If I say “Dole,” it’s likely the first word that comes to mind is “pineapple” and that word likely conjures images of Hawaii. Thanks to entrepreneur James Dole, the brand Dole, pineapple, and Hawaii have been synonymous since the turn of the twentieth century.

Pineapple had been growing in the islands long before Dole arrived, but it was he who recognized that to create a sustainable market, distribution to the mainland was key. As a result, Dole opened massive canneries to package the fruit and conducted recipe contests to help New Englanders see possibilities for how to use this exotic new treat. (The pineapple upside-down cake was a winner!) His savvy paid off, and Dole became one of the largest distributors of pineapple for a century.

It wasn’t enough for Dole to grow the fruit or even package it. He had to champion it from plant to table, overcoming barriers at each step along the way.

Think about your idea and evaluate whether you have continued to nurture it far enough into the process. A great idea at one stage will flounder if you don’t provide the support to see it through to the ultimate user.

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