Year 2012 – A year of learning’s
Reflecting back at year 2012 evoke mixed feelings. We have had our moments of success as well as setbacks.
It’s said that the third year in a company’s life is the toughest one, the threshold for success. We can certainly agree with this as the last year has thrown quite a few challenges our way.
The one positive thing that rise above all other is how well our products have been received among our customers, both consumers and resellers and by the press in the various European countries. This strong consumer acceptance have enabled us to widen our sales to new markets.
We are now selling Herb:ie in more than 10 countries. We have also been able to establish local representation in France, Baltics and Iceland. In the near future we will able inform you about a few other countries where we will have local representation. We are happy that we have got so talented and committed people to join our team abroad. As we all know it isn’t enough to have a great product, it’s the team that makes all the difference. This is why we are expecting to see sales grow significantly next year on many of our markets.
In the beginning of this year we were faced with the fact that our sales channel strategy was clearly biased towards channels were we couldn’t reach the right consumer segments and our product was not the perfect match for the retailers. Luckily we had done our homework and had deep consumer insight after meeting more than 20.000 consumers. Based on this insight we could identify what was the problem and re-focus our sales channel activities together with our marketing communication. This has enabled us to get more horsepower out of our sales engine.
Deeper consumer insight is not always a blessing. This time it was quite painful to learn that Herb:ie covered a smaller part of the indoor garden market than anticipated. This is not as such a problem as the forecasted market size in Europe for product in Herb:ie’s segment is well above 100.000 pcs. The threat we face is that there is an opportunity for anyone to conquered a bigger part of the indoor garden market by developing products for these consumer segments. Therefor our product road map have now been revised in order to be able to satisfy the needs of these other consumer segments. We are bringing out two new product families for the next sales season. These will be introduced to our sales channels during spring and the targeted sales start is in September.
The tough financial environment has also thrown its shadow on us. External financing has been hard to obtain, especially for us who is an young start-up that has just got our operations to be profitable. The effect of this is that our growth has slowed down and the risk level increased. Fortunately there is always something good steaming out from the challenges you go thru. Today our operations, R&D and marketing is leaner and more cost efficient than before without compromising the output. We are still actively seeking to strengthen our equity to cater for the growth opportunities.
In the R&D space we have been able to strengthen our partnership network with 4 new parties bringing in strong knowledge of their field. There are many un-explored opportunities in electronics and materials that we are focusing on right now.
We are looking at the future in confidence as our growing number of sales channels and markets are geared for the next generation of indoor gardens.
For more information pleas contact:
Markus ”MaCCa” Nilsson
Business Development Director
mobile: +358 50 568 9770