cpg Tag

Seriously, Poach Talent for Key Functions…Don’t Hire Them

It's a truism in professional hiring that you always want to seek out talent that is already employed first. This may seem silly because it gives leverage to the employee, not to the company hiring, but that completely misses the point. The issue you face

The Problem With Growing Too Slowly

Although I caution against chasing unicorns, this is not meant to validate any brand's growth rate being in the single digits, YoY. This slow growth rate may be in line with the premium CPG sector overall, and it may be much faster than commodity brands

Becoming a B2C Business and Why It Matters if You Want to Scale

The vast majority of consumer startups selling in retail get lulled into operating as a B2B company, even though they make products for the end consumer. This is because the initial data they manage concerns distributor case sales and retail account sales. They have no

You Need a Strategic Review BEFORE your Re-Fresh Your 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 events

How Trader Joe’s Survived COVID-19 Without Online Services…

Wait. What? TJ's doesn't do curbside pickup? Curbside bag dump? Won't let Instacart inside? Really? They must be bankrupt by now? Yeah, Yeah, this is where my mind went in summer when I discovered that Trader Joe's made no precisely no changes to its no

Get Real on Barriers to Premium Uptake in Retail

I know “barriers” is a downer word, but it’s not just a marketing concept. It’s one of the more sobering realities entrepreneurs must face as they pursue growth. Deny barriers to trying your brand at your peril. Some premium innovations have few obstacles to uptake

The Buyer is a Curiously Important Ally

From Episode 35 of Startup Confidential: So many founders, early on, they get sucked into what I would call a distributor first mentality, all hail the distributor. And that is because it’s often the only way into many of the retailers that you have available to

You’re a Geek. Your Consumers Aren’t.

Most CPG innovators and founders are geeks of some sort. It doesn't matter if the geekiness was professional or amateurish or a committee of both. The point is that you isolated a problem, a gap in your category, and you filled it. Or

The Fallacy of Counting Doors

Door-counting is easy to pick on as a completely common, yet non-strategic, 'metric.' Door counting is the easiest public way to suggest growth without divulging your actual trailing revenue to your competitors. The problem is two fold. 1- Not every door is created equal in retail.

Making Weird Acceptable

In my book - Ramping Your Brand - there is a line that gets at the fundamental danger in CPG innovation, the fundamental threat to above-average memorability in a crowded, oversupplied marketplace. "Rarity in its purest form—rare ingredients, rare flavors, rare sensory textures,