The PGS Blog

People Mis-Using My Book to Get a Job

I wish I were making this up. I really, really do. I now have heard too many anecdotes about BigCo refugees citing their ‘enthusiasm’ for my book as dubious social proof that they ‘totally get it’ and ‘are totally ready’ for startup life after working

Canadian Founder? Enter the U.S. When The Business is Ready

Early on in my career in the premium end of CPG, I learned that most brands’ early adopters tend to be those folks more into natural/organic products in general. That is, they’re much more likely to notice new brands. And, even the less ‘pure and righteous’

Do Your Investors Have the Right Time Horizon?

On a webinar hosted by Gary Hirshberg in May, Wayne WU of VMG Partners pointed to a common problem before the pandemic. "[Brands chasing a pre-determined exit] are generally not the best brands to invest in because … they haven't focused on surprising and delighting

There is Such a Thing as the Wrong Consumer

If you hang out with old school sales pros from the natural products industry, you will often encounter a belief that distribution (in the right locales and channels) is all you need to grow with an ‘incremental’ product. They are used to low EBITDA businesses

The Latest Unicorn? – Love Good Fats

Started in Canada in 2017 by a CPG marketing professional and BigCo alum, Love Good Fats is displaying the hallmarks of unicorn market positioning:  Excellent market timing in the category (there was no nationally distributed keto bar in 2017 in either country), and the keto craze

Becoming a B2C Business and Why It Matters if You Want to Scale

The vast majority of consumer startups selling in retail get lulled into operating as a B2B company, even though they make products for the end consumer. This is because the initial data they manage concerns distributor case sales and retail account sales. They have no

COVID-19 Priorities for Your Brand by Phase

I’d like to recap advice I’ve given in my public webinars on COVID-19 and its impact on the CPG industry. Specifically, I’ll break it down to the specific phase of development that you’re in.  Phase 1 – $0-500K:   your number one goal here is turning the engine

Source Volume From Outside Your Category to Win

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

Let’s Replace Trade Shows With True Industry Events

The face-to-face social bonding aspects of trade shows stand out to all of us as the most irreplaceable feature of the trade show. But do we need after-parties and cocktail events to move our businesses forward? Really? How many warm relationships become 'hot' after 10

You Need a Strategic Review BEFORE your Re-Fresh Your Brand

When early-stage businesses struggle in the premium end of consumer-packaged-goods, a shocking number of founders and operators leap to the conclusion that they need a "brand refresh" or a "re-brand." Look, branding agencies are numerous, and they network heavily at Expo West. They sponsor events