Psychology of Consumer Behaviour |

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tupperware- Then and Now- Brownie Wise

Nancy White of the Toronto Star reports today that in tough times folks turn to Tupperware. She doesn't mention Snuggies but I'm sure you need one to comfortably sell in.

Apparently, Tupperware has opened a store front office on McCaul Street complete with a "wall of pride" featuring "the chili-red vegetable chopper, the chickory-yellow cake carrier, the seamist-blue veggie container" and all manner of burpable stackable Tupperware.

The article goes on to talk about the popularity of home based direct sales in uncertain times.

This week in class we'll be talking about the fabulous fifties marketing and the role of women. We'll talk about Tupperware and some of it's not so perfect history.

It was 1945 when Earl Tupper created his now famous Tupperware but it sat on the shelf until a "wise" marketing woman name Brownie Wise came along and convinced him that the way to sell the product was through home parties with women selling to women. Under Brownie's direction Tupperware conquered the globe bowl by bowl.

It was Brownie who thought up the idea of the parties, the distribution network, the yearly Golden Jubilees where women celebrated their sales accomplishments, the giveaways of Minks, appliances and vacations. She even wrote inspirational selling books.

Women in the 50s could now earn thousands all by selling bowls that burped. As they moved up the ladder though it was not they who participated in management, it was their husbands.

Brownie was the only woman in management. When sales reached $100 million Tupper fired Brownie removing all mention of her from the company's history. Brownie had owned no part of the company and left with only a $35,000 settlement. A year later Tupper sold the business.

What it says- What it Means?

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