The Importance of Branding

August 30, 2019

Coca-Cola is a brand machine. They are one of the rare companies that understands not only the importance of brands. Their whole culture is centered around developing, positioning and nurturing their brands. They don’t make mistakes, but they know that in the end brands are the only value they create.
We see a lot of new companies today and almost all of their founders say they know that branding is important, but very few understand what that means.
Great brands have a special bond with their consumers and very few early stage entrepreneurs know how to create it. Some of this is understandable. To get a new company off of the ground requires a lot of key skills – financing, formulation, production, logistics, retail and distribution effort. But, that magic of connecting with the consumer – and I say consumer because you have to do it one person at a time – is very hard to understand. I have been in this business a long time and I am not sure I can do it.
My point is this – a great founder doesn’t need to be able to do it either, but, he/she needs to be able to see this gap and find a way to make it one of your core competencies.
What do you think?

The Rise and Fall of a Brand

August 27, 2019

Fyi, a great story on La Croix in Bloomberg this week. It talks about the brand, the category, the owner, competition and the company’s capabilities – and how they all brought La Croix to where it is today. It is well worth the read. The story of a company and a brand is never simple. What do you think?

The Loss of a Great Friend and Leader

May 21, 2018

Sad news – our GBS Co-Founder and long time friend, Gordon Hill, passed suddenly over the weekend. He was a great leader and confidant in many ways – life as well as business. Very few people have the ability to see things at a high, strategic level and also have the capability to roll up their sleeves and get it done. Gordon was that kind of person. His leadership will be missed, but, more importantly, we will miss his friendship. I know I will. The people he mentored over the years are everywhere.
All our prayers and best wishes are with his family today.

Leadership and Success

April 17, 2017

I saw this interview of Bill Belichick by Suzy Welch of CNBC. While it is about winning in football, much of it applies to being successful in business. You need to plan, but, then you need to be able to interpret results and adapt on the fly.

Honey, Please Pick Up Some Grilled Tilapia at the Gas Station

March 13, 2017

Even convenience stores are catching up with consumers looking for ‘better for you’ brands.

Nothing is forever – be different or die!

February 13, 2017

Great story – nothing is forever. Whole Foods is under assault. Competitors are catching on and catching up. What can they do to stay ahead?  From a natural new brand perspective, WFM used to be a must stop on the way to success. Now, there are other good options.

The Loss of a Leader

June 3, 2016

The passing this week of Roger Enrico is sad. He was a true leader and visionary in the beverage industry… a time when the industry was rich with talented leaders. I believe that the industry is sorely lacking in this area today…and the result is what you see today…..growth coming from new companies with new ideas, new brands, real innovation and most of all, new leaders. What do you think?

The World is Changing – Yes!

March 30, 2016

This is interesting on several levels…1) the use of crowdfunding for raising funds…and, 2) General Mills has entered the bev biz as a strategic partner. The world is changing rapidly….for the better!

Sugar is fading fast!

January 16, 2016

Consumers are moving away from sugary products in droves, and new brands are coming to market to fill consumer demand for healthier products. This shift will have profound implications. What do you think? It’s a great time to be a beverage innovator!

The Door is Open! Part 2

September 18, 2015

This recent story in Bevnet is powerful. It is another great reason to be a beverage entrepreneur today! As consumers flee the soft drink category, they are looking for smarter, healthier options. If you have a good idea, come on in, the water is warm!

“Soda sales continue to fall, and it’s not happening by accident. A recent poll from research firm Gallup surveying over 1,000 Americans found at least six in ten U.S. adults are actively avoiding drinking soda. As for the other four? Gallup’s poll found that 22 percent of its survey participants sip their CSDs guilt-free, while 16 percent aren’t paying any mind to their soda intake.

It’s a significant change from 2002, when only 40 percent of the population reported trying to steer clear from soft drinks. Respondents say their aversion to soft drinks is based on the high-calorie and high-sugar content in regular soda and artificial sweeteners like aspartame used in diet versions.

This shift appears a part of a larger trend of healthy eating being seen amongst U.S. consumers. According to Gallup, at least nine in 10 Americans are actively attempting to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet while three out of four polled participants reported trying to substitute red meat with more lean meats like chicken and fish.

Gallup’s results were based on telephone interviews conducted with a random sample of 1,009 adults across all 50 U.S. states.”