Wedgewood a Renowned Potter
Wedgewood Was A Renowned Potter In The Eighteenth Century Who Created An Empire And Shed A New Light On Marketing And Staffing. His Interest In Pottery Came From His Father Who Owned A Shop But Was Not Very Ambitious. Therefore, Issues Like Expansion Or Getting More Profit Never Crossed His Mind.
Wedgewood, Who Left His Father’s Company To Start His Own, Leveraged His Competitive Advantage In Several Ways. The First Way Of Balancing His Competitive Advantage Was By Withdrawing His Product Anytime It Saturated The Market. This Means That At Any Given Time When Wedgwood’s Products Would Be In The Market, They Would Be When The Demand For That Particular Product Was Higher Than The Supply.
This Was A Brilliant Move Because Wedgwood Studied The Market To See When It Would Be Favorable For Each Of His Products. “Greater Returns Are To Be Obtained From Adapting Products And Marketing Strategies To The Specific Characteristics Of Individual Markets” (Fisher 1984, Kotler 1985, Vedder 1986) (Myth Of Globalization, Page 2)
Secondly, Wedgwood Identified And Chose A Specific Clientele For His Products And Stuck To It. He Specialized In Making High-Quality Goods For The Elite Both In Britain And Internationally. Some Of The Elite In His Client List Were King George III’s Wife(This Earned Wedgwood The Title “Potter To Her Majesty”), Catherine The Great And The Duchess Of Devonshire.
Wedgwood Started With Britain First Then After He Had Made A Name For Himself, Slowly Branched Out To Other Countries Like China, Germany, Portugal, Turkey And Italy, As Compared To The Dutch Supermarket Operator Ahold Royal Who Failed To Carefully Study The Market Before Going Global And Ended Up Getting Involved In A Scandal In 2003. (When You Should Not Go Global, Page 7)
Wedgwood Is A Differentiator. This Is Because There Existed Potters Before Him Who Had Gone Global But Were Not As Successful As He Was. This Therefore Gave Wedgewood A Second Mover Niche Because The Predecessors Gave Him The Chance To Compete Effectively With Them. He Is Also A Differentiator Because He Chose To Train His Own Workers Instead Of Poaching Them From Another Industry Where they had acquired Their Training. He Also Came Up With An Effective And Organized Workforce At Etruria Where Punctuality And Consistency Were Practiced.
He Devised A Simple Clocking In Method Which Helped In Keeping Track Of His Workers. The Workers Were Required To Work Six Days A Week And Reported To Work Every Day At Six O’clock In The Morning And Were Not Allowed To Carry Liquor Into The Factory. (Page 43, The Wedgewood Case)Wedgwood Also Found His Niche In The Market And Maximized On It. Despite The Obvious Fact That There Were Several Other Companies Manufacturing The Same Product, He Studied The Market And Strategized And Ensured That He Had A Strong Market At Home Before Venturing Into Other Countries.
One Of The Most Practical Ways In Which Wedgwood Followed The Demand Versus Supply Rule Is By Withdrawing The Product When It Had Saturated The Market. This Means That In This Case, The Supply Was Greater Than The Demand And He Would Therefore Wait Until The Demand Rose Again To Restart Production. He Also Started Mass Production Of Vases In 1769 When There Was A Huge Demand For Vases In Europe. This Was Described As A “Violent Vase Madness” (The Wedgwood Case Page 45)
Kotler, Philip. Global Standardization-Courting Danger. Washington D.C, American Marketing Association Conference. 1985
Fisher, Anne. The Ad Viz Gloms Onto Capital.1984
Koehn Nancy. Josiah Wedgwood And The First Industrial Revolution.
Douglas Susan And Wind Yoram. The Myth Of Globalization.
Alexander Marcus And Korine Harry. When You Shouldn’t Go Global
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