This week, Facebook announced that they now have one billion monthly active users on their site. In passing the billion mark, Facebook joins an exclusive club of global brands like FedEx, McDonalds, and Coke - in this edition, we’re looking at what it takes to get to a billion customers:
The simple idea that changed an industry
It’s probably not surprising that every year, global logistics company FedEx ships a billion packages. What may surprise you is that most of these packages go through one central hub in Tennessee before travelling across the world to their destination. FedEx’s revolutionary “hub and spoke” approach may seem counterintuitive, but it is the key to their worldwide success and the model that their competitors have also adopted. Founder Fred Smith got the idea from his service as an air controller in Vietnam. Watch this video to get an idea of how FedEx’s central hub works:
It’s hard to imagine a world where billions of Cokes aren’t sold every day, but when businessman Asa Chandler bought the rights to Coca Cola in 1888, the company only sold about nine servings per day. To build the Coke we know today, Asa pioneered two now-ubiquitous ideas: first, he created bottling franchises that sold his drink across America, then, he created the first ever coupon to allow curious customers to try out the drink. Coke still uses the bottling franchise model today, and it looks like that coupon idea has caught on, too.
If the McDonald brothers had gotten their way, the global brand of the golden arches would never have existed. The brothers weren’t interested in expanding their small restaurant chain, but Ray Kroc, a soda fountain salesman, saw the potential of their fast-food approach and eventually persuaded them to franchise their name. Kroc went on to build the infamous no-frills, standardised McDonald’s model that we recognise today, and eventually took over the company.
What company do you think will hit one billion customers next? Hit us up on twitter or leave a comment and let us know. And have a great weekend!