Today in my business class we compared two very different companies in terms of their marketing strategy and overall business goals. The two businesses couldn’t have been more different. Apple vs Tootsie roll, two totally different businesses, two totally different products. Why compare these companies? Because they are both very successful yet they attained this success in almost opposite ways.
Apple is known for its innovation and exciting products. Most recently their removal of the headphone jack has been highly controversial. Despite this, the iPhone 7 is sold out for preorder and the new “Jet Black” and Plus models are sold out completely. The demand for their products is through the roof even after the initial backlash the phones received.
Tootsie Roll on the other hand, hasn’t changed in decades. Their executives are all old men and their CEO (recently deceased) was 94 and had no intention to retire. Their product has remained unchanged for years even through the recent shift to a more health conscious America. When you buy a Tootsie roll, you know exactly what you are getting and that is the selling point of the candy. The demand for tootsie rolls has been at a steady increase for over 2 decades despite their lack of innovation.
These two companies show that their are multiple ways to achieve success. Both ways have proven to be profitable so what makes one better than the other? Like the Tootsie roll vs iPhone comparison, people can be very different and both can be successful. It is important that we take a step back and realize that just because someone else chooses to do something a different way than you, doesn’t make them wrong. I have said it before on this blog, people can make their own choices and it is not up to you or me or anyone to judge them. As long as their choices don’t negatively impact you, don’t judge them.
Back to the question I posed in the title. Is change good? Well I think it depends who you ask but I believe yes (for the most part). Change is how we become better and how we learn, changing your strategy and goals depending on the situation is how you become successful. Apple changes every year to maintain their high profile. Even though Tootsie roll hasn’t changed, their success is based on change because the people consuming Tootsie Rolls grew up. When you see the advertisement with the little boy figuring out how many licks it takes to get to the center, you start to feel nostalgic because it’s the same ad you saw as a kid. This nostalgia factor is how Tootsie Rolls sell. They are saying even as you’ve grown up and changed, we have remained the same. This makes people want to get that same Tootsie roll they had as a kid.
Change is beneficial for becoming the best you can be. So if something doesn’t go according to the plan you made, its good. It means you are learning.
*I have no affiliation to Apple or Tootsie Roll*