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The SAMA Labs Secret Henry Ford Ignored That Almost Destroyed His Entire Empire

You’ve heard of Ford Motor Company, right? Of course you have — maybe you even drive one of those cars yourself or know someone who does. At the very least, you’ve probably learned at some point in your life that Henry Ford created the first automobile that middle-class Americans could pay for, putting an extravagant luxury item in the driveways of everyday consumers. It’s a household name known globally! But did you know that one of the most innovative industrialists of the 20th century almost toppled his entire empire because he didn’t follow the number one rule we have here at SAMA Labs? It’s true! Our world was nearly one in which Ford was simply a failed car company and not an industry titan surviving well over a century. So what almost happened?

An Industry Leader

Henry Ford was the first to streamline the assembly line process, making factory work far more efficient while cutting labor and production costs down significantly. Using this method, his brand could mass-produce a small fleet of vehicles in the time it would typically take to build just one. More cars in less time meant smaller price tags and that more people could afford it. Soon, the Model T was ubiquitous, making Ford Motors a massive success for the 39-year-old entrepreneur. Henry was at the top of his game for many years, raking in lots of profits, building a family, and becoming an icon.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown, though, and soon other car manufacturers began popping up left and right to come for their piece of the pie. Now there was competition eating into Ford’s success. Was there a solution? There sure was — but this mogul wouldn’t see it at first.

Change On The Horizon

Ford knew he needed a successor to take over the business someday, so he began grooming his son, Edsel. By the early 1920s, the younger Ford started to notice industry trends that might affect his father’s success. Most notably, other car companies were coming out with fancier models with lots of bells and whistles that focused more on design than function. 

When Edsel brought the information to his father’s attention, Henry couldn’t be bothered with it. He felt that the American people would always value what a car could do for them more than the way it looked. Style? That’d be a waste of his company’s time and money — he was sure of it! But his son? Well, he wasn’t exactly on the same page.

Keep An Eye On Those Numbers

Edsel Ford noticed a glaring pattern as the consumer reports rolled in — his father was wrong. Sales trends showed that shoppers preferred the sleek designs of competitor brands like General Motors. And as the other companies’ numbers went up, the Ford family saw a downward trend in sales for their once-mighty brand. Forced to face the literal facts right in front of him, Henry listened to his son’s advice and started developing a new line of cars with multiple, stylish models. The rest? History — and an ongoing success story for one of the most well-known car companies in the world.

So what’s the SAMA Labs secret Henry Ford missed? Did you catch it? You might have guessed that we’re talking about DATA! We say this a lot around here, but the truth is, opinions aren’t facts — and they’re often wrong. You know what never lies? Data. Numbers, facts, and figures. When Edsel Ford presented his father with the information regarding consumer preferences and market trends, the decision to ignore it because he disagreed with the research almost killed his whole company. If they hadn’t course correct, their competition might have rendered Ford obsolete.

That’s why it’s critical to do your market research! Does your current marketing agency rely more on data or gut instinct? Do they have a rigid plan they need to stick to at all times, or are they flexible enough to bend with the ever-changing world? If the people you trust with your brand aren’t staying on top of trends, they’re sabotaging your success — maybe not intentionally, but it’s true! If Henry Ford almost couldn’t survive without proper analytics, what makes you think you can? Nobody can! 

That’s why we’re here — the experts at SAMA Labs. We’ll monitor your accounts every single day to make rapid-fire changes to support initiatives that do well and optimize those that don’t. Meaning, we can predict problems before they happen and prevent them from taking down your business. Ready to get started? Contact us today!

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