Although Earl Tupper invented his now-ubiquitous Wonderlier Bowl in 1946, it wasn’t until he partnered with Brownie Wise to create Tupperware Home Parties in 1948 that the innovative, bell-shaped plastic containers took off.
Brownie Wise pioneered the Hostess Group Demonstrations (aka Tupperware Parties) in order to tap into the power of women’s social networks for personalized, in-home demonstrations.
Tupperware turned the initial challenge of selling plastics into an opportunity for women to make money independently from their husbands. The independent dealers were so successful that Tupperware abandoned in-store sales completely in 1951.
Tupperware was a women-focused business, empowering women to sell to other women, using their social networks as a means of expanding their reach and building trust.
Identify Who You Can Create an Opportunity for to Help You Sell
After their contribution to the WW2 war effort, women are often told to go back to the kitchen. Brownie Wise sees how Tupperware can offer housewives an opportunity to become independent Tupperware dealers.
Design the Opportunity
Wise pioneers Tupperware Parties, where a hostess opens up her social network and the Tupperware dealer demonstrates the products. Hostesses receive products as a reward for hosting, and dealers get a cut of the sales.
Develop the Channel
By 1954 there are 20,000 people in the network of dealers and none of them are employees of Tupperware: they are private contractors who collectively act as the channel between the company and the consumer.
Earn from Helping Others
Women are convinced of the utility of the product by seeing it in person and by receiving persuasive recommendations from friends. This channel is so successful that Tupperware decides to abandon in-store sales completely in 1951.