Barriers to launching premium brands have come down. And competition has risen accordingly. The fundamental problem that under-capitalized CPG entrepreneurs face is: How do you grow fast, sustain that growth and outsmart the competition on the way to meaningful scale?
In this book, I outline a 4-Part approach to thinking smarter about growth as a CPG entrepreneur. It is based on years of anthropological research into how and why consumers pay for premium-priced CPG items and intensive 4P pattern analysis among an elite club of premium CPG brands that all reached $100M+ in less than a decade.
Mediocre premium offerings will easily persist in today’s nutrition-driven, premium market, but they rarely scale. Mediocrity in premium is best described as a worthless trade-off of sensory delight for moral reward (i.e. nutrition).
Rigorous focus on 1 category and 1 product form is a proven accelerant in premium CPG. Platforming too early dilutes your focus in front of consumers who stop seeing you as an expert who should command a price premium.
Focus on growing velocities in the early years, not door count. Ramping door count is an obsession of poorly trained investors and founders who confuse geographic breadth with revenue scale.
Launching premium CPG brands has become too easy. Only the disciplined creator and business leader thrives and scales in this space. Commit to your own professionalization ASAP.
80% of brick-and-mortar premium brands never make it past $500K in sales. Most of the common, business-killing mistakes in this phase are preventable and unrelated to fundraising
In the first $1M of brick-and-mortar sales, pace your growth. This is where the volume is in premium CPG, but it’s also where things can go sideways real fast.
MARK AND JAMES ALEKS, Zaca recovery
``James gets you to think about the best discovery areas are for your brand in retail...To this day, we're still implementing his advice, that's how much value we got from our session.``
``James told me everything about the complexity of the American market.Together we have developed a growth strategy based on focus, focus, focus. And that within a period of only three days. That is what I mean by a good investment!``
TONYA DONATI, Mother Kombucha
``We decided to bring James in for a two day session and it more than met our expectations. One notable difference at the end, was that all four partners were on the same page as far as where we were as a company and where we wanted to head. And we had a detailed strategic plan for the coming year.``
``James was great to work with. With the 4P framework in mind, he took a much deeper dive into the points discussed in his book and videos. And focused on what was most important for our brand and category... very insightful and valuable.``