The PGS Blog

How to Fix TAM Analysis for Early-Stage Brands

Why is a conservative formula for a brand’s Total Addressable Market (TAM) so elusive in the world of early-stage consumer brands? Among many others, the folks who study consumer behavior just aren't involved in these calculations.  In a less giddy world than ours, bottoms-up formulas for

Plans Are Disciplinary Devices, Not Google Maps

Folks who are new to planning, even 1-page strategic plans, often just don’t start.  Why?  Well, there’s a defeatist fog that overcomes them. If the plan tells me what to do, what if circumstances change? Then, it’s worthless, and I have to start all over? Hmmm

Big Changes Mean Tough Organizational Decisions

When you bring in a business consultant, they should be a rented business partner scanning the entire enterprise. In other words, be prepared to fire people and shake things up if need be as you make use of their input. Or you are wasting your effort. Half

Why You Need to Build Awareness Ahead of Distribution

In the world of early-stage consumer brands, you are generally premium-priced vs. the Lay’s, Philadelphia, and Oreo in your category. Sometimes, you’re very premium-priced. Premium pricing will shut down almost all curiosity trials from the average American in a conventional supermarket if they’ve never heard

Don’t Get Pushed Into a Premature Exit

The primary reasons to exit early (early being Phase 2 or Phase 3) is that a) you are sick of operating the business and cannot find a suitable person to step in (or quickly enough OR b) you want an ‘entity’ to finance its growth

Saying ‘No’ is a Critical Skill- Learn it

You might think saying ‘no’ is simply a luxury of an established business that has the privilege to turn down an opportunity that isn’t absolutely dead-on perfect. But you’d be wrong. Saying ‘no’ is one of the fundamental business skills never taught in school, especially in business

Only 20% of Walmart Shoppers Also Shop at Whole Foods Market

The 20% figure here is a cross-shopping percentage. Say what? Cross-shopping is a shopper marketing term that measures shopper-base overlap from the perspective of one retailer’s shopper base. So…the title means that only 20% of Walmart shoppers in the past 30 days have also purchased groceries from

Why Launching Your Way to Growth Doesn’t Work

I wrote a whitepaper years ago about how using innovation to grow just doesn’t work. I want to refine my case here. It’s a problem that affects platform brands built around an attribute that easily crosses categories and the grocery store itself.  Often, I’ve seen this

Retailers Need to Offer Trade Advantage to Minority Suppliers

Albertson’s recently announced a new program to boost the presence of minority suppliers on its shelves. It appears to be a combination of onboarding assistance via RangeMe AND access to below-market interest rate short-term working capital loans.  By offering cheap loans, primarily, is a retailer solving

Professionalization Is The Secret Sauce

In CPG, this means many things; nothing has to do specifically with being polite or inclusive (not that those are bad things).  Use annual planning - it keeps you more objective and focused on results than just chasing ‘opportunities.’Test your playbook like a scientist would -