Phase One: Launch
Phase One: Launch is about building a cohesive concept, executing the technical elements of a market-ready product, and launching into the market. We want to get to market quickly so that we can start learning and moving towards what people want.
Phase One works through three sections: Concept, Technical Execution, Launch.
1.1 | Concept
Concept is the first of three sections in Phase One: Launch. In this section, you will define your company’s mission, core values, and the six elements of a cohesive concept.
Mission + Core Values:
- Mission: A mission answers why your company exists. It allows you and all of your partners to make decisions on the direction of your company without misunderstanding.
- Core Values: Core Values are a set of principles that you believe in. They define how you will achieve your mission.
- Case Study | Compass Coffee: Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez, co-founders of Compass Coffee, learned the hard way how important a mission and core values are to a successful business. Now that they have a mission and core values, they have a clear direction towards success.
- OODA Loop: A tool that standardizes the decision making process so that we can make better decisions faster and learn more from each decision
- Backplanning: A simple and effective tool for making sure you achieve your goals in a timely manner. In backplanning, we start with the end goal and work backwards to set a timeline for everything that needs to happen for us to be successful.
Pain Point: A specific problem that someone faces
Value Proposition: How the solution you are providing solves the consumer's pain point better than any other option
Product: A product is how you deploy your value proposition
Core Consumer: The person that most acutely faces the pain point that your product solves
Market: Markets represent the aggregation of consumer choices
Brand: The perception you create around the qualities and attributes of your products
1.2 | Technical Execution
Technical Execution is the second of three sections in Phase One: Launch. In this section, we will apply your conceptual work from Concept to create a market-ready product.
Product Development: Manufacturing
- Owning your Manufacturing:The CPG space is incredibly competitive. There are new brands launching every day. What is at the core of building a food business to last? Manufacturing.
- Scaling a Recipe: Scaling a recipe means you are adjusting the ingredient quantities and production procedures to produce a different, often larger, amount.
- Case Study | Caribe Juice: Luis Solis, Founder of Caribe, looked at cold-pressed juice operations
- Case Study | Snacklins: Samy K, Founder of Snacklins, looked at different chip manufacturing lines
- Production Loop: The production loop helps you to build, iterate, and refine your current tabletop process and develop the expertise that allows you to build out scaled, continuous manufacturing.
- Ordering & Inventory
- Processing Techniques
Product Development: Formulation
Product Formulation, in the context of what we will discuss, is understanding how ingredients, the environment, and packaging behave and interact to create your final product. As with everything in food manufacturing, this is an iterative process.
- Shelf Life: Your product must taste great, remain stable, and achieve minimum shelf life to successfully engage with distributors and retailers.
- Stability: In addition to shelf life, products must be stable. While shelf life focuses primarily on time, stability looks at potential effects of temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors.
- The Ins and Outs of Packaging: You will need two types of packaging for your product: unit packaging and case boxes.
- Legal Requirements for Packaging: The FDA regulates labeling under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and its amendments. For a full list of legal requirements for your packaging, please reference your Launch Checklist Workbook.
- Case Box Requirements: All distributors have requirements for how you pack and deliver your product.
- Barcodes: While not a legal requirement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), GS-1 UPC Barcodes are very important for successfully engaging with retailers and distributors.
- Packaging Designers
- Design Tips for Packaging: We've seen many successful designs and not-so-successful designs. We've captured these lessons learned.
- Packaging Suppliers: Once you know the type of packaging you are looking for, you'll need to find a packaging supplier.
- Interpreting Packaging Quotes: Once you meet with a packaging supplier and provide them with information on what you are looking for, they will send you a price quote.
- How Much Packaging to Order: You’ve found suppliers you are comfortable and confident in as partners. How do you know how much to order? As with most things in business, it's a balance. The more you order, the lower the per unit cost. But large inventories can slow innovation and tie up a lot of upfront capital.
- Pricing: Pricing reflects what consumers are willing to pay and your costs (COGs) to make the product.
- Pricing Terms: Understand COGs and Margins vs. Markups
- Dive into Margin vs. Markup
- Sell Sheet: A sell sheet is a summary one-sheeter that provides all the information a buyer needs to know to make an informed decision about picking up your product.
1.3 | Launch
Launch is the final of three sections in Phase One. We are in the home stretch! Section 3 Launch focuses on tying everything together. We will work through your initial channel strategy and prepare for product review.
Direct to Consumer
DTC is selling your product directly to a consumer without an intermediary like a distributor or wholesaler:
- Amazon: Launching on Amazon and other online platforms allows CPG brands to reach consumers directly at home.
- Shopify: Set up your e-commerce site on Shopify with step by step instructions.
- What is Distribution?
- Frequency and Size of Purchase Orders: Your first Purchase Order will usually be about 10 cases per product. We use the first purchase order to test consumer respond. The more you sell, the more we buy!
- Introduction to Pallets: Pallets emerged in the 20th century as a key advancement in logistics.
- How to Build a Pallet: Pallets are used by grocery stores, warehouses, and manufacturers to move larger quantities of product between locations more easily.