How Tupperware Used Social Ties To Achieve Historic Sales
Tupperware is a common product in every household today. It keeps food fresh whether it’s in the fridge or as a way for you to get your food to work or school. Tupperware takes its name from its founder, Earl Tupper.
Earl transformed plastics into purified plastics. He created a new type of storage for kitchen use with an innovative lid design that kept food airtight. His products were revolutionary for food and storage practices as they were seen as a new way to keep food fresh. Earl Tupper was called the Thomas Edison of the plastic world as his invention became the staple of food storage worldwide.
Earl Tupper’s business was doing well but things changed when he hired Brownie Wise to sell his products. Brownie Wise came into the business and adopted a ‘Home Party’ retailing strategy. Her Home Parties were her presenting the Tupperware products to potential customers in a hostess’ home.
How the Model Worked
The strong effect of the Home Party model came from the principle of liking. The hostess is a friend to every woman in the room and they have a strong bond as friends. The Tupperware rep may ask for each attendee for an order but what is more compelling is when the request comes from the hostess. The hostess is the housewife who is socializing with the women while serving the drinks and snacks to them. She is the one who brought everyone together and everyone knows she makes a profit for every product sold.
By providing the hostess with a cut, The Tupperware House Party corporation arranges for its customers to buy from a friend rather than a total stranger. By doing this, the warmth, security, and friendship are all brought into the sales setting.
This strategy led Tupperware to do $25 million in sales in 1954. Brownie Wise has been quoted saying “You build the people and they will build the business.”