I don't think I've banged on nearly enough about the success of Meadow Anywhere
, our packets of wildflower and grass seed mixes for urban gardeners. It's such a good illustration of what we're doing it's irresistible.
Step 1: I have an idea for a new product, which I develop with one of our suppliers - in this case, Herbiseed. Having sorted out the right seed mix...
Step 2: I take the proposal to a small list of carefully vetted potential retailers, including the lovely Hillier Nurseries, who agree to sell it and promote it to other retailers.
Step 3: I confirm the involvement of a couple of our charity partners - in this case Butterfly Conservation and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. For them it's a no-brainer; they love the product, which is absolutely on message, and stand to make £1 from every packet sold. And it's not just £1 - it's £1 they can match with government funding, and which they can do anything they like with.
Step 4: We design and illustrate the packets, supply the seed and get the whole lot packaged, together with some lush Counter Top Units.
Step 5: Hilliers sell 8,000 packets - that's £4,000 to each of BC and the BBCT - and we grow planters to feature at their Chelsea exhibit - more publicity for all.
Step 6: More sales, more money to charity, more products to roll out in the autumn.
There are two key points to make from all of this:
1. There's a world of difference between this and just twittering on as an "environmental activist".
2. Charity and commercial sectors can work very well in a symbiotic relationship, although they typically need someone in the middle to kick things off and make them happen.