Make the sale, then make the product. How two kiwi’s started their business backwards.

The following is a guest post by Bevan Wait from Ranga, an Auckland based start-up that’s created a ‘refreshingly fiesty’ alcoholic ginger beer.

Identifying the opportunity

Ranga Alcoholic Ginger BeerI had always talked about how there were a lack of ginger beers in New Zealand, but it wasn’t until I was at a party enjoying a few Moscow Mules that ‘Ranga’ got some traction. After a couple of witty ginger jokes, my friend Chris Durney (now business partner) and I started to realise the opportunity behind a ginger beer that idolised ginger. The name ‘Ranga’ quickly followed.

However it wasn’t until we met with another friend Leon who works in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market that we decided to take the product seriously. Leon told us that Progressive Enterprises (Countdown) were reviewing their alcoholic beverage section in one month’s time.

If we wanted Ranga to go big, we had just one month to come up with a presentation and a mock product.

The first step was to form the right team.

We needed a graphic designer and a FMCG specialist. We were able to identify the team pretty quickly and in a matter of days we were into our R&D. We researched FMCG data on cider, ginger beer popularity in other countries, the recipe and we put a lot of research into our brand. Last of all was the actual presentation. Through forming the right team early in the process, we were able to put together the presentation to Progressives without spending much other than time on the concept.

We took the view that if Progressive said no, it would be no skin off our nose, but if they said yes, well, we would be in business.

Progressives said yes and we have now delivered our first order of just over 1,000 six packs to 147 Countdowns nationwide. Like Ranga on Facebook or find it at your local countdown supermarket.

How could you minimise the risk of your start-up by selling the product first? 

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