Forum: Millennials hold influence

BOSTON — It’s all about unveiling opportunity, absorbing those insights that can really transform a business and then putting those insights into action. That’s what Dan Mack, managing director of the Mack Elevation Forum, asked attendees to do at Friday’s exclusive, one-day summit co-hosted by Mack Elevation Forum and Drug Store News at the Seaport World Trade Center. 

Modeled after the cutting-edge TedX conference series, the joint Mack Elevation/DSN summit brought together eight critical thought leaders from both inside and outside of the industry, to challenge attendees and their companies to think beyond their brands to achieve breakthrough results. “I’m a big believer that business can be transformational,” Mack said. “The companies and the brands that inspire me, … they’re much bigger than
their products.”

One recurring theme throughout the day’s sessions revolved around the importance of capturing the millennial shopper.

“[Millennials] want businesses to be engaged and do not trust businesses that are not engaged in the world in some way to make it better,” said Seth Rogin, chief revenue officer at Mashable. “Sixty-three percent of millennials are giving money to charity; we’ve certainly seen it this week on how many have poured ice over their heads. They’re the biggest generation any of us will see in our entire lives, and … our brands that stand for something, also can do well while doing good at the same time.”

In addition to Rogin, the speaker lineup included:

  • Chris Skyers, VP health and beauty at Wakefern Food Corp./ShopRite, talked about the opportunity inherent in creating custom programs with smaller retailers. Manufacturers can get actionable results fast; 
  • Brett Goffin, industry head of retail at Google, discussed the buzz behind omnichannel retailing and why mobile is the platform to own; 
  • Vic Curtis, SVP pharmacy at Costco, reviewed the rationale behind disciplined SKU rationalization; 
  • Craig Hashi, head of OTC and pharma for Twitter, broke down how healthcare marketers can create social media marketing opportunities in real time without complaints from the compliance department; 
  • Moe Alkemade, GVP/GMM convenience for Walgreens, explained how brands and private label can not only co-exist, but also succeed together; 
  • Larry Levin, EVP and practice leader at IRI, outlined the reasons new launches fail and how manufacturers and retail partners can ensure a better success rate; and
  • Jason Reiser, chief merchant for Family Dollar, identified the distinct opportunity within today’s value channel.

For more photos from the summit, click here.

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