The Value of Placement in a Growth Retailer as a Young Brand

Many have forgotten how Walmart, specifically, their Supercenter format provided mainstream CPG a single retail account that generated double-digit revenue growth for years in the 1990s and 2000s. It was a bargain with the Devil, though, because it compressed net margins for those brands by

Which Categories Really Benefited from the Pandemic?

The premium food/beverage/alcohol space grew at a pace last year not seen since 2006. Let that sink in a bit. And ever since 2006, the sector has been steadily decelerating, though still growing in both market share and absolute $ sales (and ahead of inflation). See the

The ONLY Negative Consumer Feedback You Should Immediately React To

You will most likely accumulate tons of negative feedback about your brand over the years unless you are the next SkinnyPop and found a gaping, ‘easy’ innovation hole in a sleepy category managed by the arrogant (at the time, at least).  The key is finding the

Why Your 1-Page Plan Is Lame

For years, I’ve talked about having a 1-Page Strategic Plan, which contains your one-line competitive strategy and outlines the critical playbook you are testing to drive exponential growth for your business. I even gave away my template to another 20 folks last month at my quarterly Riding

Don’t Hire a Marketing Director Before You Read this Book

Founders: before you hire your first marketing director, please read Allan Dib’s classic, no shiny objects allowed, book on marketing planning. Like me, he is an experimentalist. All successful pros are experimenting with their consumer communications. It’s effortless to waste money on campaigns. So be very

WTF is Up w/Bright Farms?

Did you miss it too? One of its late-stage investors was the slow absorption of BrightFarms - Cox Enterprises (yes, the cable company).  Here’s the public story of BrightFarms, for those of you not tracking the cleantech/agritech cross-over.  Paul Lightfoot and Ted Caplow founded Bright Farms in

At Least Seven Reasons You Need a Strategic Plan of ANY Size

Look, would you climb a 14,000-foot mountain without vetting your optimal route given current weather conditions or making sure you have the right supplies and physical training? Would you go on a 200-mile bike ride without planning your route, bringing spare tubes, and knowing how much food and water to

Wait. Approach With Leverage. Retain Control.

This, folks, is my pet formula for gaining institutional investment as a consumer brand. And it’s the opposite of what they teach folks in Silicon Valley. It’s the least common story you will read about in the business media as well. Why? Because, as Americans, we

If You Feel Really Well-Funded, Please Read This First

Look. Some founders begin with substantial seed funding, usually from family. I worked with one who got $2.5M from family. He had received so many advanced orders from chains, though it justified this kind of seed money so he could jump on a rare unicorn

Setting Your Online Price Wisely

For those of you who are launching online first and recognize that traditional retail is definitely in your future as you try to scale, a nagging question may arise: should I price online, assuming that in the future I’ll need to accommodate retailer, distribution margins and