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  • 94. Kristof Neirynck of Avon on Redefining Relationship Selling

    On this episode of BRAVE COMMERCE, Kristof Neirynck, Global Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director at Avon, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to discuss the evolution of relationship selling and the innovative approaches Avon has adopted in the contemporary market. As the conversation begins, the hosts reflect on Avon's long-standing history of 137 years, highlighting its pioneering role in relationship selling. They draw a connection between Avon and the iconic image of the "Avon lady" making door-to-door sales with paper catalogs. Talking about the evolution of relationship selling in 2023, Kristof describes a significant shift towards omni-channel direct selling, emphasizing digital brochures shared through platforms like WhatsApp. He also highlights the adaptability of representatives in leveraging technology to enhance their selling strategies. Moreover, Kristof discusses two emerging trends in Avon's sales approach. The first involves encouraging representatives to open their own stores, resembling a franchise model. The second trend revolves around leveraging social media platforms for selling, allowing representatives to connect their channels with Avon's digital asset management tool. Kristof emphasizes the empowerment of representatives through training and tools like digital asset management. The discussion then delves into the potential challenges and opportunities of sharing customer data. Kristof addresses the importance of creating a value exchange for representatives and the plans to implement a loyalty program. The interview takes an interesting turn as Kristof discusses the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, with people holding out for better deals during the holiday season. He anticipates decent growth in the beauty market, driven more by pricing than by volume. In exploring the role of digital commerce in the beauty industry, Kristof also shares the dynamics of different subcategories and how economic conditions influence consumer preferences. Key Takeaways:Embrace diverse methods like digital brochures, WhatsApp, and social media for customer engagementEnsure transparency, value exchange, and a secure environment for customer dataTailor strategies based on differing market dynamics in various regions

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  • 93. Diego Palmieri and Neha Mallik of Mizkan on Future-Proofing the CPG Industry

    On this episode of BRAVE COMMERCE, Mizkan America’s President & COO, Diego Palmieri, and Head of Connected Commerce, Neha Mallik, join hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to talk about Mizkan's strategic approaches to staying ahead in a dynamic CPG market. The conversation starts with Diego, who shares insights into his 20-year career at SC Johnson. He explains that Mizkan, like SC Johnson, is a family-owned and operated company, highlighting the commonality in values and opportunities for learning. Addressing the challenges facing the CPG industry, Diego identifies three significant headwinds: finding growth beyond pricing, coping with lingering inflation effects in the supply chain, and competing with private labels. He emphasizes the need for brands to focus on unique value, superior quality, and distinctive brand equities to stand out in the market. Neha brings her perspective on Mizkan's approach to addressing these challenges. She emphasizes their multifaceted strategy, including understanding consumer behavior, leveraging data analytics, optimizing pricing, investing in marketing, and ensuring distribution efficiencies. Neha elaborates on building brand loyalty through community engagement, loyalty programs, and social media content, highlighting the importance of regularly updating and innovating product lines. Diego and Neha discuss Mizkan's relationship with retailers, addressing the delicate balance between partnerships and competition. Neha stresses the importance of social listening, community management, and data utilization to understand consumer sentiments and collaborate with retailers effectively. The episode wraps up with a conversation about the future state of the CPG industry and Mizkan's perspective on the role of AI. Diego and Neha share thoughtful insights into potential scenarios, discussing the impact of AI on brand loyalty and the possibility of coexistence between brands and private labels. They emphasize Mizkan's deliberate and scientific approach to experimenting with AI to level the playing field among companies. Key Takeaways: Remain agile and adaptable in the face of market challengesLeverage data analytics, social media, and loyalty programs to build a community around your brandRegularly update and innovate product lines to meet changing consumer needs
  • 92. Tony Crecca on Shaping Strategies for Connected Commerce

    On this episode of BRAVE COMMERCE, Tony Crecca joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to discuss the transformative power of connected commerce in the evolving retail landscape. As the conversation begins, Tony reflects on how his diverse roles across various organizational functions contributed to his ability to lead commerce through turbulent times and beyond. He emphasizes the importance of building expertise through cross-organizational roles. Navigating the post-pandemic commerce landscape, Tony highlights the shift from explosive growth to a more cautious examination of profitable growth. He touches upon the challenges organizations face in connecting online investments with offline sales, especially considering consumers' comfort in returning to in-store shopping. A consistent theme throughout the discussion is the call for a holistic approach to commerce. Tony stresses the importance of looking beyond traditional metrics, urging companies to focus on overall profitability and understanding the sources of their traffic. Furthermore, he explores the challenges and advantages of aligning business plans with retailer goals and advocates for a portfolio approach to achieve success. The discussion also takes a deep dive into the skills an up-and-coming CPG executive needs in today's environment. Tony encourages aspiring professionals to seek cross-functional experiences and ask questions in the early years of their careers. He also emphasizes the value of leadership development programs that span multiple functions over time, allowing individuals to discover their passions and strengths. Key Takeaways:Meet shoppers where they want to engageEmphasize the importance of looking at metrics holistically, beyond just sales and marketingUnderstand the retailer's objectives and align them with your business plan
  • 91. Campbell Soup Company CEO Mark Clouse on Their Recipe for Success

