In this era of social networking, when nothing is more important than correct positioning and branding, my father would feel at ease. The Internet is ruthless and turns all around into the goods. If your company has no outstanding product or service — it is doomed. In such circumstances, the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes would prosper.
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Planning and organizing various commemorative events with walks on the balloons, motorcycles, yachts, as well as collecting various collections and arranging the gala evening, father made every effort to ensure that Forbes was associated with entrepreneurial success and a good life. He turned. He stood at the head of the family business when his older brother Bruce died prematurely from cancer. Then beyond American business about Forbes almost no one knew. By the time of the death of his father in 1990, Forbes had so universally positive image that we were jealous even of the company, against which our publication was quite small. Despite the radical changes and uncertainty about the future, with which the print media like ours had to face in the era of the Internet, the brand Forbes feels just great.
My father knew: to lead the brand to success, it is first necessary to create an outstanding, first-class product. During the Second world war he was a gunner, but having received a severe wound, in 1945, began working in the company of his father, which he founded in 1917. it was Then that Forbes Jr. and have been thinking to upgrade the editorial content. Barely survived the Great depression, publishing throughout the 30’s and the postwar years has trailed behind its competitors. The journal mostly published the articles of freelance writers, the texts of which did not always meet the quality standards. Malcolm Forbes started to employ full time professional journalists and rightly believed that this will significantly raise the log level.
One of the major innovations was introduced to them in January 1949 in Forbes took the tradition to publish annual report on various industries and individual companies that later became the Forte of the magazine. Prior to this, January has always been the most sluggish month for sales of advertising, however, after the publications of annual reviews from the advertisers did not rebound.
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Finding the best father was James Michaels, who for many years worked in a Forbes editor and has done for the growth of influence and prestige editions more than anyone else. We have earned a reputation due to the fact that an unbiased estimated of the company with the same delicacy and skill with which critics have praised theatrical productions. Our reviews are trusted because the financial statements we carefully analyzed each digit, and this, in fact, except for us no one else did. My father controlled the company absolutely all and repeatedly told me that Michaels is a true genius, and so he gave a lot of room to maneuver, which did not have other key employees.
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But the most successful venture of my father, perhaps, was the launch of the weekly Herald, Forbes Investor, which published recommendations for securities analysis and market news. The price of a subscription to the Herald was established in all modesty — $35 per year. In those days it was a huge amount, given that nominal U.S. GDP then was about 80 times less than today, and the cost of subscription to the magazine Forbes was about $4. At the same time, the production costs of the Bulletin was several times less than costs for the main edition. Herald in the blink of an eye gained popularity and helped the company to raise the necessary capital for reorganization.
The product is constantly getting better, financial performance grew, and Malcolm decided that Forbes is not an ordinary company, and one of a kind.
Malcolm Stevenson Forbes was doing what a normal Manager would not dare. He gathered an incredible collection of Faberge eggs and use them in promotional materials to convey to the public one simple idea: Forbes for business — the same thing that Carl Faberge for the world of amazing jewelry. The exhibition of works of jewelers in the lobby of our old headquarters puts guests in awe and was reminded that Forbes was not an ordinary commercial organization. Eggs and other Faberge works were a great investment: dad bought them before everyone realized their true value. In addition, he was a collector of letters, manuscripts and other relics associated with the American presidency and other historical figures, as well as toy boats and toy soldiers. All the collections he has exhibited along with the Faberge eggs, the public Museum, which he has attached to the lobby of the headquarters of Forbes. The exposition was arranged not as in conventional museums, and struck the imagination of hundreds of thousands of visitors, especially children. And dad bought unusual property in all parts of the United States and other countries, which only added to our brand of charm.
To obtain relevant information for publications and offers from advertisers, Malcolm has held regular Breakfast meetings in an informal setting with CEOs of companies in a mansion adjacent to our headquarters. Each guest details he asked, and when he left, he gave him the advertising space in the magazine. Then the guest was sent a silver Cup from Tiffany’s, on which was engraved his name and date of the meeting. The same bowl with the same inscription were hung in a wine cellar at home — it meant that the guest may at any time to stop by again and try some excellent wine. Oddly enough, no one came back. Father said that nobody wanted to pass a “drinker”.
One of the most effective ways to attract advertisers was the event for influential persons and sharks advertising business on Board the yacht “Highlander”. Almost every night on weekdays, a group of some 80 guests, our sales Department did a mini-cruise around Manhattan. Shortly after the walk, each guest received a special certificate similar to a diploma, that he was made an honorary captain. This was not affordable to any competitor. Every few years built a new, larger and more elegant version of the ship. Sketches and finishing father paid as much attention as at the time Steve jobs — the Apple gadgets. The interesting thing is that such yacht trips brought much more than they spent. This continued until the crisis of 2008, when the ship had to be sold.
Father always approached marketing creatively. For example, in the 1960s, the Chinese dictator Mao Zedong released a huge number of red book called “quotations of Chairman Mao”, which was supposed to buy all Chinese citizens and to wave them at demonstrations. My father this idea was picked up and released “quotations of Chairman Malcolm”. The book was published in green-and-gold cover and included his many insightful aphorisms. To quote pad sold with a Bang, dad gave it not one person and not two, but mention in it about 5,000 friends, family members, business partners and bosses from the world of advertising. You are absolutely right, the lion’s share of the book took a mere enumeration of all these names. And who after this would not want to buy — and even better to buy for distribution, — a book about yourself? The creation of my father, of course, was far to large volumes, which were forced to C the Chinese Communist party, but in a free market father’s book sold quite well.
Creative and masterful marketing was clearly manifested in several construction projects that our company was doing in his vast territory in Colorado. For the project it was necessary to build many new roads, but how to call them? This, again, was chosen as the names of important businessmen, children, grandchildren, distant relatives, friends and colleagues. Lucky, in whose honor was named the new paths received by mail a heavy beautiful plaque, a letter announcing this honor, and a map.
Festive events Forbes is also famous for the originality and an unforgettable festive atmosphere. So, the editors of Forbes celebrated the 70-th anniversary in the house of Malcolm Forbes in new Jersey. Guests still remember from a foggy forest not far out 70 musicians playing on the bagpipes. Business tycoons came to helicopters and large arrived, of course, Donald trump.
On the other hand, undertakings from our company were delighted not all. Some third-party observers in all our initiatives saw a waste of money. But in fact, it was exactly the opposite: events that we had helped to secure for Forbes leadership image worldwide. Even today, many entrepreneurs and artists believe that doing the cover of Forbes — means to achieve higher professional recognition. Brand is everything!
As I said at the outset, social media, my father would feel just like a fish in water. He perfectly mastered the other aspects of modern life. Dad was very generous and kind person. He singled out considerable sums on the different charity initiatives — including even unpopular at the time, such as the rehabilitation of ex-offenders. He also helped individuals, in most such cases they do not know who came with the support. Furthermore, the father never resorted to unscrupulous methods of doing business, as they believed that the main purpose of business is to bring people happiness, not accumulation of money.
Translation Of Anton Bundina
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