Resources2018-10-10T19:46:24+00:00

RESOURCES, FREE DOWNLOADS & TOOLS TO GROW YOUR BRAND AND SAVE YOU VALUABLE TIME AND MONEY!

Having the right tools are critical to your success. Listed below are several helpful guides and resources (the only ones that I personally trust and recommend). Feel free to contact me with any questions and I’ll be happy to help you make the right decisions for your brand. 

Valuable resources are continually being added to this page.

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TIP OF THE WEEK

From my weekly newsletter – subscribe above so you don’t miss out!

Digital strategies to drive sustainable sales (10/10/18 Newsletter)

Digital strategies can exponentially explode your sales, broaden your audience, and help you build a robust and loyal community. Natural brands are at a competitive disadvantage compared to their mainstream counterparts. Digital strategies change this equation in your favor and at a fraction of the price of traditional strategies.

Brands need to OWN their customers. This means leveraging email strategies to nurture and engage your shoppers through your website. This gives you a unique opportunity to develop an intimate relationship with your loyal shoppers. Your email needs to inform, educate, and entertain your subscribers. You can then use creative strategies to drive sales in online and traditional retail in addition to exclusive incentives to reward loyal customers.

Build a community around your customers  (10/3/18 Newsletter)

Larger brands tend to talk at their shoppers and not to them. One of the core strengths of natural is our ability to create a community around inspirational brands and important causes.

The challenge is that traditional strategies frequently commoditize shoppers grouping them into similar buckets. Your shoppers want to be valued, respected, and appreciated. Like the saying – walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, we need to connect with our shoppers on all levels where they are at. Your trade marketing strategies need to be laser focused speaking directly to each of your shoppers. Your goal should be to develop a personalized intimate relationships with them. This is the focus of this weeks podcasts (session 89 & 90), my free Turnkey Sales Story Strategies course, my NatchCom talk, and future courses.

The primary focus of my podcast, articles, and courses are to help you get your products onto more retailer’s shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. Goal setting is the foundation of every strategy I teach. It can give you a substantial competitive advantage while saving you valuable time and money.

The cornerstone of your brand – your customer (9/26/18 Newsletter)

Every brand begins by focusing on their customers needs and wants. Sadly, most brand strategies overlook your customer and their importance to your brands success. The 4P’s (in this weeks article – The cornerstone of retail) are focused on manipulating customers to purchase discounted and promoted products. Natural products that put the shopper first are responsible for driving sustainable sales across every channel and every category.

Your committed customers are far more valuable than any fees a retailer or distributor charges. Promotions should be focused on introducing your brand to new customers – increasing customer trials. Strategies that help your retailer partners increase shopper loyalty and market basket size are what sets you apart from other brands as a category leader. This weeks podcast episodes (Secrets 87 & 88) highlight the importance of making you customers a priority in every strategy.

The primary focus of my podcast, articles, and courses are to help you get your products onto more retailer’s shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. Goal setting is the foundation of every strategy I teach. It can give you a substantial competitive advantage while saving you valuable time and money.

Set goals with intention and focus (9/19/18 Newsletter)

How can you hit a target you have not clearly identified? Sounds obvious but rarely do I find brands making this a priority. Goal setting is perhaps the most underutilized component of any strategy. In fact, I would go as far to say that a strategy that does not include a well defined goal is really only a hope and a prayer.

I heard a story about how a small group of Harvard graduates who set goals achieved many times what their combined non-goal setting classmates achieved. I’ve personally seen several examples of the effectiveness and the impact of goal setting. Can you imagine a world without the iPhone, Facebook or Google? Those entrepreneurs all had well defined goals.

The primary focus of my podcast, articles, and courses are to help you get your products onto more retailer’s shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. Goal setting is the foundation of every strategy I teach. It can give you a substantial competitive advantage while saving you valuable time and money.

Listen carefully to your customers (9/5/18 Newsletter)

All brands claim they listen to their customers but do they really? If this were true then there would be less new product innovation or the need for a better mousetrap. Natural brands need to be experts at innovating and creating disruptive products their customers want and need. This requires carefully listening including walking in your customer’s shoes.

Shoppers want products they know, like, and trust. This includes your brands mission and your commitment to the things that align with your customer’s values. Being the first frozen organic choice in a retailer’s store and Regenerative Organics are just two important examples that need to be celebrated in your selling story. Let your customers know you are listening, not by your words alone but by your actions. This is how you standout on a crowded store shelf.

Know the health of your brand (8/29/18 Newsletter)

Retailers want their shelves filled with healthy brands that deliver consistent sales growth and more shoppers. Any brand with deep pockets can artificially grow sales through deep discounts and promotions. This strategy however, is not sustainable, and more importantly, it frequently dilutes category growth. Those brands are typically here today and gone tomorrow.

