The ‘entrepreneur story’ is one almost as old as the nation that perfected it. A hardworking immigrant with a vision lands on the shining American shores, yanking their own bootstraps all the way to the top. Immortalized both in collective imagination as well as timeless literature like Roth’s American Pastoral, the ideal has excited and encouraged generations of American businessmen. Jason Proch is the President of Grandview Solutions, a company dedicated to helping businesses expand. He sees a recent article originally posted on TechCrunch as the perfect example of the entrepreneurial ideal. Here are some great business lessons from the story of Sriracha’s founder, David Tran:
Stay Dedicated To Quality Products
Since fleeing communist Vietnam in the 70s, David Tran stayed dedicated to the principle of providing only the highest quality products. This is a big part of what has led his company, Huy Fong Foods, to $60 million in sales per year. Despite this size, he still employs quality control measures like processing his chili peppers the same day they are harvested, notes Jason Proch. Additionally, he stays true to his original product vision. When various suppliers recommended that he adjust his recipe to make his signature hot sauce sweeter or lighter for the benefit of the American palate, he refused. “Hot sauce must be hot. If you don’t like it hot, use less,” he said in the TechCrunch article. “We don’t make mayonnaise here.”
The Customer Comes First
Sriracha actually regularly faces competition from companies who swipe the name — Huy Fong can’t trademark it because it’s the name of a city. This doesn’t slow down sales however. He makes sure to keep the price low and the quality the same, making sure customers want his sauce and not a knock-off. This attitude is a rare one among major brands, but is worthwhile: Tran has managed to create brand loyalty without ever paying a single dollar on traditional advertising.
In addition to the quality of the product itself, the sauce manages to prevent brand dilution through its own unique esthetic. The rooster on the bottle is vibrant, and the red/green color clash draws in customers distracted by all the options on the shelf. Finally, the foreign languages on the bottle add a distinct sense of authenticity and mystery — elements that business expert Jason Proch notes can be both rare and invaluable.
Jason Proch is a business consultant specialist with a diverse background in engineering and business management. Utilizing his expertise as the President of Grandview Solutions, he helps smaller companies reach customers by giving them the tools to develop their business.