The PGS Blog

De-Platforming Your Brand

The Summer Fancy Food Show recently wrapped up for 2022. This famous show regularly features, literally exhibits, one of the most common strategic mistakes that the professional dataset in my book warns ambitious founders against if your goal is scaling on a reasonable timeline.  Platforming products

Before You Hire a Branding Agency, Do a Strategic Review

Part 1 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

The Power of a Fresh Pair of Eyes on Your Business

Strategy consultants are easily mocked as those who teach but can’t do. Yet, their power was never sold to you as executional. Consultants add the most value simply by being a professionally trained external set of eyes emotionally detached from ALL of your prior decision-making. When

Are These 6 Things In Your 2023 Strategic Plan?

You may have heard the phrase “strategic plan” before. I talk about it a lot. Because it’s the front half of any good business plan, but it is the most poorly thought-out part of most business plans among CPG startups. The ones I’ve looked at seem

Before You Head to Customer Meetings, Read This

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

Let’s Stop Celebrating Launches More than Business Anniversaries

I’ve got news for some of you. Pitch Slams are simply entertainment for an audience gathered for some other purpose entirely (and a form of weak, patronizing philanthropy from hosting organizations). But these beginner contests have increased without any correlation to your average consumer startup's

Is Premium CPG Growth Mostly Downmarket?

In 2020, I predicted in a public webinar that premium CPG growth would snap back to its pre-pandemic annual growth rate trend by 2021.  What am I talking about? I’m talking about the change in the Year-over-Year growth rate. This may sound super academic to a

Your Fans Will Get You Through Any Recession

Loyalty, defined as exclusive brand usage, may be a mirage in most categories (and in many premium segments within them). But this does not mean you can not retain fans for 2-3 years before the next modern thing catches their eye.  Retention is different from loyalty

Creating Enough Retail Opportunities So You Can Choose

I once got confronted by a Phase 2 founder with a great (but perhaps not wildly memorable) product that was chasing a not that interesting outcome in his category. Word-of-mouth was weak because a ‘great-tasting’ X isn’t culturally interesting in some categories. “James, I take any