Retail is a marathon, not a sprint. You worked hard to build your brand, now you want to see it grow and flourish. Knowing your brand’s health is the critical first step in building a legacy brand. Leveraging the health of your brand in your selling story with retailers establishes your commitment to helping them. The health of your brand, or your contribution, is what retailers “take to the bank”.   This is the focus of this podcast episode 82 and my newest course, How To Assess The Health Of Your Brand

Seek sage advice to accelerate your growth (8/22/18 Newsletter)

I’ve always believed that true wisdom comes from knowing where to find answers to your most pressing questions. Book smarts vs. street smarts.

Today we can research just about anything on Google but the responses are cold, impersonal, and they lack experiential wisdom. There are some who know, or believe they know, everything. Their ego frequently clouds their judgment showing their biases.

I believe that what sets entrepreneurs apart from the crowd is their ability to ask intelligent questions of experts with a proven track record and a willingness to “pay it forward”.

Look for inspiration beyond your community if you want to grow (8/15/18 Newsletter)

The leaders who inspire us tell rich stories about how they excelled beyond their peers and how they looked into the future for solutions to problems we did not know we had. Take Steve Jobs or Elon Musk for example. Henry Ford said that if he asked what people wanted they would have asked for faster horses.

Last week someone made the comment that natural brands need to look beyond their community if they hope to ever grow beyond it. This why I do what I do, my podcast, my courses, and all the content I publish. You’ve heard me say repeatedly that if you want to play at the level of the big brands, you need to BE at their level.

Natural brands are responsible for all the sustainable growth across every channel and every category. This is how you magnify your mission and how you do the most good. We have a real opportunity to become the dominate brands on store shelves if we all adopt strategies that go beyond what is currently being taught in our community. Use these resources to help you get your brand on more retailer’s shelves and into the hands of more shoppers.

Innovation is the key to growth (8/1/18 Newsletter)

Innovation is the key to every brand’s success BUT there is a night-and-day difference between innovation in mainstream and natural. This is because true natural product innovation is whats responsible for the sustainable growth across all categories. It sets you apart from your mainstream competitors because natural brands have a more intimate relationship with their ideal shoppers. Natural brands need to leverage this with retailers. This is the achilles heal of mainstream brands because they believe that innovation is merely updated packaging, a new flavor, a new pricing strategy – which it is not. Leverage your strengths at retail.

Know your numbers (7/25/18 Newsletter)

Having a generic canned topline report is a great place to begin your analysis BUT it’s not enough to differentiate you with retailers. Here’s why this matters and what you need to do to drive sustainable sales. Savvy retailers already know how your brand is performing on their shelves. They need real actionable insights from you.

Become an expert story teller (7/18/18 Newsletter)

Few brands have a clear message or story. I don’t mean your slogan, mission, or claims. I’m talking about your brand story. You know the game where you share a story with someone who then shares it with someone else and so on. By the time the story reaches the 10th person, the story is unrecognizable. Few brands have a compelling story that is shared consistently with the same passion and enthusiasm as when it comes from the founder.

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Maximize Shopper Satisfaction and Increase Your Sales and Profits

Download your free guides now! 

Strategic Solutions To Grow Your Brand

Top 10 Strategies To Meet Your Business Goals

Retail Math Cheat Sheet

Retail Scorecard

Merchandising Checklist To Grow Sales And Shopper Loyalty

Efficient Assortment Strategies Worksheet

8 Strategies To Maximize Trade Marketing ROI

11 Key Strategies To Increase Market Basket Size To Grow Sales

Using The Consumer Decision Tree To Boost Shopper Loyalty

Effective Merchandising Strategies To Grow Sales And Delight Shoppers

Simple Solutions To Maximize Broker Effectiveness

What Is Category Management And Why It Is So Important

TRUSTED BUSINESS BUILDING TOOLS YOU NEED TO HELP YOUR BRAND SUCCEED!

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Build Your Own Website – Build Your Own Brand

This is an amazing step-by-step easy to follow course that will teach you what you need to know to build a website, launch and segment a email neutering program and much more. I wish this was available when I was in the process of building my website. I learned a lot from the course that has helped me manage my website. The course also helped me set up my email nurturing strategy. I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to build a brand.

This course is free

As a small food and beverage business owner, you’ve got a ton of competing priorities that need your attention each day. I know how important it is for you to get the resources you need, when you need them – so that you can stay focused on growing your business!

The FMI Emerge team and community understands first-hand the frustrations small brands face, and the challenges associated with growing sustainably when expanding distribution, enhancing operations, seeking financing and increasing sales.

FMI Emerge aggregates all of the critical resources you need – educational training and the best minds in the grocery and food retail industry, into ONE place – to support you and your growing business!

Leadpages and Drip

The ONLY email program and sales funnel system I use and trust. Leadpages and Drip convert subscribers into loyal evangelists. **

Drip

The ONLY email program I use and trust. Drip converts subscribers into loyal evangelists. **

NatchCom

Savvy brands need to include a digital strategy to amplify their success in traditional retailers.

Learn how to accelerate your growth online. This years conference includes insights on how to sell on Amazon, using social media to grow sales, how to get the most from paid media, email marketing and SEO strategies, and much more. This years event is October 5-7.

Special 10% discount for the Brand Secrets and Strategies community. Use the discount code CMS10.  Click on the button to the left to register.

