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Playboy: The Success Story Of Hefner’s Empire

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Do you know about the most read men’s magazine which has been popular for more than four decades? The sales for a single issue of this magazine hit seven million by the early 1970s. Sounds familiar, right? Every other man was holding a copy this magazine back then. Any guesses? We are speaking about the most sold magazine of all times Playboy. Hugh Hefner and his remarkable magazine Playboy solely changed the story of the adult entertainment industry and became a multimillion dollar business endeavour that expanded to incorporate television, web ventures, clubs and more. The magazine was a game changer in the era of ‘70s where people were more conscious of what is being displayed and what’s not.

Playboy’s founding story

Hugh Hefner, the founder of the epic magazine had first shown his interest in publication at an early age. In high school he founded his school’s newspaper taking it as an opportunity, young Hefner illustrated his own comic book, School Daze. Although he had a high IQ of 152, Hefner was never really spirited about school, in general. However, after completing his schooling, Hefner joined the United States Army. Later, he went on to attend classes at the Chicago Art Institute. After two years at the Art Institute, Hefner attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in the year 1950. It was in the year 1952, Hefner started working as a cartoonist for the famous Esquire magazine. While working there, he was turned down for a $ 5 raise, he took it to heart and decided to quit his job at the publication. He went on to venture out on his own and the rest we know is history! In 1953, Hefner founded Playboy magazine using his $ 600 bucks and several thousand more he borrowed including $ 1,000 from his mom.

The rise and fall and rise of Playboy

The first issue of Playboy published in December 1953. The magazine featured nude photos of Marilyn Monroe and sold over 50,000 copies. As we all know, controversial stuff sells fast! Playboy had its strategies right and by the year 1958, the magazine’s annual profit was $ 4 million and Hugh Incredible Hefner had skyrocketed to fame. Over the years, apart from controversial stuff, Playboy’s publication of writers including Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, Joseph Heller, Jack Kerouac and Margaret Atwood became famous overnight. Also, Miles Davis was the magazine’s first interview. Other interviews included Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and the then presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, who confided that he had committed adultery in his heart. John Lennon before dying had spoken to Playboy in 1980 as well. Playboy became known for its sexually explicit content. By 1970, Hugh Hefner had gone from beginning an entrepreneurial endeavour in his own home to being the founder of a major corporation. The distribution of the magazine was extensively done and copies were selling at rates of seven million copies per month. The year 1972 earned Hefner a twelve million dollar profit.

The magazine’s monthly distribution was reaching new heights. Yes! An enormous 7 million issues were sold in 1971. By that time, nearly one quarter of  American young lads were buying or subscribing every month, according to a source. However, post that, Playboy saw a downfall in the late ‘80s and the franchise was struggling hard to reach out to the people. In the year 1994, Hefner established the Playboy Jazz Film Festival, funded by Playboy. The festival was the first showcase on the West Coast for rare jazz films and was free to the public. The franchise was slowly and steadily gaining its pace. Nevertheless, Hefner’s brainchild was back with a bang in the early 2000s with the release of his reality television show on E!. The program The Girls Next Door portrayed the lives of his three blonde girlfriends at the Playboy Mansion. The series was a super hit and doubled the popularity of Hefner between the years 2005 to 2010.

In the year 2017, Hefner died in Los Angeles at the age of 91. At the time of his death, Hefner’s global brand had an estimated net worth of at least $ 110 million. As of now, Playboy earns most of its money by licensing the bunny brand for a variety of products including liquor, clothing, fragrances, jewellery and bath products.

Cooper Hefner, Hefner’s son and the Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement …my father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom. He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history.

Watch the success story of Playboy here,

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Entrepreneur Stories

Influencer Marketing And Its Relevance In Today’s Marketing World

Smruthi Kishore

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At the very basic sense of the term, influencer marketing is a phrase that came from old and new forms of marketing. While digital marketing in itself has come a long way from the initial days, this field has now branched into a new form of marketing, influencer marketing. With more than 1.2 billion people always scrolling through the different social media platforms, influencers and influencer marketing has grown to become an important marketing technique. In the present world of digitization, this is why influencer marketing has become such a necessary tool.

1. Targeted development of brands

One of the major advantages of influencer marketing is that it is targeted toward specific brands and specific audiences. Every time you see an influencer endorsing a product you do not necessarily know about, your interest in the said brand is instantly piqued and through that, your desire for finding out more. With specific endorsements, influencer marketing helps in spreading the word to a larger audience and in attracting more people with similar interests.

2. Transparent and effective

By using dynamic influencers and engaging stories, brands are constantly increasing the kind of effect this content has. Furthermore, by using social media to the most of its abilities, influencers use these platforms to redirect customers to their websites. With a unique collaboration of the old and the new, existing and emerging brands are constantly reinventing themselves as a source for new material on a regular basis.

3. Making direct measurement

Instagram recently introduced a new analytics features. This new analytics feature lets brands track performances on a weekly basis and lets owners track data according to very specific KPIs. Also, guided measurements like these help brands and agencies in creating a streamlined process for delivering their content to the world. Further, influencers can also track the kind of response they are getting from the brands as well.

4. Influencer marketing adds credibility to the brand

How many times have you looked at an influencer endorsing a product and realised that the brand they are promoting could actually be of value to you? Time and time again, when you see new faces on the internet clubbed with already known faces, your faith in the credibility of these brands increases. As a user, you are subconsciously drawn into looking at what they are, even if you don’t invest in them.

