Key Components of a Good 2023 Strategic Plan

Sorry for the clickbait. This is not about current events or about 2023. This is an evergreen sermon on why you have to have a concise, crisp strategic plan, even as a Phase 1 consumer brand.   You may have heard the phrase “strategic plan” before, even though

De-Weirding Your Brand

This guy looks so uncomfortable. He's either trying too hard to work on vacation or not trying hard enough to blend in at the beach. It's weird. Not offensive per se. Just weird. Anomalous. Even silly. Judging these kinds of behaviors is what humans do.

Managing Stakeholders as A New Founder

No, this post is NOT aimed at proselytization. And No, this is NOT your typical list of tips from a business rag. I’m writing here for new (i,e. amateur) CPG founders who are not professionally experienced in the CPG industry—folks who got in because they

Are You on the Ramp? Let’s See….

Here it is. It’s no secret of my business. I put it in my book for everyone. If you want to grow exponentially until you scale past $100M, then hit these KPIs: formula-anchored product design modernizing the fulfillment of a mass consumer outcome with premium attributes75%+

The Class Asymmetry Between Investors and Founders is Real

Most founders are educated, but they are not high-net-worth individuals. They may know rich folks. They may have gone to school with them, but they are not from that lifestyle. What lifestyle? One in which people don’t look at the price of most consumer goods, their housing,

Disappearing End Cap Space for Emerging Brands?

I don’t have the means to conduct a randomized survey of chain endcaps. But I track changes over time in some diagnostic retail locations in upscale zip codes oriented to premium CPG buying. It’s no secret that shelf space has shifted back toward market-leading, non-premium brands

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

Marketing ROI for Dummies – Part Two

(This is a continuation of Monday’s disturbing post).  So, it’s now time to get constructive about measuring ROI(return on investment) in marketing. And it's not about the standard of your sales team or finance.  You need both a smarter and more realistic way to measure impact. Or,

Marketing ROI for Dummies – Part One

Virtually ALL marketing loses money in the near term. The only exception I know of is a DTC brand we all know well. IT may or may not be on the home page. This wunder brand generated 5-10x return in terms of monthly unit sales,

The Why, How, and When of Measuring Awareness

It is a truism in consumer marketing that you have to build awareness in consumers’ minds, or else your retail distribution will underperform. Today, consumers are overwhelmed with signal noise coming from multiple screens and sources that didn’t even exist when I was a kid in