Episode 5

From Family Business to Global Brand, with Reebok founder Joe Foster

The Foster family had been hand-making running shoes since the late 19th century, supplying the likes of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams - later immortalized in the film Chariots of Fire - as well as providing boots to most football league clubs. But a feud between Joe Foster’s father and his uncle about the direction of J W Foster & Sons prompted Joe and his brother Jeff to leave the family business and set up a new company. Inspired by the success of brands such as Adidas, Reebok was born and Joe’s ambitions were sky-high. At first, money was so tight that Joe, Jeff and their wives all lived in their rundown factory, with the heavy shoe-making machinery strategically placed to avoid the floor collapsing. As the business grew in fits and starts, Joe’s vision for the brand became ever clearer and the setbacks, near bankruptcies and tough lessons only served to push Joe and reebok harder towards the ultimate goal: breaking America

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The power of marketing

  • Value of influencer marketing

  • How to establish brand trust

  • Adapting your business to social climate

  • Corporate model for a family startup

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