Secrets To Building A Billion Dollar Brand with Joe Foster, Author of Shoe Maker
Episode #324: Reebok Founder Secrets To Building An Empire in this Episode of Dropping Bombs with The Real Brad Lea (TRBL)
I wasn’t a great salesman, I focused on the marketing. That’s how you get to the masses.
Building a Business Empire w/ Reebok Founder Joe Foster
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather who first produced his own shoes in 1895 and by the 1900s was selling them to Olympic athletes.
Joe Foster and his brother continued the legacy and eventually built a business empire by creating the global brand Reebok. Continuing in the lane of shoes, Reebok founder Joe Foster recently released his new book, “Shoe Maker: The Untold Story of the British Family Firm that Became a Global Brand.”
Read Reebok Founder – Joe Foster’s New Book: Shoe Maker
Inside he shares his insights from working with his brother what the first major obstacle is that they had to overcome, what retailers wanted, and why they needed the athletes… Joe Foster also touches on the major milestones and discovering the untapped market in an athletic shoe for women in the U.S. that was going to develop a new category for them called, “aerobic shoes.” Get your copy of Shoe Maker: The Untold Story Of The British Family Firm That Became A Global Brand
SHOE WARS: Building A Business Empire In America Against Nike, Adidas And Others
Having spent 11+ years looking to break into the U.S. market, it’s safe to say Reebok has been building a business empire since then that stretched the globe. Joe Foster led Reebok in the direction when he saw an opportunity to serve a different target demographic outside the traditional “sweaty male basketball player” in the ’80s.
Finding adoption of the new aerobic shoes for women in the 80s through A-List Celebrities and Hollywood Film Professionals, the aerobic shoe Reebok produced caught on like wildfire throughout the United States propelling sales by allowing them to sell to the masses.
Joe Foster Invented More Than Just Reebok Shoes
You could safely say Joe Foster invented “Influencer Marketing” back in 1982 and leveraged it to billions, building a global brand in Reebok that he eventually exited some 10 years ago. Now spending time in France awaiting a trip back to his home country of the U.K. Joe Foster is still smart as a whip and knows what it takes to help products sell at scale. He shares it all in this episode of Dropping Bombs podcast so listen up!
With a bit of luck, a lot of determination you can utilize these powerful strategies for your business. Let’s go bomb squad. It’s time for another great episode of Droppin’ Bizzle’s… #droppingbombs #bombsquad #reebokfounder
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In 1943 at the age of 8, Joe won an American Webster’s dictionary in an 80 yards sprint race in his hometown of Bolton. This was the dictionary where Joe was to find the word Reebok (the American spelling), in 1960. If he had won an English Dictionary, he would have found the word spelled, Rhebok. Joe and his late brother Jeff were born into the J W Foster & family business, but on their return after two years away from home on National Service, they asked questions about the future. The year was 1955 and the brothers saw a business still rooted in the 1930s. Their father and uncle were now operating the business and very much like another sport shoe company (Adidas), spent more time feuding than collaborating. The result was that in 1958 Joe and Jeff left the Foster business to set up their own business. Six miles down the road in the next town, Bury, the brothers founded “Mercury Sports Footwear” which after 18 months they changed its name to ‘Reebok.’ Joe had been advised to protect their company’s name by registering it. When finding the word Mercury was registered by another company started the search for a new name and one source was the Webster’s dictionary that Joe won. Leafing through for inspiration Joe came across grey rhebok, a small South African antelope, this sounded just right and was free to register. The Reebok business developed with Jeff looking after production as Joe took charge of the sales and marketing side and design which included the classic silhouette, outsole, and the Starcrest. In the early years, Joe traveled many miles introducing Reebok’s offering shoes to Sports Retailers up and down the country. Joe worked as the head of this company for 32 years.
Buy Joe’s book here: Shoe Maker: The Untold Story of the British Family that Became a Global Brand