I held a Tupperware party over the weekend. There were nine of us here and between us, we spent almost $1,000. The word ‘Tupperware’ carries an unfortunate stigma (many people shudder at the thought of an invite to a party) but yet, the company is richer today than ever. What keeps it relevant? Some of the following points can easily be applied to small business!
- Longevity – The longer a company has been around, the more people know about it and the greater its potential to be around for longer. Tupperware has been around for over 60 years and shows no signs of decreasing relevance.
- Brand recognition – Whether devotees or fair-weather friends, everyone knows Tupperware and what it stands for: quality, durability, Lifetime Guarantee, practical use and smart aesthetics.
- Selling the dream – Housewives for decades have been sold on the idea of immaculately organised pantries and kitchen drawers.
- Social selling – Whenever someone tells a friend they own something they covet, the other person naturally wants to own it too. The Tupperware party model exists not just to demonstrate the products to a somewhat captive audience, but also to enlist consumers to recruit their friends to buy too.
- Pain points – No one wants to have to throw away food (yet we waste untold colossal masses of food every year despite the existence of Tupperware). But as long as Tupperware dealers continue to extol the virtues of the product, consumers will keep on buying it.
- No news is good news – When was the last time you heard or read negative press about Tupperware? It just doesn’t seem to happen! The company seems to keep below the radar and maintains a stealth-like existence, even though it’s the world’s most stigmatised and joked-about party plan brand.
- Environmental sustainability – Why use disposable goods when there are high quality reusable alternatives? Tupperware not only creates these reusables but they also promote sustainable manufacture and employs strict, state-of-the-art environmental standards in their manufacturing plants worldwide. In 2008, the company reused approximately 1,632 tonnes of plastic raw material globally.
- Coveted goods – Some people can take it or leave it, others claim they hate it. But there are raving Tupperware fans out there who consider it blasphemous to use any other brand in their homes. A little of that elitist fairy dust has to blow around and land on others.
- Commodity – Food storage containers will always be vital items in any household. Tupperware has delved into many other areas over the decades including toys, cookware, knives, serving ware and even planters.
- Rewarding sales team – Beyond commission, Tupperware pays its sales team bonuses as well as gives them free products and incentive gifts ranging from jewellery to overseas holidays and cars. All this while providing business and earning opportunities to people who would otherwise work for employers.
- A bigger brand than ever – Did you know that in 2005, Tupperware Brands rebranded to become Tupperware Brands Corporation? The company now owns Nutrimetics, Swissgarde and NaturCare plus four other beauty and personal care brands.
- Lifetime Replacement Guarantee – Rarely does a company offer a lifetime guarantee, and mean it! At every Tupperware party held, guests are encouraged to turn in their damaged, faulty items for free replacement. These items are recycled, as you’d expect.
If you haven’t seen Tupperware recently, think about hosting a party. There is lots to learn about presentation, demonstration and sales techniques, customer involvement and marketing, right there in your own living room!
Every 2.7 seconds, a Tupperware party begins somewhere in the world.