A lot has changed at Peppersmith over the last 12 months. We billed it as our year of fixing stuff; not running around doing loads of new things but being really focussed, improving what we’ve got and doing less stuff better. So far it’s been great. In October we launched an improved website & web shop, in January we launched our new gum and now comes the final part of the plan – saying goodbye to our kids range tingz.
We could say we’re sad to see it go but that would be a big fat lie. It didn’t work and instead added complexity to all elements of the business, from our supply chain to our marketing; so we made the call to move swiftly and call time.
So what went wrong and do we regret doing it? Start-ups are all about trying new things with no guarantee of success. Of doing something bold and challenging and a bit risky. No doubt we were a bit naïve and underestimated the task in hand; it’s not a giant leap for people to understand that mints and gum could be actively good for teeth… but sweets? That can reduce plaque? And putting tingz in a bag didn’t do us any favours as shoppers who weren’t aware of the benefits were comparing £1.29 for a 15g bag of tingz with 99p for a 200g bag of Haribo. A tough sell.
But being successful isn’t about everything working, it’s about learning from the things that don’t work out. And we learnt loads from the tingz experience. Most importantly it taught us to be much more focused on getting our main message across. As a small company with a limited voice we’re now much better at communicating the most important benefit of our products; that they’re good for teeth. See, we just did it.
And the good news for anyone who liked the products is that the sweets themselves will be returning soon. Not in a bag, not with monsters on it, but in the same Peppersmith box that you’ll find the rest of our products in. Part of a clearer more consistent range, with one packaging format and one audience. Simples.
PS if anyone wants to buy a second hand life-size monster costume it’ll probably be going up on ebay soon.