James Dyson

These days when a company moves into a new market we accept and welcome it (give or take) as it means more competitive prices and choice of services. For example…

The company as we know it started off offering a pay monthly TV service (extra 4 channels at the point of launch. This included Europe’s first 24-hour news channel. This back in 1990, by 1998 it had moved into digital TV opening up the gates to 120+ channels. Then their own take on a PVR/DVR; Sky+ 2001. Then Sky Talk & Broadband and HD came within 12 months of each other. So within 11 years, Sky had grown exponentially, giving every subscriber more than ever before.

Sky Go (formerly known as Sky Player, Sky By Broadband/Sky Anytime on PC) launched in 2006. In 2012 Sky entered the internet video streaming market to take as much of that market as possible. Sky was then by this point challenging the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime/Love Film, Blinkbox, Wuaki.TV, GooglePlay, Apple TV. The latest big player to join was BT Sport. Not to mention along the way Sky at one point gave rights to other companies to provide a credit card in their name, extended warranty products, sports teams, and ticketing services.

Michio Suzuki first started out Suzuki Loom Works in the small village of Hamamatsu, Japan. Business boomed as Suzuki built weaving looms for Japan’s giant silk industry. In 1929, Michio Suzuki invented a new type of the weaving machine, which was exported overseas.

The company’s first 30 years focused on the development and production of these machines. So let’s get that right; the company started off manufacturing high quality and sought-after textiles to manufacturing machines. Not only machines, automobiles. After a set back during the 2nd World War, Suzuki focused on motorised bikes such as T500, Katana GSX1100, and the VS 1400 Intruder.

Then again return to cars and trucks such as the Carry, Fronte 800, and the Jimmy. Not to mention during its rise, Suzuki entered a motorcycle race team into Grands Prix under the manufacturing name Colleda and continued to do for many years.

Robert Barr, the fourth son of a farming family from Beith in Ayrshire, started a cork cutting business in Falkirk in 1830. In 1875 Robert’s son, also called Robert, added a soft drinks business, which quickly grew to become the only activity.

A.G. Barr PLC, commonly known as Barr’s, is a Scottish soft drink manufacturer, based in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is particularly notable for the manufacture of the popular Scottish drink, Irn-Bru. The company was founded in 1875 by Robert Barr in the town of Falkirk. In 1887 his son, Robert Fulton Barr set up a division of the original company in Glasgow, which had a much larger population and therefore an immediate ready-made marketplace to sell to with limited distribution costs.

Then in 1892, the Glasgow branch passed to Andrew Greig Barr, a brother of the founder of that branch. Irn-Bru was first launched in 1901. The Falkirk and Glasgow divisions merged in 1959. The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1965.

In 1972, the Tizer brand was purchased to challenge for market share South of the border as Scotland’s national drink Irn-Bru was as well received there as it was back home. In 1980 we saw the introduction of Low-Calorie Irn-Bru; this changed its name in 1991 to Diet Irn-Bru, which personally I find amusing as a growing trend for drinks manufacturers in the last few years is to produce “Zero” sugar and “Low Calorie” versions to appeal to a more health-conscious public and to take steps forward in a bid to have an improved public image and part of their corporate responsibility policies. This brings us to 2010 where Irn-Bru sugar-free.

The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1965. In 1972, the Tizer brand was purchased to challenge for market share South of the border as Scotland’s national drink Irn-Bru was as well received there as it was back home.

In 1980 we saw the introduction of Low-Calorie Irn-Bru: this changed its name in 1991 to Diet Irn-Bru, which personally I find amusing as a growing trend for drinks manufacturers in the last few years is to produce “Zero” sugar and “Low Calorie” versions to appeal to a more health-conscious public and to take steps forward in a bid to have an improved public image and part of their corporate responsibility policies. This brings us to 2010 where Irn-Bru sugar-free.

In 2001 the company acquired Findlay’s Mineral Water. The Company acquired Strathmore Mineral Water in May 2006. The Irn-Bru 32 energy drink variant was launched in 2006 to challenge the like of Relentless and Red Bull. In 2008 the company purchased the Taut sports drink range and exotic fruit drink company Rubicon.

In November 2012 the Barr’s agreed to merge with Britvic, which produces drinks like J2O, Tango and Robinsons, as well as holding the authority to produce Pepsi for the UK market, to create one of Europe’s largest soft drinks companies. Although the merger never happened and was dropped in the Summer of 2013 the intent of diversifying was obvious.

To recap, Barr’s has now developed beyond Irn-Bru and the “Classic” range of Ginger Beer, Traditional Lemonade, Cream Soda (now with a twist of Raspberry) and Orange which I once referred to as the Take That of soft drinks. Back in the day, Irn-Bru was really considered part of the band until it broke away on it’s leaving the rest behind and made a name for itself.

It wasn’t until years later that the rest of the band had another good go at being socially relevant and they were and do more than hold their own now in the marketplace. Oh yes, back to the recap of how the drinks diversified. Barr’s have Tizer, D’N’B (Dandelion & Burdock), Rockstar (Energy Drinks), St Clements, Sun Exotic which is a sub-brand of Rubicon, Funkin (Cocktail Mixers), KA, Simply Fruity, Snapple, Strathmore Water,  Lipton Iced Tea, and the rest of Barr’s Flavours. All of which challenge in the following drinks markets:

  • Fizzy Soft Drinks/Pop
  • Adult/Night Life (Funkin)
  • Energy Drinks (Irn-Bru 32 & Rockstar)
  • International Appeal (KA, St Clements and Snapple)

Oh yes and let’s not forget the Irn-Bru Chewy Bars and Rubicon ice cream and lollies, and Irn-Bru Tartan.

Irn-Bru tartan received its certificate of accreditation (No.97017) on 12th September 1997 from the Council of the Scottish Tartans Society. The tartan substantially incorporates the IRN-BRU orange and IRN-BRU blue colours.

So you’ll be wondering what sparked off this blog about diversification and why James Dyson is in the headline cover image, yes do you remember him? Why here it is… Dyson has not ruled out diversifying into the automotive industry.

Dyson is famous for its vacuum cleaners, but also has a series of fans and lights on the market as it expands its range and choice of products. Always keen to venture elsewhere, the firm has now revealed it’s not ‘ruling out’ the possibility of releasing its own electric car.

Earlier this year Dyson invested millions into Sakti3, a battery firm with technology advanced enough to power electric cars. CEO Max Conze said its engineers are capable of delivering groundbreaking tech: “Sakti3’s focus is on creating batteries for our hand-held devices, but Sakti3 has the best remit to deliver breakthrough technology into other industries.”

When asked if it would join Apple, and Tesla, in launching a car, Mr Conze said: “We are ruling nothing out – Like our friends in Cupertino we are also unhealthily obsessive when it comes to taking apart our products to make them better.”

He even hinted that the company is already working on it: “If you do what we do and invent disruptive technologies and have thousands of engineers working on these projects for as long as 15 years, then you want to keep that work in the lab until it’s ready.”

Dyson revealed in the same call that its revenues were up 10 percent in 2014 to £1.3B, thanks to a surge in demand for its products. It’s clearly not short of a quid or two, so if it did have plans to make an electric car, it is doubtful that funding the project would be an issue.

The move would make Dyson the latest technology firm, behind the likes of Google and Apple, to reportedly branch out into the motoring industry.

 

Would you buy a Dyson Car? If a silk weaving company can go to become a cornerstone in the motor car manufacturing industry, and Sky aims to become the true multi-player of communication services in the business to customer setting and Barr’s tick every box out with the alcohol market, why wouldn’t you buy a car from Dyson?

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