The PGS Blog

Why Your 1-Page Strategic Plan is Lame

For years, I’ve talked about having a 1-Page Strategic Plan which contains your one-line competitive strategy and outlines the key playbook you are testing to drive exponential growth for your business. I even gave away my own template to another 20 folks last month at my

Why Are My Velocities So Unstable?

Many new CPG founders get very concerned at the highly unstable, week-to-week velocities and month-month sell-in volumes for their product lines. The fear is heightened once you are inside a major chain. I get it. But, here's the thing. This is completely normal. It's like

Top 3 Reasons E-Commerce Brands Need to Study Their Retail Competition

E-commerce sales have more than doubled across most consumer categories during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Some e-commerce consumer brands will soon want to enter physical retail to find the next wave of consumers. The problem is that most pure-play e-commerce brands aren’t ready for retail because many

Poach, Don’t Hire Talent for Your Consumer Startup

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 where does your brand source volume?

Innovative new CPG brands have a curious habit of sourcing lots of volume from outside their respective categories. This is NOT true of most line extensions, which are engaged in a limiting market share battle within their core merchandising category. One way they do this

“That’ll never work!” is not how a real consultant talks

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

Loyalty marketing through the pandemic

Exclusive brand loyalty is the privilege of legacy brands who had years with minimal competition to build an advantage in culture and your mind. Today, though, new CPG brands can expect a few years of sustained intermittent usage before the consumer moves on. This is

Saying No is a Foundation Skill for Founders

You might think saying 'no' is simply the luxury of an established business who has the privilege to turn down an opportunity that isn't dead-on perfect.   But you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.   Saying 'no' is one of the fundamental business skills never taught in any school, let alone in business school. Hah!   It can only really

Walmart Shoppers Don’t Care Much About Premium Goods

It continues to amaze me how many premium CPG startups get sucked into the PR machine of Bentonville, Arkansas. 4,800 stores sound like a ton of volume. Except for the fact that the majority o shoppers who buy their groceries there just don't care about

Using a Retail Account as a Word-of-Mouth Marketing Trigger

In the early years of growing a consumer brand, just getting to $1M in trailing annual sales is a near-death experience for the vast majority of founders. Unicorn velocities bless very few CPG startups. The temptation early on to add together any retail account that