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Kroger raises $3 million in support of local breast cancer initiatives

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday announced it has committed $3 million in donations for local breast cancer initiatives across the country to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. 

This will be the seventh year since Kroger began the Giving Hope a Hand initiative. By the end of 2013, Kroger will have donated more than $24 million to support breast cancer research, education and services since 2006, the grocer reported.

The effort kicked off in stores on Sept. 22 and featured 21 Kroger associates who are breast cancer survivors on marketing materials and custom packages of national and Kroger corporate brand products. These women share their survivor stories on the packaging of select items sold exclusively in Kroger’s family of stores.

Last year, Kroger received the 2012 Gold HALO award from the Cause Marketing Forum for the company’s annual Giving Hope a Hand campaign.


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Keynote panel of shopper marketing vets break down “shopper-centric” rules of engagement and alignment

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — How can retailers and their supplier-partners overcome the most common obstacles that impede true collaboration, real growth and a mutually beneficial business relationship? By taking a step back and focusing on the most important common ground retailers and suppliers share — the shopper.

That will be the key focus for an exclusive panel of shopper marketing veterans from both the retailer and supplier ranks who will come together, here, at the Shopper Marketing Expo, next month, at the Chicago Navy Pier, to examine the critical factors needed to build strategic alignment around "shopper-centricity,” which is so crucial to collaborative success.

The special keynote session, “Building Trust: Using a Shopper-Centric Focus to Strengthen Collaboration at Retail,” will present a candid and thought-provoking discussion of the most common stumbling blocks to effective joint business and promotional planning, explained moderator Patrick Fitzmaurice, principle of the Capré Group, who will lead the discussion, slated for Thursday, Oct. 10. The group will help define a “wish list” of informational and support resources that manufacturers and retailers need from each other in order to ensure effective collaboration, and discuss methods for establishing real transparency between retailer and suppliers to foster deeper understanding of each parties’ needs and to drive greater success.

And all of that really begins and ends with the shopper.

“The common denominator that retailers and manufacturers have to focus on together is the shopper. Being really shopper-centric and understanding how we win together with that shopper is key,” Fitzmaurice told DSN.

Joining Fitzmaurice on the panel will be:

  • Kim Feil, EVP/chief marketing and strategy officer, OfficeMax – With accountability for all aspects of marketing across the enterprise, and a particular emphasis on brand management and evolution of the company’s traditional marketing vehicles to new media including digital and social, Feil brings more than 25 years of marketing and executive leadership experience to OfficeMax. Prior to joining OfficeMax in November 2012, Feil was chief marketing officer at Walgreens, where, through careful analysis and understanding of the company’s 6 million customers, Feil helped create a marketing center of excellence to help reposition Walgreens as a leading community and daily living destination versus just a traditional drug store;
  • April Carlisle, former leader of P&G’s center of excellence, and currently SVP, director of strategy for Global Shopper Marketing, Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide – In her newly created role with the agency, Carlisle oversees shopper and customer marketing initiatives for various clients, including Allstate, Fifth Third Bank, Firestone, Kellogg Co., McDonald’s, Sprint and Samsung. Carlisle came to her new role with more than 20 years of experience leading traditional sales management and shopper marketing organizations at Procter & Gamble, including, most recently, as the leader of P&G’s North America Shopper Marketing Center of Excellence, where she led the creation and development of best practices for shopper marketers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; and
  • Lisa Klauser, former VP consumer and customer solutions and marketing operations, Unilever, and currently president, consumer and shopper marketing, IN Marketing Services – A former 20-year Unilever veteran with more than 20 years experience — including her previous stint as VP, consumer and customer solutions and marketing operations — Klauser was a key member of Unilever’s North American leadership team with responsibility for marketing and sales capabilities, as well as representing North America as a member of the global marketing operations team. In that capacity, Klauser led a team of 250-plus and oversaw a number of areas, including shopper marketing, category management, marketing communications, visual branding, consumer services and marketing operations.

“The fascinating thing about this panel is you’ve got people who are ready to talk outside of their roles. Retailers [and CPG executives] should come to this session because they’re going to hear some pretty candid feedback,” Fitzmaurice added, “[from] people that have led some major shopper marketing groups at [some very] big companies.”

