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2nd Edition of Ramping Your Brand

Last week, I asked folks on LinkedIn to suggest additional content for a larger, updated second edition of Ramping Your Brand; there were some excellent ideas. As of now, I’m looking to add two chapters: The Founder’s Role Across the Phases - This chapter will explore how

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

From the PGS Monthly Archives – Marketing ROI

Trade spending runs out of power, and financial efficiency runs out very quickly once you get into the eight figures. Or once you have mainly penetrated a smaller retailer’s local shopping population by the mere passage of time (e.g., Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc./). And

Throttling Distribution for Exponential Growth Brands

One thing I didn’t dive into my book, to keep it short, was how distribution growth pace alters as you Ride the Ramp. You’ll need to turn on a minimum number of stores, say 200-300, to even know if you have a business in retail.

The Smoothie Wars Continue

Getting a convenient, high-quality, reasonably priced packaged smoothie product into American homes has taken a long while. While Dole probably thinks they did it first, they were only first to do it in the frozen aisle for pantry-stocking. Dole has been unable (or willing) to

Launch Day! My New Book is Out!

It's here! My alter ego – James, the relentless anthropologist - has released his new book!  You may want to read it to understand how we got to a society where - Snacks continue to be a huge growth sector How youth-oriented recreation (and event marketing) became

The Glaring Funding Gaps in CPG

Funding money-losing businesses is never easy. This is generally something only your closest friends and family would ever do (and, of course, you and your cofounders). Food and beverage startups tend to lose money for years, especially if they develop much of their early volume

My New Book is Out on May 17!

A week from Friday, my alter ego – James, the relentless anthropologist - releases his new book!  You may want to read it to understand how we got to a society where - Snacks continue to be a huge growth sector How youth-oriented recreation (and event marketing)

Lessons from Foxtrot’s Demise

Foxtrot’s sudden, disorderly shutdown shocked many in the world of premium consumer brands. Dozens of brands had much of their P&L pegged to this small chain and its growth plans. Really. Bad. Idea.  There is a vast difference between growing your brand with a stable growth

From Founder to Brand Manager – The Key Transition

In talking with B-school professors and founders, I realized that my courses hit a gap in DIY founder training. The gap is in professional brand management with an early-stage twist. Once you get into Phase 2, this is when these skills will give you an