The PGS Blog

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

When The Buyer Isn’t Interested On YOUR Timeline

If you’re not getting retail buyer meetings for annual reviews, what do you do? How do you push past this barrier?  Here is how I would triage your thinking.  Step back and re-evaluate your tactical approach to the buyer.  Was it a partnership offer or a chest-beating pitch?  Do

Co-Man as Partner, Not Vendor

Co-manufacturing is how 95% of new CPG founders produce their goods. They have neither the capital nor the patience to finance and operate their own production facilities. It’s a lot to take on, so I get it, even if you can find an expert plant

3 Unmistakable Signs of a Predatory Investor

The unspoken problem with encouraging more investments in female and minority-owned companies is that it encourages an already ongoing problem in the early-stage universe: predatory male investors targeting startup founders for manipulation/take-over. Women especially get targeted by these bad faith actors and have the most

Setting Your Online Price With the Future in Mind

For those of you who are launching online first and recognize that traditional retail is definitely in your future as you try to scale, a nagging question may arise: should I price online, assuming that in the future I'll need to accommodate retailer, distribution margins

The Skate Ramp is the Proven, ‘Quick’ Path to Scale

From the Introduction to Ramping Your Brand  Every year, I meet more smart and capable entrepreneurs who either set unrealistically fast growth rates or want to grow quickly but struggle to grow fast enough to gain leverage with the trade. Many have a distorted view of what

The Key Sign of a Premium-Friendly Supermarket Chain

Before the pandemic, I routinely did store visits by key banner and channel to keep up to date one highly revealing variable: % of perimeter end caps with premium brands (early-stage or middle-market). It seems too simple at first until you step back and think about

Startup Clubs vs. Brand Accelerators

In most major cities now, there are local CPG startup communities. Some cities, like the Bay Area, have multiple competing 'clubs.' This is where very young founders new to the industry tend to find themselves for support and peer-to-peer information sharing about operational basics.  I have

Top 3 Reasons You 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.

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