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Ten Things by Giles Brook of Bear

Tessa Stuart


Giles Brook co-founded Bear, healthy fruit snacks, and has the European rights to Vita Coco, a coconut drink, which recently sustained John Isner in his marathon Wimbledon match.

His Ten Things are:

1. Keep it simple. Get your business plan onto one page. The real test is that unprompted, someone should be able to pick it up and understand your business strategy without you explaining a thing.

2. Stay focused on your target market. Don’t dilute your impact by trying to appeal to too wide an audience. Market to your core audience; they will be your loyalists and heaviest buyers.

3. No big bets. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t raise funds for investment but do more test and trial initiatives before you spend big. Test first and then roll them out.

4. Get close to your customer. Always ask yourself: "Are you doing everything you can to understand and listen to your customer as well as making them feel loved?"

5. Find a business mentor. Vested interest or not, enrol the help of someone who can provide sound business advice and support.

6. Take your product to your customer. Invest in getting your product or service into prospective customer hands, too often people invest in mediums which require customers to come to them.

7. Be viable from day 1. If your top or bottom line isn’t where it needs to be pre-launch,  don’t launch until you know you can categorically get there

8. Keep evolving. Change and freshness is a good thing, don’t rest on your laurels or ignore that elephant in the corner of the room.

9. Build strong external partners. As well as building a strong immediate team, be it creative agencies, PR companies or accountants, invest in the right partners and make them feel part of the team

10. Product integrity every time.  If you’re launching in food & drink, leave nothing to chance when it comes to product integrity, from ingredients all the way to packaging - check and declare everything.