Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Entrepreneurs of Today Persist in Looking for Bigger Fish to Fry

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Entrepreneurs of Today Persist in Looking for Bigger Fish to Fry

Article excerpt

In 1981 Ian Whyte had a dream to create Scotland's finest fish and chip shop. He began by buying a property in Anstruther, East Scotland. Next he sourced the finest possible white fish from local suppliers.

Then he concentrated on creating the perfect batter: not too light, not too crunchy. Finally he ensured the same level of food and service all year round, seven days a week.

His simple formula worked so well that the Anstruther Fish Bar was judged Scottish Fish and Chip Shop of the year so many times that he withdrew from the contest to give others a chance. It attracted upward of 2000 orders a day, with customers often making the 50-mile journey from Edinburgh simply to taste the luscious haddock supper.Without the help of market research, consultants or ad agencies, Whyte had built a brand the old-fashioned way.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou also had a dream. It's a dream most marketers are now familiar with, but at the time it was a revolutionary one: budget air travel. In 1995, with two rented 737s and a pounds 5m loan from his father, easyJet was launched. By focusing on particular routes and harnessing a unique dynamic pricing system, Stelios built the airline into a pounds 1.5bn success story and easyJet became one of the most recognised British brands.

Both Whyte and Stelios share similar stories of marketing triumph. But it is at this point that our two tales diverge. At the apex of easyJet's success Stelios stepped down as chairman. He now devotes his time to an ambitious brand extension strategy in which the easyGroup empire will encompass ventures as diverse as credit cards, car rental, internet cafes, pizza delivery, budget hotels and bus services. …

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