Billion Dollar CPG Brands – How Do They Scale?

The power of focus is how they do it. They keep their revenue primarily within 1-2 core categories and even further, mostly within 10-15 prime cash cow UPCs.  This makes their plants very efficient since most of the UPC diversity becomes different packaging runs or flavorings

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

Why is the Natural Foods Sector Decelerating?

Here’s a teaser for my free webinar this Wednesday - What Has Changed Since 2019? The latest data I have on hand shows that, across food/beverage/personal care and supplements, natural and organic product dollars only grew 3% in 2023, which is more or less on track

Beware the Ego-Stroking Angel Fool

There are more wealthy angel investors than ever. This is a result of the US Dollar’s role in global finance. Most of these newly rich angels add no value beyond money. Suppose you are doing well and are an excellent networker of advice and talent.

Hiring a Strategy Consultant is Not About You

My best clients approach me understanding that a) they can’t know it all, b) because they are new to their operating category, and c) if they learn just one transformational insight about their business’ competitive situation, even a five-figure fee is cheap. They don’t take my

Valuations that Work for Founders and Investors – Part 2

Conversely, founders often try to go to the other extreme. Hey, Mark Cuban, give me $500,000 for 5% equity. Give it! This is a pre-money valuation of $9,500,000. For a typical Shark Tank business selling less than $1 million, this is a crazy 10x of

Valuations that Work for Founders and Investors – Part 1

Valuation. Like I have, anyone who has ever watched Shark Tank repeatedly knows what a 'shark' deal looks like. 25-40% equity for $100-300K. The founders get $150,000 for 30% equity on a classic Shark Tank deal. That is a pre-money valuation of only $350,000 on

Marketing ROI for Dummies – Part Two

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, just don’t do it. Just don’t.  If you’re

Platforming Brands Add Households the Exactly Wrong Way

Before my time, marketing scientists established that adding households is crucial to growth in consumer brands, especially when the purchase cycle is long (e.g., condiments, soap, cars, furniture). In consumer goods, there is a common tendency to spray out the products even in unrelated categories with

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,