In continuous production since 1903, Cherry Blossom boot and shoe polish is probably one of the most recognised in the world next to the Kiwi brand.
The Cheery Blossom story is one of survival and perseverance having successfully weathered countless company name changes and owners for well over a century.
Over a century later, Cherry Blossom is still going strong under its present owners Sara Lee who hold the distribution rights for Europe and Australia/New Zealand. ….I thought my cheesecake tasted a bit strange!
It’s certainly been a long and convoluted journey for this tiny tin of boot polish when you consider its humble beginnings back in 1903 when it was first created by Charles Mason and his brother Dan at the back of their small soap factory in Chiswick, West London.
At the time, the holy grail for the boot polish makers was to develop a boot polish that wouldn't rub off like most of the boot ‘blacking’ of the 1800’s. Somehow the boys managed to crack the secret and were soon churning out Cherry Blossom Boot Polish in three sizes for 2d, 4d and 6d - all packaged in handy tins rather than the previous stoneware jugs, bottles or paper wrappings.
Savvy to the ways of advertising even then, Charles and his brother developed a unique advertising and branding style quite different to those of the day.
With its fresh, bright and colourful cherry decorated tin, Cherry Blossom promised instant release from the drudgery of cleaning and polishing - targeting the upper classes right down to their servants in the scullery. To add to their products appeal, the brothers even produced and sold a handy polishing pack consisting of a tin of polish, brush and velvet buffing pad. They certainly knew a thing or two about value adding.
Unfortunately it wasn't long before other boot polish manufactures were stepping into this lucrative market with their own brands with many going onto become many household names such as Kiwi polish, Wren’s, Propert’s, Meltonian, Nugget, Cobra, Shinola just to name a few.
In 1913, the brother’s Chiswick Soap Company changed its name to the Cheswick Polish Company and so began a continuous stream of further mergers, acquisitions and name changes to this day. One thing that hadn't changed however was the Cheery Blossom quirky advertising which perhaps would not quite pass the political correctness of todays 'enlightened’ age - obviously struck a humorous chord with their customers in bygone years.
‘How often do you Tan them?’...
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