The Wright Brothers brand story


The story of how man learned to fly is one of the greatest ever told. It is not only an American story, but one that is shared by all humanity. The Wright brothers of Dayton, Ohio changed the world forever when they took us from wheels to wings on that blustery December day in 1903 on the shores of Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina. Following Wilbur Wright’s flight demonstrations in Europe in 1908, the brothers quickly became the world’s first global celebrities.

Now that story and good name form the essence of The Wright Brothers brand. Summed up with the tagline “Invent yourself.” The brand carries forward the brothers’ successful attributes of intense attention to detail, meticulous quality control and an expression of high class that is timeless and enduring. Add to that a hint of aviation heritage combined with modern forms, and you have the makings of a classic brand that is both relevant and respectful of the age-old traits behind it.

The effort is led by The Wright Brothers USA dedicated to things Wright, on behalf of The Wright Brothers Family Foundation, also based in Dayton, Ohio, the home of the Wright brothers and site of the invention of the first airplane.

Our initial focus is on aviation-related products that evoke the spirit of the Wright brothers. These include flight jackets, aviator watches and sunglasses, and of course, lines of leather travel bags and luggage. Another important focus is on the integrity of the brothers’ good name and ensuring that their legacy of extraordinary class and dignity is maintained, while using the brand to communicate their story accurately to new generations.

This is not a “get rich” scheme by people trying to exploit the brothers’ name. Rather, the lion’s share of income from the business goes to The Wright Brothers Family Foundation to support its maintenance of Hawthorn Hill (the Wright brothers’ family home in Dayton) and the foundation’s promotion of aviation heritage around the globe. Wright family members carefully oversee the business, and The Wright Brothers USA is committed to upholding the integrity of the brand and the good name behind it. Our top-flight management team has decades of experience in brand development and management around the globe.

It is rare in marketing history that a brand starts with near universal name recognition. That is the case with The Wright Brothers, and soon the spirit of the brothers will come alive in an exclusive range of products that embody the timeless legacy of that spirit.

The Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, began as entrepreneurs who owned and operated a print shop in Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. They later shifted their focus to making bicycles and opened a series of cycle shops on Dayton’s west side. It was in the back of one of these shops that they went from wheels to wings and invented the airplane. They test flew it successfully for the first time in December, 1903, at Kill Devil Hill on the outer banks of North Carolina. After the success of getting a powered machine off the ground, the brothers returned home to Dayton and painstakingly pursued practical flight at Huffman Prairie for nearly two years, often risking their lives with experimental flights. On October 5, 1905, they unveiled a plane that could take off, fly in circles and figure eights for nearly an hour, and land again. The 1905 Flyer marked the true advent of practical flight. They were awarded the patent for the first flying machine in May 1906.

Following Wilbur’s historic flights in Europe in 1908, upon which royalty and other famous persons saw an airplane fly for the first time, the Wright brothers instantly became world famous. Indeed, history accurately records that they were the first celebrities ever on a global scale.

Their international celebrity was due in part to the humility, style and grace with which they embraced their newfound fame. Meticulous and focused from the start, they remained firmly grounded even after being the first to solve the millennia-old riddle of human flight.

In their day, and ever since, the Wright brothers have been known not only for their invention of the airplane, but also for the timeless elegance of their personal styles in terms of their fashion preferences, including such CLASSIC image elements and accessories as their trademark derby hats, three-piece suits and clean-cut nature, even while working in the shop. Many of the early photos of the brothers show them toiling away in their bicycle shop on Dayton’s west side, wearing their sharply-outfitted suits, which represented the high fashion of the day, even if worn everyday in an unusual work setting.

That trademark style legacy lives on in The Wright Brothers exclusive brand today, with its hint of vintage aviation against a backdrop of modern styles, colors and shapes. The Wright Brothers trademark evokes the notion in all of us that we have the power to “invent ourselves,” that we alone can be the masters of our own images, in this case with a little help from the world’s first global celebrities.

Think of it as “AVIATION COOL” combined with the STYLE AND GRACE of the brothers who brought us aviation in the first place. The brand evokes the inner-most AMBITION in us to somehow change the world with our own individually crafted style and INNOVATION. It’s a mark that INSPIRES us to make our own imprint on the world, to PIONEER and LEAD along the way, following in the footsteps of what the Wright brothers achieved with their world-changing innovation and their TIMELESS STYLE.

Thus, our brand story is summed up in the tagline, “Invent yourself.”