Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hi-Lo, Hi-Lo, off to retail we go...

A new client arrived yesterday. Their spirit was broken, but not lost altogether. Seems the last 2 years have been difficult to endure - diminished margins, mounting discounts, and a distributor to big-box played games with the little company with a big heart. The longer I look at their product, the more I imagine how such a great idea can have such a difficult , tumultuous path to the consumer.

The focus of my topic is to examine this phenomena of cyclical successes and apparent defeats we all go through during the course of bringing something to market. One thing is for sure - it is not easy. From the inception in the bathroom, or while driving along a lonely road on a sales trip, we get a great idea and can instantly picture it flying off the shelves at retail. Those of us in the fast-paced product development realm love the romantic nature of the biz, but we also realize, through experience and failures, that as fast as we process the development and deliver to retail, we can also lose all of that effort overnight by external forces out of our control. After talking to the client today, the emotions were apparent, the disappointment was evident, but the will and resolve nowhere near finished. Far more important than rehashing and grinding over the past, the client was ready to take a loss and move forward - a little lighter, but much wiser... When we experience the high of delivering our product to big-box, it is hard not be euphoric and celebratory. But we have to remember that it is just like a birthday - over in one day and followed by 364 days of normalcy. Those are the days that are most important to keep the euphoria, balanced by common sense and calculated decisions, and execute on the plan you set forward.

Next Post: The Plan

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