The PGS Blog

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

Why You Need a Strategic Review – Not a Re-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

Exponential Growth and Positive Feedback

I hate to say it, but reviews matter for more than their effect on click-through to your Shopify site. They count as an indirect indicator of enthusiastic repeat purchases. They indirectly cue you into the qualitative degree of your fan-thusiasm. Is that a word? Oh

Burn the Remote Control and Do The Important Things Yourself

One of the significant challenges in an under-capitalized business is filling many skill gaps you bring to the enterprise as a founder. Consumer brands are elaborate pipe organs of decision-making, some of the most complicated consumer-facing businesses to run. This is especially true if you

F*CK Brand Marketing – Early-Stage Brands Need Product Storytelling

You know your brand’s Instagram feed? Yeah, that digital stream full of all the cool, square, breezy lifestyle posts and overly clever but ultimately vague copy? Yeah, that’s what they call brand marketing.  Brand marketing is a ‘branch’ of marketing invented by established, leading brands to

The Counter-Intuitive Strategy Trick to Obtain Fast Growth

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 than those

How the Poorly Managed Broker Can Destroy Your Chances

Brokers can open doors you cannot open on your preferred timeline. They can even get off-cycle meetings to happen. In both cases, intermediaries shine as access nodes where you couldn’t make headway. In a world where large chains do annual resets, especially for the small

Fan Research is NOT just for big brands

I keep meeting new founders, usually from within the service end of the CPG industry (promo agencies, digital marketing outfits, etc.), who snap back into BigCO assumptions about what early-stage brands can or cannot afford to do. This snapback owes itself to memories of serving

The Key Question to Ask Your Fans

Understanding why your fans love your brand is essential to creating a quality playbook for exponential growth. Understanding who they are is less important but critical to critical aspects of execution. Founders new to consumer-packaged goods often focus only on who loves them and assume they understand why they do.   In CPG strategy, who is like the soil in your garden. Don’t think of who is like a giant mosh pit of disconnected individuals.

Never Bring on a Mentor Too Early

Why wait to bring on a mentor? You have to fail first to really get ready to learn. You have to know enough about the industry to formulate meaningful questions. Then you’ll get a lot of value from any industry expert. You have to be a superb