The PGS Blog

Scenario Planning for 2021

I talk a lot about planning your experiment as you Ride the Ramp. And measuring. And iterating. I did not discuss what to do when you encounter historically disruptive events, like a global pandemic. And what I recommend you do is usually reserved for large, multinational

Top Two Mistakes Founders Make With Buyers

There is nothing worse for a high potential, emerging CPG brand than to enter the right retailer the wrong way and thereby to squander inventory (potentially lots of it) that could be moving faster elsewhere. It's essential to seek partnership with high-potential retail chains, i.e., a

1-Page. It’s All You Need. Planners Win This Game.

I launched my current business in 2017 with a series of LinkedIn videos, including why you need a strategic plan. Keeping you and your team accountable is the most important reason to write a straightforward plan consisting of three things: your revenue targets for 2-3 years maxyour

Mind the Gap Between Aspiration and Behavior

If you don’t know the behavior driving velocities off the shelf, you can’t really optimize marketing, promotions, channel strategy or much of your 4P playbook. As I write in Ramping Your Brand, most of your revenue as a CPG brand, especially as an early-stage one is

Is Advertising the Cost of Being Boring?

Many Skate Ramp consumer brands have scaled with very little (or any) paid marketing activities out-of-store. Instead, they relied on other, labor-intensive field techniques I write about in my book. But, had they done advertising and done it well, would they have scaled faster? It's a

What Those Trend Lists Keep Missing

Here they come. 2021 Trend lists in food, beverage yadda, yadda. Nothing will stop them. Not a freight train. But curb your enthusiasm for these curations of the weird. Rare with potential to scale is what you want as a founder, not just any kind

How Trader Joe’s Survived COVID-19 Without Online Services…

Wait. What? TJ's doesn't do curbside pickup? Curbside bag dump? Won't let Instacart inside? Really? They must be bankrupt by now? Yeah, Yeah, this is where my mind went in summer when I discovered that Trader Joe's made no precisely no changes to its no

Get Real on Barriers to Premium Uptake in Retail

I know “barriers” is a downer word, but it’s not just a marketing concept. It’s one of the more sobering realities entrepreneurs must face as they pursue growth. Deny barriers to trying your brand at your peril. Some premium innovations have few obstacles to uptake

The Buyer is a Curiously Important Ally

From Episode 35 of Startup Confidential: So many founders, early on, they get sucked into what I would call a distributor first mentality, all hail the distributor. And that is because it’s often the only way into many of the retailers that you have available to