The PGS Blog

Learning Enough to Hire Specialists – The Marketing Director

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

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

The Problem w/Celebrity Involvement in a Startup

I think Leonard DiCaprio has invested in upwards of 10 consumer startups alone. Don’t quote me on that. His funding of Grizzly Man’s suicidal misadventures (Timothy Treadwell), though, should give you some pause for reflection.   What is the most influential role a celebrity can play in

Seriously, Poach Talent for Key Functions…Don’t Hire Them

It's a truism in professional hiring that you always want to seek out talent that is already employed first. This may seem silly because it gives leverage to the employee, not to the company hiring, but that completely misses the point. The issue you face

From Pandemic to Endemic COVID-19 Sales in CPG

As I prepare for a June COVID-19 update, here’s where my head is at regarding what will be changing in 2021 that may affect your early-stage brand (or not): Sampling – retailers may require pre-packaged samples only, which will increase the costs of this in-store technique

Understand Why Before Who As You Steer Your Business

Classically trained marketers at BigCo can too easily assume they know WHY people buy their products. This is because they generally work for holding companies selling yesterday’s innovations that are household names in basic categories. The WHY behind repeat purchase has become essentially common cultural

Working with Agencies – The Creative Brief

If you don’t want your agency or marketing director to develop a communication strategy that’s totally disconnected from your actual competitive strategy, you need a creative brief. I don’t see it as a luxury at all. It has the same value for a small startup,

Attract Consumers New to Your Category

It's a law of marketing seldom discussed, but first popularized by Byron Sharp many years ago. What's the gist? Well, the evidence shows that consumers with a robust set of brands they're content within a category are much harder to distract with a new brand

Business Acumen…What to Do If You Didn’t Go to B-School

Here’s a sneak preview of my upcoming podcast interview with Prof. Tom Eisenmann of Harvard Business School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, author of Why Startups Fail. Airing in June on Startup Confidential – available on all major podcast platforms. Believe it or not, founders with prior business operating experience DO