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,

Beyond Predictable – Beyond Meat’s Struggles Are Explainable

As of 5:00 PM EDT on Thursday, May 10, 2023, Beyond Meat has created a highly seasonal, lower midmarket, negative EBITDA business that peaked at $464M in annualized sales in 2021. Here is the annual net revenue trend since 2016, which I’ll return to shortly.5   Recent

Memorability: Does Your Brand Have It?

Memorability. It's the most critical growth pillar for premium CPG brands. Why? Because you don't have the cash, credibility, or sales network with which to leap to 80% ACV in mere months. So, how do you enhance it? Design a superbly positioned innovation at the head of

Why You Should Avoid Your Peers

I tell folks to stop joining all these local ‘startup clubs’ that popped up during the glory years of easy money and low barriers to entry.  Virtually all of them were created and/or funded by the investor community as an easy, local watch list. Mostly angels.

Knowing When To Shut Down

Most early-stage consumer brand P&Ls exist on the knife edge of survival. Most are losing money until a certain point up the Ramp. In my most recent episode of Startup Confidential, I share thoughts on a dark topic: knowing when to shut down. I don't know

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.