Marlboro Success Story : From 1% Sales to $81.91 billion Company in 2018

It’s a long story. Marlboro was started by famous tobacconist Philip Morris in England on way back in 1847.  Morris started making his own brand of cigarettes in 1854 in England.

Philip Morris died in 1873 and after his death his business was taken over by his wife and his brother. Marlboro was not an instant hit in the market; it had to work hard for its success. Let’s look back how Marlboro became top selling cigarettes brand of the world

About the company

A cigarettes subsidiary was opened in New York under the name Philip Morris and Co in 1902 by the wife and brother of Philip Morris.

The official mark of “Marlboro” was registered in America in 1908. After registering the brand Marlboro in 1908; it did not sell cigarettes under the name Marlboro until 1923.

Growth and Success over the years of Marlboro

Marlboro first focused on making the soft cigarettes which would be less harmful for health. It positioned Marlboro cigarettes as American luxury cigarettes at first. Marlboro first advertised its product for women as it was soft.

The slogan “Mild as May” was used to position its product as cigarettes for women. Marlboro focus on early years was to market its product as soft cigarettes which were less harmful for health.

Men in that era did not prefer to use cigarettes with filters as it would not fit with their macho personality.In this period the marketing campaign used by Marlboro primarily focused on women.

The first promotion campaign was done in 1885 and its slogan for brand Marlborough was ‘ladies favorite’. Marlboro in order to attempt to mass market made its filter red in order to hide the shade of lipstick. Marlboro called this filter as Beauty Tips to Keep the Paper from Your Lips.

Despite making various cigarettes brand and promotion strategy, Marlboro faced difficulty in this period to gain buy valtrex online usa market share. Outside environmental factors also did not help Marlboro. World War I and World War II caused huge downfall in number of sales of cigarettes.

Marlboro had to pull out of the market as the brand only managed to sell a mere of total 1% of tobacco produced during World War II.  After the World War II was over, Marlboro had lost its market share and it had to start afresh again.

During 1950s many scientist published a report that smoking causes lung cancer. Filtered cigarettes were considered less harmful then unfiltered ones. Till then unfiltered cigarettes were demand of the town.

Marlboro thought of repositioning itself to cover the niche market of men who were concerned about their health. It was the move that made Marlboro company what it is today. Who would have thought that reposition done to cover niche market would lead on to make largest cigarettes selling company of the world.

Marlboro was skeptical about reposition completely towards a men brand from a women brand. But the rise in market share from one percent to the fourth best-selling brand convinced Philip Morris to drop the lineup of manly figures and stick with the cowboy, later known as the Marlboro Man.

After 1960s Marlboro started to advertise it product as manly cigarettes. Marlboro introduced a promotional campaign to promote its product as symbol of macho man.

The campaign by Marlboro was to present a lineup of manly figures: sea captains, weightlifters, war correspondents, construction workers, etc.

Present Situation of Marlboro

Marlboro now sponsors various adventures sports such as formula 1 and superbikes tournament around the world.

It helps to position itself in the market as sign of manliness. Marlboro valuation was $81.91 billion dollar in 2018. Since 1972, Marlboro is the global best-selling cigarette brand. Marlboro brands present unique American flavor to those who are addicted to smoking.



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