Leadership Qualities: Homegrown Solutions…

Photo by Derek Owens on Unsplash

Effective leaders know that the most sustainable way of growing their business is by meeting the needs of their customers, even moreso by using homegrown solutions that celebrate their community.   

It’s closing in on the holiday season, so I will be devoting these blogs to topics that are reminiscent of this special time of the year.  As we approach the American Thanksgiving, we can probably all find a memory associated with it via family members or friends who have shared this special time with us.  One of my favourite memories of this holiday is welcoming a newborn into the family.  Born in this cold season, and bundled up in warm winter apparel, the message could not be clearer to us to be thankful for life and all the unending miracles that it holds.  

Another, thought that comes to mind is how to select clothing that is attractive, practical, durable and comfortable for child(ren)?  Of the many brands that exist in children’s apparel, one of my all time favourite brands is OshKosh B’gosh.  That being said, you have to ask how on earth did a company that started by manufacturing overalls for farmers and railroad workers become one of the most notable brands in children’s clothing (Carter’s, 2019)?

Branding is:

“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

(Business Dictionary, 2019; http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/branding.html).  

So, what’s OshKosh B’gosh’s story?  How did they become this household name for high quality, durable and adorable children’s clothing?  Well, history tells us that the company was founded in 1895 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin specializing in

“hickory-striped denim bib overalls for railroad workers and farmers. It was the brilliant idea of designing a pint-size version for the children of these customers that gave OshKosh B’gosh its true meaning and purpose. …The World’s Best Overalls embody the hopes, dreams and pride of every parent for their kids.”

(Carter’s, 2019; https://www.oshkosh.com/oshkosh/okbg-story.html?id=oshkosh).

So, knowing their roots and celebrating the familial bond in dressing children like their parents has been the hallmark of OshKosh’s success.  As they adverstized the children’s version of the overall, sales grew first by mail order and eventually through department stores, overtaking the sales of their adult work clothing line.  By 1979 children’s clothing contributed to 15% of the company’s sales.  However, by 1993 sales from the children’s clothing line dominated 95% of all sales.   

Today, 117 years old, OshKosh B’gosh has remained true to its roots. By partnering with the Carter’s family of brands in 2005, they only strengthened their commitment and expanded their reach. Today, they are still two of the oldest, largest and most-recognized brands of baby and children’s apparel in the world, forging generations of family ties with customers and memories of timeless quality (Carter’s, 2019).

So, as we celebrate life and all the endless possibilities in it, what are some of your favorite timeless memories of this season?  OshKosh B’gosh knows that their success is built on a strong emotional bond between the generations which gives them an enduring legacy.  What legacies can you make this holiday?

Check out For a Teacher’s Heart which commemorated another holiday season, as well as more offerings at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

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