I like this story.

Find an interesting little product languishing in a dull product catalogue in Spain, bring it over to the UK, repackage it, give it a great name and identity and offer it to the mail-order catalogues.

They couldn’t get enough! From Lakeland to Scotts of Stow, the product was an instant hit. And what was great, it was very profitable and very easy to ship.

You’d think nothing could go wrong. But go wrong it did. And in the end, the bad publicity killed it.

Sadly, amongst the many hundreds of letters and online testimonials about how good it was and ‘where can we get one’ comments, was one solitary letter that brought into question its efficacy. Not from a customer, but from someone with a vested interest. Oh well, it was a massive learn.

Getting a product to market is a challenge many companies face. It feels like an almost uniquely British problem: great product or idea, yet no idea how to bring it to market.

There are many pitfalls on what is often a torturous journey, from pricing to market knowledge and then understanding that setting up a distribution channel and achieving national distribution is no easy or quick undertaking.

Well, actually it can be: it just takes a little clever thought. Now, who else is already selling to all the customers I want to sell to?!