Branding Masters

Nobody really disputes Crayola's crayon quality; that's why they've sold billions of crayons for over a hundred years.  But another reason they are the powerhouse of crayon success is branding.

Crayola wasn't first to make crayons so it wasn't like eBay where first on the market guaranteed success.  The reality is that Crayola came about a decade after such companies like Franklin Mfg and Standard Crayon Co. had been selling school crayons with established product lines. 

Still, this was a big country and a lot of territory to sell to and the reality was that all the initial companies selling crayons were still trying to figure it out offering up product name after product name hoping to catch the market's

Crayola's first attempt at branding consistency was the inclusion of a school girl coloring on an easel.  This appeared on virtually all of their early crayon boxes.  The trouble was that it appeared on the back of the crayons and not on the front which what displayed in retailer shops.

But in 1904 they won the Gold Medal at the iconic St. Louis World's Fair and came up with the brainchild to use the medal design on their boxes to create a new look.  At first they only used it on their new No. 8 (another size that wasn't theirs first but in the end was so familiar that now it is just assumed they came up with it first.)

Their Gold Medal line resonated and by 1910 they expanded the style to include more and more product lines.  And though they made changes over the years, it was like watching your own kids grow up; they were small enough that nobody really noticed.

Yes, they kept their branding and made changes along the way.  They even dropped the Gold Medal reference by the 1960s and yet we all sort of visualize a simple yellow and green box when we think of it at all.  Meanwhile, they left all their competitors behind based on quality AND familiarity.

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