COVID-19 Priorities for Your Brand by Phase

COVID-19 Priorities for Your Brand by Phase

I’d like to recap advice I’ve given in my public webinars on COVID-19 and its impact on the CPG industry. Specifically, I’ll break it down to the specific phase of development that you’re in. 

Phase 1 – $0-500K:  

  • your number one goal here is turning the engine of the business on; initiable viable cash flow and scale 
  • focus on e-commerce to drive trial and meet your primary goal during the pandemic 
  • use targeted ads on Amazon to drive those initial sales 
  • build your e-mail list of fans and use it to sustain interest/enthusiasm among fans – do this post-pandemic as well 
  • retail onboarding may be delayed/more difficult for all but the most innovative offerings 

Phase 2 – $500K-$3M: 

  • optimizing your conversion funnel is the top priority, but this is complicated for many with the loss of in-person marketing techniques proven to work (e.g., sampling) 
  • focus on retaining existing fans in an environment when brick-and-mortar trial for new brands is weakened 
  • focus more on e-commerce acceleration than prior to COVID-19 
  • use e-mail marketing to keep fans engaged and purchasing during the pandemic 
  • research the key outcomes driving heavy usage while you have saved time spent on traveling 
  • continue pursuing brick retailers of strategic value in a paced manner just like before the pandemic 

Phase 3+ – $3M+  

  • your number one goal now is acceleration 
  • keep e-commerce and DTC sales going as a consumer and product development lab; not a scale-driver (outside of beauty and personal care) 
  • riding the ramp should proceed normally 
  • triple check co-man run rate availability in a pandemic environment 
  • adapt your playbook to function without field marketing/sampling 

Ironically, my research suggests that Phase 1 brands benefited the least in terms of getting a surge in sales. While Phase 3+ brands did surge as long as they had broad distribution and decent awareness in top markets. This is the cruel reality of early-stage brand building when consumers are distracted from ordinary discovery/browsing activities. Working much harder for trial is key. 

If you’d like to learn more, check out my COVID-19 webinars.  

Dr. James Richardson

[email protected]