Legends of Business

Murray Spangler worked as a janitor in Canton, a small town in Ohio, America.

Murray suffered from asthma and the dust stirred up while he cleaned staircases and rugs made his health problems worse. Having given this matter some thought he came up with an ingenious solution. He took a soapbox, a fan, a silk pillowcase and a broomstick and he assembled everything into the first domestic vacuum cleaner ever seen. He tried out his new device and was very encouraged by the results.

Now, Murray was astute enough to recognise the potential of the new product and he wanted to market it. Unfortunately he lacked the resources to develop his idea and knew he needed a sponsor. Before finding a sponsor however he decided to find out what others thought of his new unusual broom and he offers it to a friend, Susan Hoover; a move which made his fortune.

In 1908 the Hoover was born and quickly established itself as the undisputed leader in the floor-cleaning market. The rest is most certainly the stuff of Legends.

The majority of people since then, hoover the floor and no longer vacuum it. Interesting enough, even those people that have a Dyson, or any other brand, still hoover the floor. The name Hoover has become synonymous with the brand, creating such an identity that since the company Hoover grew to have a vacuum cleaner in households across the world  no longer did people call it a vacuum cleaner.

Hoover has become a Legend in it’s own rite. Since then there have been many many Vacuum cleaners taken to the market place but non have been able to change the way we talk about the simple things that we do.

I was doing some work with an American company recently who needed to send some documents to me here in the UK. My client told that they would FedEx the documents to me. Now I have worked in logistics in the past and I know that FedEx not only have the majority share of parcel delivery across America but also offer amazing customer service. They set the standard in customer loyalty.

To my surprise the parcel was delivered by a different carrier. This carrier was too and international company and it had been sent with them. I was curious as to why, the next time I spoke to my client I asked them about this and they explained they they use many carriers, FedEx’ing is just the way they refer to sending parcels… Legends, right there. Making the word FedEx mean much more than the company itself.

Businesses the world over strive to get this kind of brand loyalty. Designing great brands and having a products that stand out from the crowd are one thing, but if your customer isn’t engaged with your business then you will not create a legend.

Look at your internal legends to be able to grow a legendary business. Just as Murray Spangler had an amazing idea, he was so engaged in what it was he was doing that nothing could stop him. It is the same for all of the people who work in your business. If they are customer facing then they are the people that will develop and grow loyalty. Internally focussed people will develop and grow loyalty from within.

The energy that each and every person creates from within your business beats at the heart and creates a buzz that people will find hard not to like. Your employees will want to work and in turn deliver a high performing team that leads to business growth.

Does your business celebrate the legends that are doing the work to grow your business each and every day? As a Manager or Leader within a business do you engage with the workforce and in turn let them engage with the business? Times have been hard in recent years and everyone has been operating from a positing of survival rather than growth. Take a step, take a bold step and move forward creating the legend that people will talk about for years to come.

If you want to talk more about how to celebrate legends and engage with the employees across your business to build High Performing teams, then drop us a line. We’d love to hear about your legends.