The PGS Blog

Building a Brand is a Social Process

Yeah, this bro greeting may not return in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but social excitement sure will in many forms. And the surefire way to accelerate same-store velocities or online sales is to insert your new brand into high-intensity social events as a

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

Founders’ Triple Marketing Burden

The last thing a Phase 1 founder wants to hear is: ‘ you need to ramp up your paid marketing to build awareness.’ Why? There’s no money! Are you kidding? 90% of Phase 1 P&Ls return negative pennies per unit on a net profit basis (after all

Sometimes, Founders Need to Make Weird Cool

In my book - Ramping Your Brand - there is a line that gets at the fundamental danger in CPG innovation, the fundamental threat to above-average memorability in a crowded, oversupplied marketplace. "Rarity in its purest form—rare ingredients, rare flavors, rare sensory textures,

Are Medical Niches a Trap for Founders?

Not necessarily. Splenda launched in the United States as an ingredient in branded product launches like Diet V8 Splash. When it came time to market the table sweetener directly, McNeill chose two groups: diabetics and middle-aged, weight-conscious women who like to bake.  “The target audience is

Top Three Reasons Founders Need a Creative Brief

Writing a creative brief is one of those BigCo professional practices that should be taking place at every consumer brand startup. Yet, I rarely meet founders who even know what I'm talking about when I mention this. It's partly because it's a stuffy BigCo term.

Why You Must Accept the Velocity Continuum at Retail

"Why did I get delisted at some stores and am growing velocities at other stores? Shouldn't my performance be similar in one metro area?" Well, no. No, not at all. New founders often experience the velocity continuum and get overly worried. It's basically a universal function for

DTC is a Phase 2 Channel For Most

Before the pandemic increased drop-shipping charges and Apple’s privacy protection kicked in on iOS devices, DTC was a much cheaper channel for founders to get into right away. You could simply geofence your Shopify “order now” button to appear only locally, where it was relatively inexpensive

Premium Pricing in 2023

In general, taking a 5-10% price increase will not change demand for a product line like yours that is 50-200% above the category unit price average. Just think about it for a second. Even if the retailer doubles that on the way to the shelf

Understanding Your Fans

Unlike B2B sales or high-ticket (i.e.research-heavy) consumer categories like cars, everyday consumer brands do not have a real ‘consideration’ phase in the marketing funnel. At least one you can intervene in separately from awareness building.  It’s not that there is no thought process or filtering of