Transcript of Dr. Richardson’s Story:
I began my career as a cultural anthropologist specializing in South Asia. I look on it now as my personal bootcamp. Three years by myself in Southern India. I studied Tamil and spoke it every single day. I loved almost every minute of living in India, except the three times I was almost killed by strangers. Oh, well.
My academic expertise is in shared symbolism and how people use it publicly to create specific social impressions. As a result, I learned never to take anything people say at face value. I also learned early in my career that we are all horribly unreliable narrators of why we do what we do.
After I jumped off the tenure track in 2002 at very high speed, I entered the world of corporate market research at a boutique firm specializing in emerging health and wellness trends that were just beginning to affect consumer packaged goods. My first client was Whole Foods Market. I spent hours in their stores all over the United States, studying shopping behavior, but more importantly, learning how ordinary people became core Whole Foods Market shoppers. You know who I’m talking about, right? The people who fill carts there. Spending four to six times more than the average person on groceries is something that takes a little bit of an explanation, don’t you think? I do, especially when the folks involved are not rich.
As the Hartman Group became more and more knowledgeable and recognized, I led the creation of their strategy consulting practice. We worked with top executives at the big public strategics. I helped teams take advantage of emerging behavioral trends and also cutting-edge growth strategy techniques.
Starting in 2011 my team and I focused hard on deconstructing the patterns behind the premium consumer packaged goods (CPG) that had beaten the odds and scaled to nine figures and beyond. In 2017, I left my executive position to enter the private markets and help fast-growing premium CPG brands directly. My mission is to democratize access to the best practices I’ve gathered. I don’t think big companies should have special access to this important information.