While large-budget success stories obviously represent a good percentage of our fourth annual Marketing 100, there are a number of good David vs. Goliath tales in there as well.
Despite the fact that investment in traditional media advertising is up across the board, our Marketing 100 includes products and services that are succeeding in the marketplace without it. Not without marketing, of course, but without traditional mass advertising.
Entrepreneur Larry Dinkin built up Marie Callendar's frozen entrees into a $214 million brand with no consumer advertising-an achievement that led powerhouse ConAgra to snap up the business. Daniel Cohen put the name Breathe Right on the tip of our tongues-as well as noses-with a minimal budget but a maximum impact that came from convincing National Football League players to wear the nasal strips.
Brian Maxwell gave PowerBar brand power by old-fashioned grassroots marketing-treking the product out to hundreds of athletic events and talking up its attributes. And Nicholas Callaway built a children's book line from nothing more than a dream and the courage to pursue it.
"We did it without one dollar of consumer advertising," he says. "Imagine what you could do if you had a major advertising budget."
In a tight-budget environment, innovation in marketing can be as important to success as innovation in developing the product or service. That's why we salute the people behind these 100 marketing successes.