5 big brands who owe their success to a rival’s shortcomings

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Ever used a product or service and thought,

“this is really good, but I know exactly how to make it better?“


The Art of

The brains behind some of the most successful businesses and brands out there, have once upon time had exactly the same train of thought.

Having either been frustrated, disappointed or altogether unsatisfied with a range of products that their favourite brand had to offer, we take a look at four well-known companies that have evolved to surpass their rivals with their new and improved recipes for success.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic Going from strength to strength, Virgin Atlantic celebrated its 30th Anniversary this year.

Where you might have thought Virgin Atlantic was just another string to the entrepreneur’s bow, Branson admitted that he never actually intended to start an airline. In fact, he stumbled upon the idea by accident.

Having had an American Airlines flight grounded, Branson was willing to go to any extreme necessary to visit a beautiful woman waiting for him at the British Virgin Islands.

The extreme he settled with was to hire a plane from the back of the airport and charge stranded passengers $39 for the journey. Having been commended for his efforts, Branson was inspired to venture into the world of air travel, with a mission to make service its underlying principle.

As a frequent flyer he recognised air travel was uncomfortable and even unpleasant, so he aimed to put the glamour back in the skies. With a fleet of airlines flying internationally, and some very well dressed staff he certainly has achieved his aim.



Here’s something you might not have known. The brains behind the stunning supercar, Lamborghini is a successful tractor producer, not a racing driver or petrol head.

Wishing to mark the success of his tractor business, Ferruccio Lamborghini bought a Ferarri and upon purchase was disappointed. Having suggested the ideas for improvement to his local dealer which were swiftly dismissed, he decided he would build his own performance car which implemented all of these innovations.



The good news for Ferruccio was that he wasn’t the only one who thought his performance car was worth getting behind the wheel of and fifty years later the car company remains one of the most highly sought out there.


The Gap


No matter where you are in the world, you will at some point have stumbled upon The Gap, a chain of casual clothing  stores and a go to location for any long lasting wardrobe staple.

Frustrated by the lack of sizing options from the market leaders in denim, The Gap’s founder Don Fisher aimed to make shopping for casual wear a more accessible experience and in the process, changed the world of retail to shape it how it is today.
From the first fully enclosed changing rooms and adequate wall space to merchandise the clothing, he was the first chain to use its store name as the brand name when Gap launched its own label- a retail model which is used frequently today.



Over the last number of years Netflix has become a household name, offering a more affordable option for viewing TV and movies than subscribing to a digital or cable package.

Originally started as a flat rate film rental  service sent to customers by mail, the company’s founder was inspired by a $40 late fee for Apollo 13.

Having misplaced the cassette, founder Reed Hastings came to a more practical solution for film rental which would be the basis of Netflix- an idea which came to him when at the gym. If you can pay a certain amount each month and use it as much or as little as you would like at the gym, then why not do the same with your movies?

Today they are pioneers in internet television with their streaming service, even producing hugely popular award winning TV series exclusively made for the medium… watch this space on even bigger things to come!

The next time you are unhappy with a product or service, why not turn it into a light bulb moment and you could be the next big success story to add to the list!

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