Cover image for New and improved : the story of mass marketing in America
New and improved : the story of mass marketing in America
Tedlow, Richard S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, 1990.
Physical Description:
xi, 481 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5415.1 .T44 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Traces the emergence of standardized brand-name products for the mass market through corporate confrontations, shrewd financial agreements and inspirational sales programs.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Only a handful of companies come to symbolize America itself, in both its good and bad aspects. Harvard Business School professor Tedlow tells the stories of several such companies and the battles between and within them: Coca Cola v. Pepsi Cola, Ford v. General Motors, Sears v. Montgomery Ward, and A&P's with itself. In doing so, he shows how their rivalries shaped mass marketing and provides absorbing, highly readable American pop cultural history, well illustrated and full of fascinating detail. Appendixes, notes, bibliography; to be indexed. --David Rouse

Publisher's Weekly Review

It is a truism that successful firms change with the times, responding to the marketplace and to the competition. This central theme is driven home with pith and historical perspective in an exhaustive, lively casebook that is especially timely in light of the reported near-bankruptcy of many of the nation's top retailers. Prime examples of companies that have lost their way, on Tedlow's scorecard, are ``honest, clunky old'' Sears Roebuck, too slow to adjust to a world of market segmentation and competitive discounters, and A & P, which ``kept trying to sell everybody everything'' with its own name-brand products while specialty stores and local chains scored big with nationally distributed brands. Harvard Business School associate professor Tedlow also draws marketing lessons in studies of how Coca-Cola bested Pepsi and how General Motors vanquished Ford, only to succumb to the disarray and entropy that grips America's industrial heartland. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In this volume, Harvard business historian Tedlow charts the evolution of consumer markets in the 20th century. Using the company histories of Coca Cola, General Motors, A&P, and Sears as ongoing illustrations, the author arrives at a three-step developmental cycle of consumer markets. The cycle begins with market fragmentation, transmogrifies to mass markets, and culminates in a segmented state where individual consumer wants are king. Tedlow proposes that mass markets, driven by consumer needs, are not at all inevitable but rather are an outcome of, among other things, an entrepreneurial spirit inherent in the American character. While this book's primary appeal will be to the serious student of business history, Tedlow's readable style and provocative recounting of incidents like the Coke-Pepsi ``cola wars'' will provide some appeal for any thoughtful business manager. --Gene R. Laczniak, Marquette Univ., Milwaukee (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

"The democratization of consumption is a distinctive contribution of America to the world." Tedlow views the strategy of mass marketing--profits through volume--as a natural outgrowth of an economy where both buyers and sellers have complete freedom of choice. He provides a historical perspective of America's acceptance of mass marketing through an in-depth look at four industries and their key players: the soft drink industry (Coca Cola versus Pepsi); the automobile industry (Ford versus General Motors); the supermarket industry (the rise and fall of A&P); and the general-merchandise industry (Sears and Montgomery Ward). Tedlow treats the topic both as a historian and as a marketer, as attested by the hundreds of footnotes found in the work. He describes each firm from its inception to its present position, the key marketing decisions that have affected that position, and the people who were most instrumental in making those decisions. Although the emphasis is on mass-marketing aspects, the book is valuable for anyone interested in the history of 20th-century business in America. Academic and public library collections. -G. Kress, Colorado State University