You’re Doing Your Topline Analysis All Wrong

For the world of early-stage consumer brands selling in retail, I fervently hope that 2021 will be the decade of scanner-led growth. I don’t want anyone to enslave themselves to data, but fast-growing companies need to get smarter earlier about growth. And part of this is understanding your brand’s sell-through in a national, all-outlet context.

No, Nielsen is not paying me to write this.

Yet, I’m serious.

When I wrote Ramping Your Brand, one of my motivations was to spread the word on the most successful model for under-capitalized founders to follow as they attempt to scale innovation.

Yet, fast growth quickly gets non-strategic and out-of-control if you’re not careful. Founders able and willing to sell into retailers this fast can lose track of a healthy business’s fundamentals. They can quickly fail to use best practices to preserve critical upside for potential acquirers (or themselves as long-term owners).

I didn’t have space in my book to get into the actual algebraic management of critical growth KPIs as you scale. Specifically, the relationship between velocity and distribution breadth.

In my new online course, I do get to this fundamental algebra.

It’s been common knowledge among demand planners at BigCo for years. Yet, I meet many intelligent founders new to the industry who are still learning about it.  

The real point of my course is that you need to understand the full spectrum of scanner-data metrics on your business. And you need to understand it at a granular level not available with cheap default reporting structures offered by Nielsen or IRI. Granularity gives you enough data points to smooth your data, and the understand problems ‘beneath the hood’ of your topline growth.

And you need to conduct this analysis comprehensively, not just among the retail banners you currently sell in, which is how SPINS’ Satori sales team sells data to cash-strapped emerging brands. Why? Because this all-outlet broad context is how you truly understand the market and how your competitors (both national and regional) perform. Just studying your competitors at the three chains where you sell only gives you a partial view. You may completely miss the Skate Ramp competitor in far-off geography that is about to become a problem for you in buyer reviews.

This is why I have put together a 3-part online course for founders to get truly serious about national, all-outlet POS analytics. 

I hope you can give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Dr. James Richardson

[email protected]