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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

The Lysol Story: The Power of Being Adaptable In Business

Written By: Carol Roth | No Comments

Times change, people change and wants and needs sometimes change too. To have longevity in business, you need to be able to adapt to changes.

Here’s a question for you: can you adapt your product, service, marketing and/or business model to meet customer needs?

Things will never go 100% as planned in business. A lot of the time 90% doesn’t go as planned. A key to survival is to be able to change and adapt your business quickly and skillfully.  Many of today’s most successful businesses didn’t start out providing the product or service that has been the key to their current day success.

Take the product Lysol. It is a household name in disinfecting and has been around for decades. But before it was disinfecting household surfaces, it was marketed to women as a way to eliminate odors from their “hello kitty”- yes that’s right, Lysol was first sold as a douche (and as a form of contraception, nonetheless). After women realized that wasn’t the kind of tingling they wanted in their nether-regions, Lysol was adapted to become one of the most successful household products around. Don’t believe me? Here is an actual ad from a movie magazine from the early 1940s.


From Modern Screen Magazine, November 1946

So, if your products and services are causing unwanted feelings in or from your customers, see what you can do to change. Maybe you can tweak your marketing, your customer service or other aspects of your business to make it more relevant to your customer base. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box (tasteless pun totally intended) and adapt to new market conditions.

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth