The PGS Blog

Don’t Hire a Marketing Director Before You Read this Book

Founders: before you hire your first marketing director, please read Allan Dib’s classic, no shiny objects allowed, book on marketing planning. Like me, he is an experimentalist. All successful pros are experimenting with their consumer communications. It’s effortless to waste money on campaigns. So be very

WTF is Up w/Bright Farms?

Did you miss it too? One of its late-stage investors was the slow absorption of BrightFarms - Cox Enterprises (yes, the cable company).  Here’s the public story of BrightFarms, for those of you not tracking the cleantech/agritech cross-over.  Paul Lightfoot and Ted Caplow founded Bright Farms in

At Least Seven Reasons You Need a Strategic Plan of ANY Size

Look, would you climb a 14,000-foot mountain without vetting your optimal route given current weather conditions or making sure you have the right supplies and physical training? Would you go on a 200-mile bike ride without planning your route, bringing spare tubes, and knowing how much food and water to

Wait. Approach With Leverage. Retain Control.

This, folks, is my pet formula for gaining institutional investment as a consumer brand. And it’s the opposite of what they teach folks in Silicon Valley. It’s the least common story you will read about in the business media as well. Why? Because, as Americans, we

If You Feel Really Well-Funded, Please Read This First

Look. Some founders begin with substantial seed funding, usually from family. I worked with one who got $2.5M from family. He had received so many advanced orders from chains, though it justified this kind of seed money so he could jump on a rare unicorn

Setting Your Online Price Wisely

For those of you who are launching online first and recognize that traditional retail is definitely in your future as you try to scale, a nagging question may arise: should I price online, assuming that in the future I’ll need to accommodate retailer, distribution margins and

The Second CPG Demand Surge is Underway

But it’s almost entirely online right now. After over a year of getting habituated to online grocery pickup and delivery, America’s educated elite is all in. In the last four weeks, folks, there has been a quiet 2021 surge in online grocery as the Delta

How the Pandemic Revealed How Category Matters

Last April, I held two webinars on the early effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns on category consumption rates. It proved an extreme tool with which to teach some essential variables driving baseline category velocity. Category is everything in strategic planning for exponential B2C growth. Compare how

Make Sure Your Topline is NOT a House of Cards

Getting seduced by your own success is a thing. Whether it came right away or after years of struggle, it doesn’t matter. If you simply look at wholesale case volume growth, you may be in for a rude surprise in 6-9 months.   You may find your growth

Brag About Your Email List, Not Your Door Count

The following is a preview of Episode 53 of Startup Confidential, the fastest-growing podcast for founders of consumer brands. Yes, the chest-beating about door count continues unabated in the trade media. Must be proof of traction, eh?  Um, no.  So, there are 38,000 primary grocery points of