In this book, I outline a 4-Part approach to thinking smarter about growth as a CPG entrepreneur. It is based on years of anthropological research into how and why consumers pay for premium-priced CPG items and intensive 4P pattern analysis among an elite club of premium CPG brands that all reached $100M+ in less than a decade.
Available now in ebook, paperback and hardcover formats
``This is the book I wish I'd had 20 years ago``
“This book provides an excellent framework to build a consumer brand for the 2020s.”
``Every entrepreneur needs to read this book before launch. And each year thereafter!``
``The industry insights alone make this book worth its weight in gold. But far more valuable is how James forces you to stop, think, and be intentional about your growth.``
``There hasn’t been one book yet that can be a Founder’s Bible … until now. Read it and carry it around with you wherever you go. You will find yourself referencing it quite often.``
``I’ve always appreciated (and agreed with) James’ perspective on methodically growing consumer brands. He has already helped many companies through consulting, seminars, and social media. Now, he’s captured his collective wisdom in one place, and I consider this book a must-read for CPG entrepreneurs, managers, and investors. Build great companies versus just (foolishly) chasing growth!``
``This is a must-read for all emerging CPG brand leadership teams. James Richardson really gets you thinking correctly about what it takes to make a brand succeed.``
``In this book, James Richardson crystallizes how to build a great brand and business in food/beverage, and he relies on lessons learned from intimate observation of both ‘unicorns’ and steady growth brands. His lessons are simple: focus on velocity; know more about your category than your retail buyer; keep everything simple; avoid unnecessary category expansion, etc. Read this before your next round of funding, and you may just make it your final raise.”
`` Ramping Your Brand needed to be written, and it needs to be read. James offers a constructive and contrarian view that every CPG entrepreneur should consider. As investors, we spend a lot of time encouraging our partner brands to go narrow and deep, but the avalanche of available equity capital, open hands of retailers, and lure of easy, early wins is proving harder and harder to resist. The patience and diligence urged by this book will serve you well, and could save you millions of dollars wasted on marketing in advance of distribution and distribution in advance of proven, replicable success.``
``For the new food entrepreneur, Ramping Your Brand is an essential road map to profitable and sustained growth. This entertaining book is written with nuggets of pragmatic wisdom, humor and referenceable insights. Highly recommended.``
``Wow! Ramping Your Brand is a thoughtful, insightful, and detailed review of what it takes to become a meaningful and lasting brand in today’s challenging landscape of consumer packaged goods. James’ decades of experience within the CPG industry shines brightly, and the readers of Ramping Your Brand are provided valuable, specific, and relevant perspective and advice on how to build and then scale their brands. This is a must-read for anyone and everyone involved in creating, building, operating, or investing in CPG brands and businesses, if only to provide relevant context or to challenge your current thinking.``
``Ramping Your Brand is, by far, the best CPG book out there. It gives entrepreneurs the foundational principles and tools they need to build the skate ramp of sustainable growth before they ride it. A must-read for anyone looking to reduce the risk and avoid the common pitfalls of launching and growing a CPG brand.``
``Ramping your Brand is loaded with actionable advice on how to effectively and sustainably achieve fast growth in CPG. A no-nonsense guide backed with research, behavioral science and James’ one of a kind sense of humor make this a must read for early stage entrepreneurs ready to drop in and ride the ramp!``
``James is a keen observer of the consumer and his insightful recap from the lessons of the ‘unicorn’ brands in CPG over the past decade is a great read. As an investor and an operator in CPG for the past 25 years, I haven’t read any other book that so clearly captures these valuable lessons and factually challenges the ways that CPG brands were built decades ago. James writing is entertaining yet sharp and will have you hooked whether you’re an entrepreneur, an investor, or an operator.``
``This is the book every entrepreneur needs! I wish I had this advice and support in the early days of starting my business.”
``James blends a deep understanding of human behavior with empirical data about what has actually worked for early-stage brands. I laughed often and learned a lot. … wish I could say that for other business books.``
``Ramping Your Brand speaks right to the heart of the truth we need to hear as natural product entrepreneurs. James Richardson has an uncanny ability to get at the core issues and to communicate them thoughtfully and clearly. No BS, no fluff, just straight and honest sauce that is worth your time. I can’t recommend this book enough, especially for anyone navigating the marketplace with an emerging brand.``
``Ramping Your Brand is packed with insights on the art and the science of incubating and scaling emerging CPG brands. James Richardson has synthesized and democratized over a decade of invaluable learnings into a one-of-kind, practical guide for entrepreneurs looking to ride the skate ramp.``
In an era when retailers are more open to emerging CPG brands than ever before, barriers to entry have come way down. But this has not changed the rate of failure among new CPG brands. The laws of early stage growth remain the same. Do you understand them?
I’ve spent years studying early stage CPG brands’ growth curves, go-to-market strategies and product design cues to help aggregate known patterns of competitive behavior that yield exponential growth. You must be disciplined. But, you can plan exponential growth in a crowded marketplace.
If you sign up for my e-mail list, you’ll get immediate access to an excerpt from the Introduction….like right now.