Yankee Candle: How To Build A Company Around A Product That Edison Made Obsolete A Century Ago

July 6, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Chavie Lieber wrote about Yankee Candle and its rise as a successful multinational scented candle company:

  • Yankee Candle got its start in 1969 when a 17-year-old couldn’t afford to buy his mother a Christmas gift and so he made her a candle using a milk carton as a mold.
  • A family friend saw the candle and wanted to buy it – and thus began a business empire.
  • Today the company grosses $832 million a year in sales, accounts for almost half of all candle sales in the United States, and is growing rapidly.
  • Part of the success is due to the stores. The company tries to evoke an emotional connection of homely authenticity with customers and looks to Disney’s branding efforts as an example.
  • 80% of its customers are women. They’re mostly between the ages of 30 and 50, are homeowners, and have families. Holiday themed scents like Christmas cookie are particularly popular with the group.
  • The company once tried to expand its market to men by releasing scents such as Riding Mower and Man Town. It was successful – with female buyers who said that the candles smelled like perfect lumberjack boyfriends.
  • New scents are released four times a year and range from the creative – “Clean Cotton” – to the eclectic – “Child’s Wish” and “Schnitzel with Noddles”.

Read more about the company, its history, what happened to its founder, its most rabid fans, and the challenges that lie ahead over here.

Source: Racked