Embracing Failure Encourages Success
With so much going on at Rejuvenation Water since the start of the year, we’ve some what neglected our blog posting duties. We’ve had the successful crowdfunding raise, the launch into Costco and John Lewis, the launch of our full rebrand, our inaugural TfL advertisement campaign, the newly launched website and we’ve just recently moved offices to name just a few of the recent accolades.
There are a great number of other exciting things I am unable to tell you at the moment but all will be revealed in the coming months.
For the moment, however, I’d like to use the blog to update you on the behind the scenes of Rejuvenation Water. I’m going to give you the real behind the scenes tour of business, the kind that most other blogs and books don’t want to delve into. I’m going to aim to make these weekly but, with not enough hours in the day, please be lenient. The first blog is going to be lengthy due to it covering an entire month rather than the planned weekly updates.
All too often have I read books and blogs that supposedly show how successful businesses have ‘made it’. They seem to lead aspiring entrepreneurs to believe that it takes a few months to get set up, a few witty social media posts before being inundated with demand then they sail into the sunset. They seem to miss out the parts about when things don’t quite go to plan (which for a start-up nothing goes to plan), when your abilities as an entrepreneur, and a team, are tested to their very limits. We have by no means made it, we have barely started, but I believe aspiring entrepreneurs learn more from other entrepreneur’s failures rather than successes. Trust me, when you are selling our unique take on water, you are reinventing the wheel, and there are a lot more failures than successes on this bumpy road.
June has been a month of change for us at Rejuvenation Water. We have moved from our first home in Vauxhall to our new (and much larger) home in Battersea. I hope for this to be the office we can fully scale the business in without need to move again. Especially due to the costs of moving offices. One guy quoted me £900+VAT to paint 4 walls and a door and to ‘mechanically buff the floors’ which formed the pedantic list of our ‘dilaps’. The team also had to make do with no internet for a week and no landlines for 3 weeks. Apologies to all who have tried to get in contact on our ‘dud’ lines. However, moving from 147 sq ft to 515 sq ft has certainly been a liberating experience for all the team. We gained one intern and lost another – common practice when dealing with temporary members of staff.
I was delighted to launch our inaugural Transport for London campaign, in collaboration with John Lewis, which saw banners around Central London tube stops. Seeing our banners as I was going down the escalators at Oxford Circus was a very proud moment for me.
Picture taken in Oxford Circus.
The start of June saw us completed the first phase of our Costco Roadshow which saw us visit 4 of their stores and sell our drinks over the weekend. We ascertained that anything over £500 a day in sales would be regarded as a success for Costco. We did a total of 15 days at an average of £500.33 per day. Due to the costly nature to put together our unique concept, cases of Rejuvenation Water were priced 25% more than the other nearest drink in Costco so sales proved to be a challenge. I have to give credit to the hard work and tenacity of the team for this. Costco have invited us to do the same with another 6 stores throughout July and August.
We launched into some great outlets throughout June most noticeably for me was Bel-Air (www.bel-air.co) which sees all of our flavours in all three of their London sites including providing the refreshments for the Adidas pop-up in the Truman Brewery (goes on until the end of October). We are also launching into Equinox’s Kensington gym on Monday 3rd July.
Other exciting news is that Rejuvenation Water will be launching into Spinneys, one of Dubai’s largest supermarkets next week. This will see all three flavours available in their Top 20 stores.
I also arranged to meet Tesco in October for their innovation day.
We finalised our launch with Complete Sports Nutrition due to start in the first week of July. This will allow us to continue growing our network of gym listings throughout London and beyond.
Naturally, there were also several bumps in the road. A major high street retailer failed to appreciate the difference between protein drinks and our amino acid water even after I explained the striking differences. As much as education is one of the biggest challenges to pioneering innovation within the drinks market, the difference between dairy based protein drinks and water based amino acid water isn’t usually one of our challenges. A major supermarket failed to be impressed by our sales rate at John Lewis (consistently in their Top 20 sellers (out of 60+) selling on average over 700 bottles a month in the Oxford Circus store). A niche gym within Central London chose not to list our drinks based on them being too sweet. While everybody’s palette is different, I respect their honest feedback.
Also, launching a rebrand is no mean feat but it didn’t quite go to plan. I turned up to our Manchester production site to find the incorrect labels placed on over 21,ooo bottles. We were under strict deadlines to roll out the new rebrand and, unfortunately, there was a oversight from one of our label suppliers when interpreting the new designs.
Exhibit A – actual rebrand Exhibit B – $%&$&&##
Needless to say, if you find on of the ‘Exhibit B’ bottles, they are a rare and highly collectible.
Future announcements – we will be the event partner for the Festival of Marketing at Tobacco Docks on October 4-5th.
We have a fantastic meeting with Ministry of Fitness this week and, although I don’t want to reveal our collaboration plans just yet, there’s a lot of excitement in both teams about working together. Watch this space.
I’ll leave you on a slight philanthropic note – alongside providing MenCap with drinks for their Greenwich Park and Hyde Park runs together with their London to Brighton and Manchester to Blackpool bikes rides, we have also agreed to donate 450 bottles to the NSPCC’s fundraising event – The Great British Chef’s Dinner in December. For those who are interested, tables are still available for what will be a tremendous evening.
Thanks for reading,
Kris, Founder & CEO
I’d love to get your feedback on this. What did you like about this post? What did you not like about this post? What do you want to know about running a business? This way I can answer such questions in the following blog post.