Ralph Lauren started his $12 billion empire making … neckties.
Here are 3 things he did right.
#1 Say ‘No Thanks’ if an opportunity doesn’t honor your brand.
Ralph’s first big break was with Bloomingdale’s—the hottest store around at the time.
They said they loved his neckties, but they wanted to take his name off the label and replace it with the Bloomingdale’s name.
He said, no way, left the deal on the table and walked away.
Six months later, Bloomingdale’s came back. Turns out they DID want his neckties AND they’d keep his name on them!
#2 There will always be copycats – but nothing replaces the real deal.
Not long after Bloomingdale’s started selling his neckties, another rack—right next to his—started selling neckties that looked exactly like his. “Oh no,” he thought, “where am I going to go from here?”
But a Bloomingdale’s employee advised him not to worry because his ties were made with love and passion. Yep, break out the Kumbaya: love & passion trump the competition!
#3 “There was no miracle.
There was no snap of the fingers. It was confidence,” Ralph recalls, “I think confidence builds as you go on … closing the door on Bloomingdale’s, was at one point sort of crazy and at the same time was amazingly powerful.”
Psst. Ralph told this to Oprah. Which is where I learned these lessons.
Ralph didn’t buy into the Business Porn mentality – you know believing the “How I made $1 millions dollars in 30 days” headlines. Yeah. THAT Business Porn.
Instead he kept his namesake, brought love & passion and was his own miracle.