I am a Gen Xer, and Tupperware played a large part with the first generation latchkey children’s adjustment to Mom not being home.  Moms were not at home as much; they simply did not operate as their mothers and grandmothers did.

My parents’ friends would bring food over in Tupperware containers, and literally as they were giving you the food, they would say these infamous words, Please return my Tupperware container”Tupperware was revolutionary.  There was nothing like making lasagna, placing leftovers in the container, and knowing two days later, it’s good to eat.  This was Tupperware’s implicit guarantee.

Two days ago, Bloomberg, issues a headline, “Tupperware fate may be sealed as it warns of a collapse”.  I thought to myself, how could such a forward thinking, cool brand be on the brink of collapse?  Immediately I began to speculate on their business model, did they over leverage. Was it because they did not adapt to the cultural shift of the modern woman or mom.  I was very certain it was because they are not using current business marketing trends.  I believe all the above does play a part into understanding why Tupperware is struggling.  But something inside said Google, “Tupperware brands”.

Stay in your lane!

You only pivot your company if you have a competitive advantage, not to add more noise to a market.  Googling Tupperware brands, populated the following:

  • Avory Shlain, cosmetics
  • Fuller, cosmetics
  • NaturCure, networking marketing, cosmetic
  • Nutrimetics, cosmetics
  • Nuvo, cosmetics

Who the hell in the boardrooms of Tupperware and Sara Lee put forth the idea that, Tupperware is a network marketing company.   Disclosure, I have never been fan of network marketing.  Not my cup of tea.  I don’t care if you were selling a pass to heaven, I am good.  I truly believe if a product has a competitive advantage, delivers on its promise, and has the right promotion dollars behind it, it will move.

None of the listed acquisitions above compliments Tupperware’s core, kitchen, and cooking ware.  Tupperware would have done better at purchasing Maytag or Whirlpool. But the boardroom spinsters adored Tupperware’s user-sales communities, fell short on really exploring one question in value proposition 101, why would someone switch to Tupperware cosmetics over another established brand.

Pivot only when you can really compliment the market, or you discovered that’s where your brand or business can excel at.  Dump any offerings that do not compliment your core value proposition

I am very impressed with Williams-Somona and equally, OXO brand of containers. The Avon’s network marketing has evolved into social media demonstrations of offerings and customer engagements.  Position your brick-and-mortar stores in locations where visitors can get a feel for your products, ask Sur La Table. 

When your brand hits legendary status, do not confuse your customers.