History Lessons

HJ Heinz - Publicity pays. Where would we be without our baked beans or ketchup?

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Where would we be without our baked beans or ketchup? Heinz owes its revered place in the hearts and minds of students and fry-up fans to its 19th-century founder, whose approach to self-publicity broke the mould. Desperate to spread the word about his beans and pickles, Henry J Heinz was one of the first manufacturers to offer free samples and money-back guarantees. He also masterminded one of the world's longest-running ad campaigns when in 1893 he launched the company's branding: a bright green cucumber shape and the '57 Varieties' logo. Heinz had noticed a poster advertising 21 shoe styles while on a New York train: 'The idea of 57 varieties gripped me at once. I jumped off the train and began the work of laying out my advertising plans. Within a week, the sign of the green pickle with the "57 Varieties" was appearing in newspapers, on billboards, signs and everywhere else I could find to stick it.' Never mind that the company already produced 60 varieties.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...

Gender bias is kept alive by those who think it is dead

Research: Greater representation of women does not automatically lead to equal treatment.

What I learned leading a Syrian bank through a civil war

Louai Al Roumani was CFO of Syria's largest private retail bank when the conflict broke...