I often talk about the key to success is really knowing your customer. I recently came across a great example of how critical this can be. In Germany they have Advent Wreaths, something unique to this country in Europe. These wreaths have four candles on them. One candle is lit every week in the four weeks coming up to Christmas. The wreaths are used in people’s homes, restaurant and other public places. In the lead up to Christmas 2010 a Dutch supplier offered a new range of wreath candle units. He designed them with three candles and argued that three candles looked aesthetically more attractive than four. He had no idea of the custom and tradition behind the advent candle wreath. The result was the supplier have spend a lot of wasted energy offering a product the consumer would instantly reject. The lesson, ask the right questions when doing your research, one of those is to ask what are the customs in the country you are planning to operate in.