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Some good advice for branded consumer entrepreneurs

2 September 30, 2011
We had a good conversation last week with someone who knows a lot about building successful consumer-facing brands. Here's a summary of what he said, some of which is paraphrased, most of which is verbatim (I was madly scribbling notes as we spoke):
  1. Winning companies are not only innovative on the level of product and brand; they're equally attentive re: how they get product to people. The closer you can get to the consumer the better. Classical distribution is not a friend of indie brands.
  2. Structure your company to withstand the long-term. Cash flow break-even gives you flexibility and allows you to say no to off-strategy revenue. The best source of cash is the money you don't spend. Stay frugal, find your customer, build out in concentric circles.
  3. Your instinct is your biggest friend. You'll get lots of advice from smart folks, but you must ultimately do what you think is right for your business.
All good stuff, worth passing along... Btw that pic up top was taken from the top of Big Spruce, looking down into Smuggler's Notch in Stowe, Vermont, exactly two years ago today.

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