Teachable

The ONLY online school platform I use and trust. Communicate clearly and accurately across your entire sales funnel. Use teachable to educate your retailer partners on anything they need to know to educate their customers. **

Amplify your brand message – Power-Up Podcast

This is an amazing step-by-step easy to follow course that will teach you what you need to know to create, launch, and market a professional podcast plus much more. This is the course that taught me everything I needed to launch the popular Brand Secrets and Strategies podcast. I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to amplify your brand message.**

** I have an affiliate relationship with this company.  While you pay the same price, I may get a commission.

The Brand Secrets and Strategies podcast is an audio natural products accelerator for food startups, entrepreneurs, emerging health-focused brands and retailers. It’s radically different and raising the bar in our industry. We rise by lifting others. I remain passionate about our industry, mission-based brands, making a healthier way of life more accessible and raising the bar.

In addition to sharing my 25 years of experience, more than 50 well known industry thought leaders, CEO’s and Founders of successful industry organizations and brands candidly share their insider secrets and advice with you. Learn actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand, avoid the pitfalls and save valuable time and money.

“Listening to a half a dozen of your podcasts with the breadth of them being as many as they are, you can listen to half of those and get an MBA in entrepreneurship”, Scott Jensen, CEO of Rhythm Superfood and Stubbs Legendary BBQ Sauce – episode 78 

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RECENT POSTS

Learn actionable business building insights for your brand from these educational articles

Search by category below and on the blog tab for many more articles

Merchandising Effectiveness

Optimize your selling potential with an effective distribution strategy that helps your brand standout on a crowded shelf. Ensure that your brand can easily be found and the category is easy to shop.

Merchandising Effectiveness
Price promotion

Price optimization is critical to your brand’s ability to compete effectively on a crowded shelf. Having the right balance in your pricing and promotion strategy will optimize every selling opportunity.

Price/Promotion Optimization
Distribution Expansion

Distribution is the key to sales growth BUT it’s important that you have the right distribution/mix (product assortment). You need to put your best foot forward at all times. Make it easy for shoppers to find your products.

Distribution Expansion
sales profit

You need to clearly understand each retailer’s expectations and the strategies they use to meet their shopper’s needs. Creative brands that think out-of-the-box have a significant competitive advantage and stand out on the shelf.

Sales/Profit Growth
Trade Marketing ROI

Trade marketing is typically the largest line item on a brand’s income statement. Brands frequently feel as though they are ATM machines for retailers, brokers, and distributors. Maximize your promotional spending with targeted strategies.

Trade Marketing ROI Increase
Shopper Loyalty

Loyal committed shoppers become your greatest brand ambassadors. Leveraging this important asset with retailers is the key to optimizing every selling opportunity. Learn how to attract new consumers and convert them into loyal shoppers.

Shopper/Loyalty Engagement
sales profit

You need to clearly understand each retailer’s expectations and the strategies they use to meet their shopper’s needs. Creative brands that think out-of-the-box have a significant competitive advantage and stand out on the shelf.

Sales/Profit Growth
Trade Marketing ROI

Trade marketing is typically the largest line item on a brand’s income statement. Brands frequently feel as though they are ATM machines for retailers, brokers, and distributors. Maximize your promotional spending with targeted strategies.

Trade Marketing ROI Increase
Shopper Loyalty

Loyal committed shoppers become your greatest brand ambassadors. Leveraging this important asset with retailers is the key to optimizing every selling opportunity. Learn how to attract new consumers and convert them into loyal shoppers.

Shopper/Loyalty Engagement
Sales Funnel Magnification

Getting your product on a retailer’s shelf is just the beginning. You need to effectively manage every aspect of your sales funnel to avoid any potential missteps and issues that cause your brand to be discontinued.

Sales Funnel Magnification
Product performance

Scorecarding insures maximum product performance at all times. Scorecarding aligns every aspect of the selling process in a unified laser focused effort to achieve maximum sales and profitability.

Product Performance
Brand engagement

Develop effective brand building strategies, key performance indicators (KPI’s), that maximize every selling opportunity and optimize your brand’s performance. A compelling assortment that is effectively merchandised is critical to your brand’s overall health.

Brand Engagement

Important Industry Events Calendar 2018 & 2019

If you are aware of an upcoming industry event that is not listed below, email me at Dan@CMS4CPG.com

January

   13-15 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show Moscone Center, San Francisco

   25-27 2019 Mexican Healthy Products Summit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

February

March

  5-9 2019 Natural Products Expo West  Anaheim Convention Center  Anaheim, CA

April

May

June

  2019 BevNet Live   New York

  2019 SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW  Javits Center, New York

July

August

   19-22 2018 ECRM Marketgate Natural, Organic & Specialty Foods San Diego, CA

September

  12-15 2018 Natural Products Expo East  Baltimore Convention Center  Baltimore, MD

  24-28 2018 Denver Startup Week Denver, Co

October

   5-7 2018 NatchCom Boulder Colorado

November

December

   2018 BevNet Live  SANTA MONICA, CA