The PGS Blog

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,

The Sprouts Indicator – Is It Real?

Sprouts is the only publicly traded retailer featuring natural/organic goods. It is our only public indicator of the sector's health with which we can track what is going on long-term. Sprouts has some biases, but I believe they’re constructive for reading the direction of this sector.

There is Such a Thing as the Wrong Consumer

If you hang out with old school sales pros from the natural products industry, you will often encounter a belief that distribution (in the right locales and channels) is all you need to grow with an ‘incremental’ product. They are used to low EBITDA businesses

Marketing ROI for Dummies – Part Two

(This is a continuation of Monday’s disturbing post).  So, it’s now time to get constructive about measuring ROI(return on investment) in marketing. And it's not about the standard of your sales team or finance.  You need both a smarter and more realistic way to measure impact. Or,

Marketing ROI for Dummies – Part One

Virtually ALL marketing loses money in the near term. The only exception I know of is a DTC brand we all know well. IT may or may not be on the home page. This wunder brand generated 5-10x return in terms of monthly unit sales,

Storytelling Only Trumps Attributes In Two Strategic Situations

An agency employee recently posted the following provocation on LinkedIn. “Storytelling > product features” My wild guess is that she is tired of tech company creative briefs that lock her into narrow feature plugs vs. unleashing the power of emotionally intense stories (e.g., Dr. Squatch, Liquid Death)

The Fallacy of Counting Doors

Door-counting is easy to pick on as a completely common, yet non-strategic, 'metric.' Door counting is the easiest public way to suggest growth without divulging your actual trailing revenue to your competitors. The problem is two fold. 1- Not every door is created equal in retail.

How Velocity Growth Steepens the Ramp

It is possible to double your store count every year in an exponential ramp up of distribution. If your product is good, you will achieve a stable (i.e., not declining) velocity plateau. Great. You’re doing better than many brands.  This will still appear ‘slow’ to the

Your Thing Can Work, But Maybe Not the Way You Started

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 a mansplaining

The Next Wave of Skate Ramp Brands May Be Culinary

Q1 is done. But it's hard to tell where premium brands are headed this year. A mild recession will not do much damage due to the premium CPG spending of America's upper-middle-class. And this group is also much larger than in 2008. Top-income households do