Why You Must Accept the Velocity Continuum at Retail

"Why did I get delisted at some stores and am growing velocities at other stores? Shouldn't my performance be similar in one metro area?" Well, no. No, not at all. New founders often experience the velocity continuum and get overly worried. It's basically a universal function for

DTC is a Phase 2 Channel For Most

Before the pandemic increased drop-shipping charges and Apple’s privacy protection kicked in on iOS devices, DTC was a much cheaper channel for founders to get into right away. You could simply geofence your Shopify “order now” button to appear only locally, where it was relatively inexpensive

Premium Pricing in 2023

In general, taking a 5-10% price increase will not change demand for a product line like yours that is 50-200% above the category unit price average. Just think about it for a second. Even if the retailer doubles that on the way to the shelf

Understanding Your Fans

Unlike B2B sales or high-ticket (i.e.research-heavy) consumer categories like cars, everyday consumer brands do not have a real ‘consideration’ phase in the marketing funnel. At least one you can intervene in separately from awareness building.  It’s not that there is no thought process or filtering of

What Happens With Low-Quality Awareness

The two master marketing KPIs are awareness and household penetration. If you aren’t moving both consistent with your communications, it’s time to iterate.  The problem is more subtle when you succeed in building awareness just fine, but household penetration doesn’t grow afterward.  It’s a thing. It really

Do Your Investors Have the Right Time Horizon?

On a webinar hosted by Gary Hirshberg in 2020, Wayne WU of VMG Partners pointed to a common problem before the pandemic. "[Brands chasing a pre-determined exit] are generally not the best brands to invest in because … they haven't focused on surprising and delighting

From Founder to Brand Manager

This post is a blatant plug. Not sorry, because I rarely do it. My course sales are up 80% this year! You don’t care, but there’s a reason I uncovered.  In talking with B-school professors and founders, I realized that my courses hit a gap in

Beware the False Mentor

The average mentor you have available to you charges nothing. So, they don’t have a great incentive to mentor well unless they already know you. Altruism will cause them to have a good attitude, but that’s about it. It’s hit or miss, especially if they aren’t

Timing Matters, So Be Early, Not Late

I shared a great article on LinkedIn about some research done by the least well-known Silicon Valley investor - Bill Gross. His investigation of why his own firm's investments fared so much better in terms of scale/durability than startups out of his reach might

Former Brand Managers Should Be Founders, Not Employees

Steadily over the past decade, more and more alumni of BigCo public CPG firms have entered the early-stage CPG arena. I have discussed elsewhere why most of them struggle to fit in and eventually leave the sector.  Most are marketing and sales staff looking for a