More Than a Good Story

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Case Application:- More Than a Good Story Jake and Rocket, a cartoon guy and his cartoon dog, can be found on most of the apparel and other branded products sold by the Life is good® company. With his perky beret (or other appropriate head gear), Jake has that contented look of being able to enjoy life as it is and finding reasons to be happy right now. And Rocket? Well, he’s just happy to be along for the ride. And what a ride it’s been for the two! They’ve been a part of the company’s growth to over $100 million in revenues. Company co-founders and brothers, Bert and John Jacobs have a personal and business philosophy much like Jake: simplicity, humor, and humility. However, both understand that even with this philosophy, they need to be good managers and they need good managers throughout the organization in order to stay successful. Bert and John designed their first tee shirts in 1989 and sold them door-to-door in college dorms along the East Coast and in Boston where they’d set up shop using an old card table in locations on one-way streets so they could pick up and move quickly if they needed to. They used this simple sales approach because, like many young entrepreneurs, they couldn’t afford required business licenses. Although they met a lot of wonderful people and heard a lot of good stories during those early years, sales weren’t that great. As the company legend goes, the brothers “lived on peanut butter and jelly, slept in their beat-up van, and showered when they could.” During one of their usual post-sales-trip parties, Bert and John asked some friends for advice on an assortment of images and slogans they had put together. Those friends (some of whom now work for the company) liked the “Life is good” slogan and a drawing of Jake that had been sketched by John. So Bert and John printed up 48 Jake shirts for a local street fair in Cambridge, Massachusetts. By noon, the 48 shirts were gone, something that had never happened! The brothers were smart...
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