The PGS Blog

Storytelling Only Trumps Attributes In Two Strategic Situations

An agency employee recently posted the following provocation on LinkedIn. “Storytelling > product features” My wild guess is that she is tired of tech company creative briefs that lock her into narrow feature plugs vs. unleashing the power of emotionally intense stories (e.g., Dr. Squatch, Liquid Death)

The Fallacy of Counting Doors

Door-counting is easy to pick on as a completely common, yet non-strategic, 'metric.' Door counting is the easiest public way to suggest growth without divulging your actual trailing revenue to your competitors. The problem is two fold. 1- Not every door is created equal in retail.

How Velocity Growth Steepens the Ramp

It is possible to double your store count every year in an exponential ramp up of distribution. If your product is good, you will achieve a stable (i.e., not declining) velocity plateau. Great. You’re doing better than many brands.  This will still appear ‘slow’ to the

Your Thing Can Work, But Maybe Not the Way You Started

Kara Goldin loves to recount her tale of being laughed at and mocked by ex-Pepsi executives when she discussed selling non-carbonated flavored water. "That'll never work. No one will ever make it for you. Not scalable." These were the knee-jerk operational objections she heard from a mansplaining

The Next Wave of Skate Ramp Brands May Be Culinary

Q1 is done. But it's hard to tell where premium brands are headed this year. A mild recession will not do much damage due to the premium CPG spending of America's upper-middle-class. And this group is also much larger than in 2008. Top-income households do

The Phase 1 Private Label Trap

The best question asked in my Q1 Author Q&A was from Kyle Kent, founder of Vodkyte. And so he got a signed hardcover of Ramping Your Brand. His question? "Is it a plus to do private label production for one of your top retail customers?" I routinely hear

Mental Endurance Is Paramount

Premium CPG founders face serious headwinds trying to scale. Most never do. The ones who do scale take 7-10 years on average, though we all get distracted by a tiny group that does it in 2-3 years. This is why I always recommend that founders

The Return of PE Is Coming Later in ‘23

This is an excerpt from Episode 90 of my podcast Startup Confidential, which goes live with new content on the 1st and 15th of every month.  We are witnessing a temporary lull in private equity and V.C. investment in consumer brands. It won’t last, in part,

An Excerpt from Ramping Your Brand

My award-winning, best-selling business book for consumer founders still sells every day. If you haven’t grabbed a copy, please consider it. Here’s an excerpt that might tempt you to grab a copy. “The Power of Focus, or the Law of Frito-Lay Ironically, there is another critical law