Plan for Two Macro-Scenarios in 2022

If you missed my Friday webinar, here’s the big take-away. You really should accept that there is enough uncertainty left in the epidemiology to make two scenarios plausible for 2022. I’ll walk you through them briefly here. They’re based on the new ‘fact’ that CPG sales

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.

Help Wanted – The Perils of Staffing Up Too Fast

Part two of my interview w/Tom Eisenmann of Harvard Business School is now live. In this part, we discuss a bunch of more advanced topics. One that stuck with me is the challenge in staffing up rapidly when the founders are hiring for functions they

Good Plans Are Short- Real Short

I launched my current business in 2017 with a series of LinkedIn videos, including why you need a strategic plan. Keeping you and your team accountable is the most important reason to write a straightforward plan consisting of three things: your revenue targets for 2-3 years maxyour 1-line competitive

You’re Doing Your Topline Analysis All Wrong

For the world of early-stage consumer brands selling in retail, I fervently hope that 2021 will be the decade of scanner-led growth. I don’t want anyone to enslave themselves to data, but fast-growing companies need to get smarter earlier about growth. And part of this is

Why Startups Fail – False Starts

Some of you may have already caught June's 1st episode of Startup Confidential. For the rest of you, here's an excerpt from my recent interview with Prof. Tom Eisenmenn, author of Why Startups Fail. ME: “ One of the sources of False Starts you talk

Sales Strategy is NOT a Business Strategy

The vast majority of CPG startups operate as B2B businesses. They don’t interact with their consumers. They aren’t curious about how they receive and use their products. As long as case volumes grow, they’re happy. As long as their wholesale price can float operations and

Building a Brand is a Social Process, not a Financial One

Yeah, this bro greeting may not return in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but social excitement sure will in many forms. And the surefire way to accelerate same-store velocities or online sales is to insert your new brand into high-intensity social events as a

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

How NOT to Make Use of a Paid Advisor

I’ve discussed before how to filter advice on your business. Today I’d like to hone in on a pet peeve related to paying for expert advice.  Let me start with an analogy. In corporate America, when a senior executive wants an external consultant to coach one of