that all he made was chewing gum, but he did much more than that. If Wrigley never invented chewing gum, we would mostly have bad breath and have no taste in our mouth everyday. If you do not believe that he is important and everybody knows about him, go to your local grocery store and I guarantee you that a kid is crying for Wrigley’s chewing gum.