Hello! I’m your host Fiona Fitzpatrick , and I’m a brand-growth consultant on a mission: to explore the drivers behind the Transformational Growth of some wildly successful start-up brands in consumer goods categories around the world.
I’m going to use this podcast series to explore what I’ve defined as the New 4Ps of Transformational Growth: Brand & Product PROMISE, Category POSITIONING, PEOPLE and PROCESS. I’m hoping that by talking to founders of insurgent brands or key members of their teams, I’ll develop and refine my understanding of what really drives disruptive growth in Consumer Goods Categories, and hopefully offer you plenty of thought provoking growth stories along the way.
I’ve worked in the Consumer Goods Industry for over 20 years, starting out as a Brand, Category and Sales manager on blue-chip CPG brands, and later developing my business as a Food Business Growth Consultant, Coach, Mentor and International Speaker.
My mission to understand the drivers behind the growth of insurgent brands started 20 years ago, when I was working at Nestle UK Headquarters in London. After learning a huge amount working in brand management, category management, sales and innovation, across many household brands, and for some really super bosses, I was lucky enough to lead a c-suite project team looking at how to step-change Nestle’s growth across its entire UK portfolio. It was at this point that I became really aware of brands such as Innocent Smoothies and Gü Chocolate Puds , which were part of the first cohort of disruptive food brands in the UK, and really the first to become what I call “Brand Celebrities”.
I was fascinated by their magnetism and appeal, both from a product and brand perspective, but I also wanted to go and work for them. I left Nestle UK after 8 years, and having learned a huge amount about classical brand and category management…but also about how a large CPG organisation can struggle to drive organic growth, and what steps they explore to address this.
I joined Gü Chocolate Puds (https://www.gupuds.com/) to launch their superb range of decadent Belgian chocolate desserts into the supermarket channel in France, and rather than going through a distributor, ended up setting up a real French company. I drove the business from a small Parisian start-up, managed from a Starbucks and my hotel, to a multi-customer business across the entire of France with €8M sales at retail sales value, a team of 15, and a great office in the old Marais neighbourhood of paris.
Working at Gü gave me the opportunity to learn from a real Brand Growth Hero, James Averdieck, the founder of Gü Chocolate puds. From James I learned never to think about things in a classical fashion, but always to think laterally. Whether it was about how we used the tiny marketing resources we had, who to recruit and who should be in which role, or clever ways of thinking around our huge logistic challenges delivering and selling across the entire country of France, my thinking evolved more under James than it ever had before. Speaking with him recently about the types of people he tends to employ, whether that was for Gü or for his current company, the coconut collaborative, he shared that employing young people who have a solid background in a bigger company but an ability to think creatively, flexibly and act quickly., can be a real strength for a start up.
Once Gü was bought out by Noble Foods, a UK poultry & egg company, I left to set up my own business. For the past 10 years I’ve worked with branded food companies from all around the world, developing both their growth strategies and developing the capabilities of the teams that are going to deliver on them.
As well as many years working with the more traditional CPG companies, I’ve collected hundreds of observations from across 200+ small and large food start-ups, whether that be at Chobani (the fastest growing American yogurt brand with over $1BN worth of sales) to Strong Roots (the fastest growing UK food brand, with just over £10M)…and the same drivers of growth keep coming up.
By talking to founders of insurgent brands or key members of their teams, I’m on a journey to develop and refine my understanding of the New 4Ps of Transformational Growth, and hopefully offer you plenty of thought provoking growth stories along the way.