As the moderator for the discussion, Fitzmaurice brings a strong shopper-driven orientation and a proven, 25-year track record of helping to bring brands to life at retail, with considerable expertise in manufacturer-retailer collaborative business planning, shopper-marketing capability building and identifying opportunities through hypothesis-driven thinking. Before developing the Caprē Group in 2003, Fitzmaurice held leadership roles at such companies as Unilever, Nielsen and Donnelley Marketing, as well as several smaller start-up companies.

Often the biggest impediments today are not involving the right people and playing with old rules, he said. “What the group is going to talk about are the things that get in the way [of effective collaboration] are sub-optimal cross-functional alignment across the retailer and the manufacturer. The right players aren’t playing together,” he said. “The way that we [reach] shoppers has changed, but the way we go to market together is still exactly how we’ve been doing it for 50 years. Those structures don’t work anymore, but we’re still trying to apply them.”

The Shopper Marketing Expo is slated for Oct. 8-10, at Chicago’s Navy Pier. For more information, visit ShopperMarketExpo.com.

 

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Walgreens merchant, savvy supplier vet discuss the art of ‘co-creation’ at Shopper Marketing Expo

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — The majority of manufacturer engagements are not aligned with retailers’ core strategic goals, and do not create real value in the eyes of the retailer. Today’s winning companies are able to identify and leverage the unique hidden assets of their brands, and build a business around agile, transparent, retailer/manufacturer collaboration — experts call it “co-creation.”

To help create a roadmap for what co-creation is, how it works and what it means both for brand building and shopper engagement, industry leaders Shannon Curtin, GMM, VP of beauty, personal care and seasonal at Walgreens, and Dan Mack, founder and managing director of strategic sales and consulting firm Mack Elevation Forum, will co-host “Elevating Customer Engagement through Co-Creation,” Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the 2013 Shopper Marketing Expo, here, at the Navy Pier. The session is just one part of a high-impact program of speakers and topics lined up for the event, now in its 19th year.

The reality is that great brands are no longer created — the best are co-created. And, co-creation doesn’t just happen on its own. Curtin and Mack will examine the most common blind spots that hinder a company’s alignment, engagement effectiveness and growth; identify best practices for co-creation and which assets truly matter in designing an effective shopper marketing customer blueprint; and share critical engagement skills and tools to help co-create the customer experience. Co-creation with its vendor partners is a critical growth factor for Walgreens, and Curtin will discuss some cases in which the retailer has helped smaller manufacturers successfully enter the market.

Winning with co-creation starts with relevant innovation, which Curtin describes as “having a vision to see what is missing in the marketplace and then creating a solution to satisfy it.”

Understanding what makes a successful co-creator also is important. While an open mind is critical, one must also possess a mindful of fresh ideas and bring new, emerging insights to the table.

Helping guide the discussion, Mack brings 25 years experience in strategic sales, business development and industry insights, and is the founder of the Elevation Forum series, a high-energy, dynamic share group program that brings together supplier executives from companies of all sizes to expand strategic insights and access, network and gain confidential peer insights into many of today’s industry challenges. An advocate of co-creation, the firm’s Elevation Model is an integrated customer co-creation process that assists industry players in creating profitable new revenue, accelerating growth, escalating customer relations and improving competitive insulation.

Meanwhile, Curtin, a recognized industry leader in retailer-manufacturer collaboration and joint program development, brings her unique vision and vast merchandising experience to the discussion. Prior to Walgreens, Curtin started her retail career with Walmart in multiple merchandising roles and displayed a passion for new product innovation and creating a compelling in-store experience early in her career.

Mack, who also serves as EVP strategic business development for the Swanson Group, is founder and managing director of Mack Elevation Forum. He started his career with GlaxoSmithKline, served as VP sales at GOJO Industries, and is credited with having helped build the Purell brand and assisting in the turnaround of Dentek Oral Care.

The Shopper Marketing Expo is slated for Oct. 8-10, at Chicago’s Navy Pier. For more information, visit ShopperMarketExpo.com.

 

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