    On this episode of BRAVE COMMERCE, Mark Clouse, CEO at Campbell Soup Company, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to talk about core strategies and challenges that have defined Campbell's success over the years. As the conversation begins, Mark delves into the strategic emphasis of Campbell's transformation, rooted in the concept of focus. He highlights the implementation of a singular geography in North America, explaining how this approach has been instrumental in coalescing the energy of their teams. Addressing the challenges posed by remote work and the pandemic, Mark emphasizes the advantages of co-locating the business under one roof to foster collaboration and cultivate a dynamic, contemporary work environment. Mark reflects on Campbell's rich history, spanning over a century and a half, and its unique relationship with the city of Camden. He highlights the importance of active involvement in meaningful social issues, demonstrating Campbell's commitment to making a tangible, positive impact beyond the corporate realm. The conversation then shifts towards the dynamics of board management and the crucial role of transparency in order to build trust between the board and the executive team. Mark emphasizes how boards can only support leaders when they have the full picture. Drawing parallels between his military experiences and his leadership journey in the corporate world, Mark highlights the invaluable leadership lessons he gained during his time in the armed forces and how they continue to inform his approach to leadership in his current role. Key Takeaways: ●     Anchor your business transformation around a singular focus for better growth outcomes●     Transparency and trust are necessary to achieving your objectives●     Focus on making decisions that contribute to a clear and defined destination for the company
  • 90. Monisha Dabek of Ocean Spray on Staying Relevant in Consumer Culture

    On this episode of BRAVE COMMERCE, Monisha Dabek, Chief Commercial Officer and General Manager at Ocean Spray, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to talk about ways to navigate the dynamic landscape of the consumer goods industry. In discussing her career journey and the choices she has made along the way, Monisha emphasizes the importance of having a genuine passion for the industry in which you work. She stresses the significance of taking the path less traveled to gain a broad spectrum of experiences. Additionally, she mentions that the job title doesn't define the role; it's the scope of responsibility and cross-functional collaboration that truly matter. A significant aspect of Monisha's role is ensuring harmony between sales and marketing. Monisha acknowledges that her unique career path equips her to understand the perspectives of both sales and marketing, allowing her to facilitate constructive dialogue and drive the brand forward. The conversation shifts towards how Ocean Spray, with its 93-year history, consistently stays relevant with the next generation of consumers. Monisha highlights the brand's legacy of creating categories like cranberry sauce and craisins, which contributes to its cultural relevance. She also mentions the brand's successful use of TikTok and how it helped attract new, younger consumers who have now become a part of the brand's base. With the holiday season approaching, the hosts and Monisha delve into Ocean Spray's plans. They reveal the brand's exciting new campaign celebrating the transformative power of cranberries in making ordinary moments extraordinary. The conversation hints at an upcoming campaign for cranberry juice and a creative social media campaign centered around cranberry sauce, bringing Team Canned and Team Homemade together. Key Takeaways:●     Balance healthy tension between sales and marketing to meet both brand and retailer demands●     Tap into current conversations to engage new and existing consumers●     Leverage seasonal moments to drive brand engagement and expand the consumer base 
  • 89. Nuno Pedro of the Mark Anthony Group on Innovation in the Beverage Industry

    In this episode of BRAVE COMMERCE, Nuno Pedro, Global Head of the Digital Center of Excellence at Mark Anthony Group, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to talk about the challenges and strategies needed to establish a prominent position in the competitive beverage industry. The conversation kicks off with Nuno sharing how his passion for using technology to solve complex business problems and his unwavering pursuit of new challenges have shaped his diverse career path. He delves into the specific hurdles of marketing within the alcohol and beverage sector, especially for a brand like Mark Anthony, renowned for pioneering the hard seltzer category. Nuno emphasizes the significance of cultivating a robust digital footprint for non-traditional direct-to-consumer brands such as Mark Anthony. He highlights the complexity of the consumer journey, particularly within the constraints of the US's three-tier system, stressing the need to establish a strong brand identity, fostering community engagement, and leveraging data insights for value creation. The discussion then delves into Nuno's approach to leading digital transformation within the organization. He emphasizes the significance of understanding the existing business landscape, building a dedicated digital team, defining key initiatives, and leveraging technology to drive digital transformation. He also highlights the value of testing, learning, failing fast, and learning even faster, while showcasing initial results to build confidence within the organization. Nuno also talks about the triumph of their flagship product, White Claw, and the challenges posed by increasing competition in the hard seltzer category. He emphasizes the necessity of product differentiation, technological advancement, and a robust digital presence to retain a competitive edge. Nuno further discusses the strategies employed to educate consumers in regions less acquainted with the concept of hard seltzers, outlining effective tactics for market penetration in these areas. Key Takeaways:●     Tailor marketing strategies based on a deep understanding of consumer behavior and preferences●     Prioritize digital transformation by analyzing the existing business landscape and leveraging the right technology●     Emphasize consumer education in unfamiliar markets to establish a strong presence and market penetration
  • We are not OK

    Rachel & Sarah’s podcast has long been about building great companies while honoring the human side of business and leadership. On this special episode of BRAVE COMMERCE, our co-hosts shared candid experiences balancing being both Jewish and business leaders during horrific world events, offering suggestions on how to address workplace sensitivity.