The PGS Blog

The Problem w/American Marketers

There’s a fundamental obsession with control and aggression in American marketing. Nothing epitomizes this better than the obsession with celebrity influencers and influencers standing in for persuasive messaging from a place of humility.  Celebrity-driven growth does happen, but it rarely attracts American marketers because it promises

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

The Seven Traits of Killer Founders

The following are patterns gleaned from my work with highly successful founders new to the industry.  Killer Founders are:1) Auto-didacts - they learn new subjects quickly and facilely - this IS correlated to being just plain smart, but not any more than the top 10% of

A Wild and Crazy Solution to Underfunded Female Startups

It’s no secret that female-operated startups receive far less funding than those founded by men. The apparent reason is how humans form high trust relationships, like giving millions of dollars to strangers. Investors do this with people who are most like them along the lines

Why Investors Replace Founders

The poorly handled firing of Miyoko Schinner last year (which we all learned about this winter suddenly) should remind us that investor/founder alignment is not always great. This is especially true if both parties are not really listening to each other up front and are

Top Three Reasons Founders 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 Key Question to Ask Your Fans

Understanding why your fans love your brand is essential to creating a quality playbook for exponential growth. Understanding who they are is less important but critical to critical aspects of execution. Founders new to consumer-packaged goods often focus only on who loves them and assume they understand why they do.   In CPG strategy, who is like the soil in your garden. Don’t think of who is like a giant mosh pit of disconnected individuals.

Losing Your Ambition? Hold On.

An under-discussed reason why eight-figure brands stall? Founders lose their ambition. Cash flow is stable and ample. The salary is very nice now. Why rock the boat with risky bets on acceleration? Nah. Just reinvest those profits into owner payouts, not growth.  I get it. There is

Holidays-Reflection-Stepping Back

One very common, under-discussed behavior on American holiday weekends? Re-examining one’s life. It happens quietly a lot, sometimes in open conversation as well.  What is usually going on is a fiery debate over priorities. And how much harder you want to push your top priority anymore. Which,