Chris Burdett and Alex Lever successfully launched PipeSnug at Installer2017, we caught up with them at Installer2019 to hear about their success and share their tips on how to get a product to market.
Alex and Chris launched PipeSnug, the fitting that gives a quicker, smarter finish around pipework, at Installer2017. What makes the PipeSnug story so compelling was that it was an idea born out of the trade.
“The PipeSnug concept came to me out on-site one day when I was preparing to point mortar around a waste pipe for what seemed like the millionth time,” explains Chris.
“I realised a simple fitting would save so much time compared to mixing mortar or siliconing around the pipe, as well as blending into the fabric of the building visually.”
After a few drinks one evening, Chris told Alex about his idea and the two of them began to discuss the possibility of manufacturing the product. Alex has founded and run a number of companies in a wide range of industry sectors, particularly property, manufacturing and technology.
“Once we had brought the product to market, which was a lot of hard work, the Installer team’s support was really helpful,” explains Alex. “A place on INVENT at Installer2017 introduced us to a distributor, merchants and, of course, many plumbing and heating engineers. The trade has been incredibly supportive too, and the feedback we get from our customers at events and on social media spurs us on to do more.”
Since then, PipeSnug has gone from strength to strength, introducing new sizes, a 4inch/110mm, and capturing the attention of the trade. A lot of hard work has gone into securing distribution for the product, promoting it to the industry and investing in the future.
It has been a long journey since that drink but the PipeSnug team was back at Installer 2019 looking forward to an exciting few years ahead. With that in mind, we wanted to know the top tips for getting a product into the market.
- Do your market research – make sure there really is a market for your product. Be honest with yourself and ask anyone you can in the industry, both people you know and those you don’t, if your product is actually providing a solution to a problem. Keep it simple; don’t over complicate your product.
- Secure finance – it will take longer and be more expensive than you think to take a product to market, so make sure you have plenty of investment. Whether from friends, family, your own money or professional investors. There are also lots of local and central Government funds to take advantage of.
- Intellectual Property (IP) – make sure your product is protected by patents, trademarks, designs and use an IP attorney to process it for you. Expensive, but worthwhile in the long run.
- Create a memorable brand – work hard to develop a brand for your product that sends the right message about you as a person/organisation and your product, but one that speaks to your target customers.
- Ask for help! – no one can be an expert at everything, nor will you have the time to do everything yourself, especially if you have to be on the tools to pay the bills. Use other companies’ expertise to help you out, whether that be for sales, marketing, product design, whatever.
- Be persistent – it’s a tough journey! Keep going, don’t give up. If you have a great product, at the right price, you will get there.
- Go to Installer2020 – the Installer team was incredibly supportive of PipeSnug when we launched and continues to offer us a great route to reach our target market. Talk to them!
If you have an idea for a product or would like some advice, Alex and Chris are interested to hear from you.