5. Your brand is introduced to the world as a leader

While this may not be from the perspective of a consumer, when you connect your brand with an established and innovative celebrity, it gives your company an edge over others in the market. Celebrity and influencer endorsement like this says you, as a company, are a trendsetter even before you make it big in the world. Further, consumer studies show that more than 85 % of the world finds new brands through social media and through the celebrities they follow.

Digital marketing is no longer just restricted to one form of getting the word out about your brand on the internet. With influencer marketing becoming increasingly popular, there are now different methods to promote the visibility of your brand. If you think we missed out on any other reasons as to why influencer marketing is important, comment and let us know!

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Women Leaders Who Are Changing The World

Smruthi Kishore

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Women are taking over the world one position at a time and in the last few years, it comes as no surprise that there are more women in influential roles now, as compared to the last few years. Here is a list of women who are ruling the startup world and the tech world by being really great at their job.

1. Sheryl Sandberg

There are several reasons why Sheryl Sandberg is one the most powerful COOs Facebook has ever had. Working closely with Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl always promoted gender equality in the workplace and became a strong force to be reckoned with by always encouraging women. So powerful was Sandberg’s 2013 Ted Talk speech, that her line “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” inspired the formation of an organization called Lean In. Apart from partnering with influential companies to spread the voice of women, Lean In also helps empower women and realise their ambitions. Sheryl Sandberg has always been very vocal about her concerns and through the years, she has proven how you can get things done if you really want to make something happen.

2. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

While an entire company stands in awe of the greatness that is Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, not many know, this lady became the CEO of Biocon without wanting to be one. In fact, she has gone on record and said Biocon was formed as a result of all the gender bias Shaw went through during the early parts of her life. Now, nearly 45 years later, Biocon has grown from just being an enzyme manufacturing company to being the most successful biopharmaceutical company in the country. Helping people fight a wide range of diseases from cancer to diabetes, Shaw made sure Biocon helps in curing ailments which are otherwise extremely harmful.

3. Indra Nooyi 

Recently retired after a long and successful reign as the CEO of Pepsico, Indra Nooyi is an inspiration to women all over the world. What made Nooyi so great as a CEO was how effectively she handled her personal and work life. Her motto to achieve success was never taking work back home and to always focus on the main task at hand, a principle which made her reach the CEO position within a couple of years. Her success and dedication to work was so great, she was included in Forbes’s list of ‘Most Influential Women’ in 2008! One of the reasons for her stupendous rise to success was the strong work life balance Nooyi maintained throughout her life, never letting one take over the other.

4. Arundhati Bhattacharya 

The first woman to head State Bank of India, the largest public sector bank in India, Arundhati Bhattacharya was instrumental in bringing about a large number of changes in banking. Working toward making the life of women better, not just in the corporate world, but in the other walks of life as well, Arundhati Bhattacharya has lived her life to the fullest, giving everyone around her major life goals!

5. Oprah Winfrey

Growing from having nothing to her name to having the world respecting and knowing her, Oprah Winfrey has come a long way! Now known for being the first African American woman billionaire, Oprah has been popular through the years for hosting a talk show which looks at helping people all over the world. After she started making her opinion public, Oprah grew to become one of the most influential women in the world by accepting her past.

It is now the time of women to come to the top and stand apart from the crowd. If you think there are other women who need to be mentioned on this list, comment and let us know!

 

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Richard Branson Life Lessons

Smruthi Kishore

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Sixty eight, rich and successful, Richard Branson has taught people the way to live life is either king size or not at all. An owner of 500 companies, with a personal wealth of over $ 5 billion, Branson has given life lessons that are extraordinarily amazing. Here’s looking at some of the things the man behind Virgin Atlantic has told and taught the rest of the world.

1. Your age doesn’t define you 

When Branson left school at the age of 16 to start his first ever magazine, little did he know he had sowed the seeds for a successful life. Over the years, with each of his ventures becoming a bigger and bigger success, Branson realised he had a lot to learn and a long way to grow. Soon enough, he understood age was just a number and to get ahead, one needed to work extremely hard in life.

2. it is important to enjoy every moment of life 

The moment you start enjoying what you do, the results are immediate and instantly seen. Branson loves everything he does and with the success one sees from these ventures, he has clearly applied this principle in life. In fact, when he started Virgin Atlantic, the principle of this company was to make shopping fun and through the years, one can see how closely he has followed this particular theme!

3. Realise you are not doing anything wrong by working for free

Without realising it, when you work for free, you are broadening your horizons to things you did not think were possible. In fact, when Virgin Records started recording music, the first thing they did was to let multi instrumentalist, Mike Oldfield, use their recording studio for free. Soon after his record dropped, Mike became a sensation and Virgin Records became home for all musicians.

4. You learn when you do things 

Without a journalism degree (or any other kind of degree, for that matter,) Branson started his magazine company to a whopping success right just by learning on the job. Learn through the mistakes and grow with them. The more you grow, the more you learn not just from your business, but also from the people around you. However, while it is okay to learn from your mistakes, it is important to know you aren’t making the same ones over and over again.

5. It is okay to take risks 

Never one to wait for things or one who had the patience for things to happen for him, Richard Branson believes in taking risks by the horns and running with them. Make sure you throw yourself deep into the work you do and when you take risks, you know the results are going to be what you want. Incidentally, one of the major risks Branson took ended up in him having to mortgage his house.

An owner of a host of extremely successful companies and a yacht, Richard Branson clearly knows how to live life well. If you have learnt anything else from this great man, comment and let us know.

 

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