The PGS Blog

What is this Riding the Ramp Training Thing?

I’ll explain. But before I do, there are less than 10 spots available for this Friday’s quarterly cohort. So, you may want to grab one now.  OK. For the rest of you reading this, this is my best explanation of why it matters for CPG founders

Why Default Scanner Data Won’t Help You

Scanner data companies like Nielsen, IRI, and SPINS love to default to Year-over-Year (YOY) time comparisons. Against every possible metric they have. Why?  Because this involves the smallest amount of data released to any paying client, and it’s the least valuable possible information. It’s like the trailer

Why Write a One-Page Strategic Plan?

I have met founders who seem terrified of planning. This is often in the beginning, in Phases 1 or 2. The business is all upside down at this early point in the journey. And most entrepreneurs hate shutting down opportunities. They generally thrill on seizing

Why Does Nespresso Ignore Their Fans?

Nestle’s global head of R&D bragged to the media a few weeks ago about how they can get innovation to market faster than many startups.   Isn’t that nice?  Nestle still has much to learn about scaling new brands in the U.S. The extension of their $5B global

What Makes the Professional Founder Different

Every year hundreds of new consumer brands ship their first cases to retailers or 3P online fulfillment centers. Most will never make it to even $500,000 in trailing annual sales (i.e., gross company sales).   They will struggle in what I’ve called the Death Funnel. Fundamental issues of being a de-leveraged company take most players down

Remember the Pyramid of Causality as You Look Back

OK. You absolutely now have all your 2022 numbers. Topline. Bottomline. Your accountant is working on your corporate taxes. If you didn’t hit your topline goal in 2022, know the following: This is common among folks new to this crazy industry of consumer brands. TikTok is no

Top 5 PGS Blog Posts from 2022

I need to confess that the kid in this photo is my Blog editor. He’s a true wunderkind but wishes to remain anonymous. He’s ruthless with the strikethrough. Ruthless. And he rocks a mean, bamboo fiber onesie.  He and I couldn’t agree on which PGS blog posts were

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

Strawberry, not Lingonberry, for Your Holiday Strategy

So…some of you sell in categories that routinely appear under the Xmas tree. Jam. Chocolate. Wine. Spirits. If you do, don’t confuse “Holiday LTOs” with a smart holiday growth play. Why? Well, let’s face it. Many folks who give gifts to others in the above categories make

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