Wrigly: Laundry Soap
Like Avon, William Wrigly, Jr. originally set off to sell a completely different product. He sold soap and baking powder. As an incentive to choose his brand, he offered gum. Soon, everyone only asked about the gum and didn’t care about the soap. As with all smart entrepreneurs, William listened to the customer and soon only distributed gum.
Believe it or not, this technology and communications giant started as a grocery trading company with noodles as its main product. Today, Samsung has its hand in many different things, including apartment buildings and hospitals in Seol, insurance companies, and a theme park.
The high end luxury car company got its feet wet with tractors. After WWII, Ferruccio Lamborghini founded a company that specialized in making tractors out of recycled military vehicle parts. He later expanded his business into heating and cooling, which is where he struck it big. With the money from his heating and cooling ventures, he was able to produce and sell the sports cars that his company is now known for.
3M: Mining Aluminum Oxide
The Minnesota Mining Manufacturer (aka 3M) didn’t always sell office supplies. In fact, the company began with 5 men mining for corundum – or aluminum oxide. There are several varieties of aluminum oxide, including rubies and sapphires. The kind these men were mining for wasn’t a precious stone, but merely some material used to make sandpaper.