For shareholders who wonder how to assess an appropriate amount of time for a new entry level publico to “make it” – there are many opinions available. In general, our shareholders are investors, not flippers. Are they sensible? There are many examples of why 5 – 10 years should not be considered unusual for a firm or brand to go from being inconsequential to being a success. I have given a number of relevant examples in interviews. I came across another one today, in the work of authors Tojo Thatchenkery and Carol Metzker, in their book entitled Appreciative Intelligence; Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn. The following is a quotation which our shareholders will be able to appreciate.
The history of Glide Floss is a remarkable example of persistence in individuals and a corporation. More than 30 years passed between the day in 1971 when Bill Gore first flossed his teeth with a strand of Gore-Tex and September 2003, when consumer products company Procter & Gamble bought Gore’s Glide Floss business. Gore associates tried unsuccessfully five times over 20 years to sell their idea of nonshred dental floss to various health care product companies. In 1991, an associate name John Spencer (re)framed the dental floss as a medical technology product rather than as another type of consumer good….Within two years Glide Floss had achieved enormous consumer popularity. When the company sold Glide Floss to Procter & Gamble, it was the top floss used in dental offices and the number two retail brand in the United States. Without persistence in keeping the idea in company associates’ minds and persistence in talking to consumers, dentists, drugstore personnel and corporations, the product would not have survived, not to mention earning annual sales of more than $45 million.
Winning Brands’ lead product, 1000+ Stain Remover, has unique qualities in a category that is relevant to the daily needs of hundreds of millions of consumers. The extent to which we have gotten our “frames” right between consumer perceptions and the retail partners who are starting to carry our product has yet to be seen. However, we are still well within the time frame for success to occur, whether through tipping points, breakthroughs or by good old fashioned “determined effort”. Success rarely comes easily, but where it is deserved, it usually does come.
It’s also interesting to note that the terms of sale of the floss brand, which has been re-named ORAL-B Glide by P&G, called for the originators to continue to manufacture and develop the product.