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The Second CPG Demand Surge is Underway

But it’s almost entirely online right now. After over a year of getting habituated to online grocery pickup and delivery, America’s educated elite is all in. In the last four weeks, folks, there has been a quiet 2021 surge in online grocery as the Delta

How the Pandemic Revealed How Category Matters

Last April, I held two webinars on the early effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns on category consumption rates. It proved an extreme tool with which to teach some essential variables driving baseline category velocity. Category is everything in strategic planning for exponential B2C growth. Compare how

Make Sure Your Topline is NOT a House of Cards

Getting seduced by your own success is a thing. Whether it came right away or after years of struggle, it doesn’t matter. If you simply look at wholesale case volume growth, you may be in for a rude surprise in 6-9 months.   You may find your growth

Brag About Your Email List, Not Your Door Count

The following is a preview of Episode 53 of Startup Confidential, the fastest-growing podcast for founders of consumer brands. Yes, the chest-beating about door count continues unabated in the trade media. Must be proof of traction, eh?  Um, no.  So, there are 38,000 primary grocery points of

Why You Need a Strategic Review – Not a Re-Brand

When early-stage businesses struggle in the premium end of consumer-packaged goods, a shocking number of founders and operators leap to the conclusion that they need a “brand refresh” or a “re-brand.” Look, branding agencies are numerous, and they network heavily at Expo West. They sponsor

Exponential Growth and Positive Feedback

I hate to say it, but reviews matter for more than their effect on click-through to your Shopify site. They count as an indirect indicator of enthusiastic repeat purchases. They indirectly cue you into the qualitative degree of your fan-thusiasm. Is that a word? Oh

Burn the Remote Control and Do The Important Things Yourself

One of the significant challenges in an under-capitalized business is filling many skill gaps you bring to the enterprise as a founder. Consumer brands are elaborate pipe organs of decision-making, some of the most complicated consumer-facing businesses to run. This is especially true if you

F*CK Brand Marketing – Early-Stage Brands Need Product Storytelling

You know your brand’s Instagram feed? Yeah, that digital stream full of all the cool, square, breezy lifestyle posts and overly clever but ultimately vague copy? Yeah, that’s what they call brand marketing.  Brand marketing is a ‘branch’ of marketing invented by established, leading brands to

The Counter-Intuitive Strategy Trick to Obtain Fast Growth

It’s a law of marketing seldom discussed but first popularized by Byron Sharp many years ago. What’s the gist? Well, the evidence shows that consumers with a robust set of brands they’re content within a category are much harder to distract with a new brand than those

How the Poorly Managed Broker Can Destroy Your Chances

Brokers can open doors you cannot open on your preferred timeline. They can even get off-cycle meetings to happen. In both cases, intermediaries shine as access nodes where you couldn’t make headway. In a world where large chains do annual resets, especially for the small