Globalizing Consumer Durables: Singer Sewing Machine before 1914
Ajay Antony P F10063


This is about the Singer Sewing Machine Company, its inception, its growth techniques before the Second World War. The company had been started by the duo I.M. Singer and Clark with a product that was an intellectual property of I.M. Singer. The case says about how Singer was successful as a Machinist but failed as an entrepreneur. The company gets established at New York and then goes to France in two years time. Mr. Clark uses various marketing techniques like “Hire Purchase plan”, “Dedicated sales force” etc in the US that hugely helped the company to dominate the US markets for a longer time. With a slower start in the Britain, Clark introduces Mr. Woodruff to take care of the British Market. Mr. Woodruff gets the company’s marketing techniques accustomed to the British conditions. The organization pioneers the modern sales organization by introducing different concepts like door to door salesmen, canvassers, collectors, paying fixed salary to the canvassers and also developed the fidelity fund. After the US civil war, the company goes to Germany. After the death of I.M. Singer, Clark takes the responsibility as the president of the company. Under Flohr’s administration in Russia, the company introduces the “Coupon book” idea to generate sales in Russia. They also work out the Barter Instalment system. In the early 1900’s when the demand for the product rose, the company purchased its competitor and expanded to coordinate demand with the supply.

MY REFLECTIONS ON THE CASE The following were identified to be the key factors that aided the success story of the company pre first world war.M.0 o CONVERSION OF THE “B-B” PRODUCT INTO A “B-C” PRODUCT o DEDICATED SALES FORCES o RETAIL OUTLETS o POST SALES SERVICE o OPENING WORLD CLASS FACTORIES IN BACKWORD COUNTRIES LIKE RUSSIA THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION LAWS The intellectual property protection laws played the major role in the success of the company. VALUE OF CONTROL Though the organization started to give out the property rights to others based on the territories. The retail presence eventually became low with very low profits and no loyalty there was from the agents that resulted in the action of the organization to withdraw the territory rights. I. His innovations could have been easily duplicated by the other major competitors had the intellectual property had not existed. The company patented all its innovations and the company also had a joint patent of ten major tools for sewing which is identified to be the major and the root cause for the success of the company. This is . they soon realized the impact of selling out the property rights to others. o INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION LAWS o VALUE OF CONTROL – DID NOT GIVE THE TERRITORY RIGHTS TO OTHERS o GLOBALIZATION 1. Singer was a great machinist and a great innovator.

After all sewing machines were never meant for commercial purposes when the company was started. They managed to show the price of the product to be low by offering the customers with various instalment plans. The sales force reached out to each and every potential customer of theirs. The Singers adapted well to the conditions of the foreign land. Though a few other companies tried to go out of their home land as an initiative of expansion. They reached out to every door in the country in a deliberate attempt to convert the product into a commercial use product. One of the biggest factor that was responsible for the success of the company was this. Singer eventually brought the GLOBALIZATION VERSION ONE and projected themselves as an example to the other companies on hoe to adjust to the foreign conditions and how to be successful on the foreign conditions. The greatest example was when they changed their marketing techniques according to the demands of the English market. They were considered complicated and costly for house purposes. The company did not depend only on their sales in the United States but started expanding into the nearby markets too.considered to be one of the most important moves taken very early by the organization that led to a very strong foundation for the company. Singer was innovative to come up with a product that was suitable for house uses.0 The first ever company to be ever very successful of the foreign land was the singer’s. Britain and Russia etc and also were successful. The attempt did not fall short of . DEDICATED SALES FORCE The dedicated sales force plan was the first by any organization. they were not as successful as the singer. In very less time since inception. GLOBALIZATION 1. CONVERSION OF THE “B-B” PRODUCT INTO A “B-C” PRODUCT One of the greatest lessons any organization has to learn from the singers is how the singers were hugely successful in converting a Business to Business product into a Business to Consumer Product. the singers went to Germany.

they withdrew the sold property rights. They were the first to offer the post sales service that in a way built a huge brand trust on the minds of the consumer. This was a great initiative by the singers who not only succeeded in turning the Russian market into a potential market but also used a then backward country like Russia to reduce their production costs to a greater extent. One of them is the Post Sales Service. The singers pioneered in almost all today’s top marketing techniques. The sales force soon became the backbone of the organization. very well trained who could both demonstrate the sewing machine and also the instalment plans. Then they took one of the most expensive steps by opening retail outlets in almost all the regions keeping all the sales under their control.anything. These world class factories not only reduced the production costs for the company but also had great research facilities that would come up with new low cost products. Singer not only went into Russia but also built world class factories in Russia. RETAIL OUTLETS This is again one of the smartest moves by the company to lay a strong foundation for its growth. The sales people reached every door. OPENING WORLD CLASS FACTORIES IN BACKWORD COUNTRIES LIKE RUSSIA When any other organization would have hesitated to get into a market like the Russia’s. POST SALES SERVICE The singers also pioneered in “Post sales service”. . Having realized that selling the property rights will only spoil the profit and the growth of the company. they were well dressed. The most important part of their post sale service was that how effective they were in working out the service.

door to door selling. the fidelity fund. the hire purchase plan. dedicated sales force. the guarantee fund. .CONCLUSION The Singer Sewing Machine company were the pioneers of all the modern marketing activities staring from the instalment system. the coupon book system etc. the branch office system. The singers also happen to be the first ever multi-national company that brought the first version of Globalization. world class factories outside the Home.

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