Rising to the Occasion

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Rising to the Occasion

By Peter Breen - 05/01/2019

“It’s all demand-building.”

That’s what Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing & commercial officer, says of the common ground that unites the 17 sales, marketing and other departments that are united under his title.

That alignment represents a significant mindset change on the part of traditional consumer product manufacturers, which were built successfully on a model in which all those departments played clearly defined, operationally distinct roles.

But that model, which required the development of systems and processes that created and fulfilled consumer demand at scale, must now be reinvented for the digital age to create agile organizations that can nimbly respond to rapidly evolving, consumer-driven demand. Put more simply, companies must shift their operations from product-centric to consumer-centric. And to do that, they need to better align internally, collaborate externally, and implement analytics-driven, consumer-focused business strategies.

In recent years, Shopper Marketing has chronicled how marketers have been trying to better understand the rest of the organization – because the consumer demand they now encounter is just as likely an issue of product sourcing, or manufacturing, or order fulfillment as it is about one of the classic “Four P’s” within their traditional job descriptions.

Meanwhile, sister publication Consumer Goods Technology has chronicled how all the internal departments within the organization need to better understand consumers. At CGT recently, the discussions about technology have evolved from tactical examinations of function-level “management” and “optimization” to strategic, full-scale “transformation” across the enterprise.

With both communities looking for many of the same answers, it seemed only logical to bring them together, for Shopper Marketing and CGT to undertake their own transformation and align themselves to better address the needs of this industry. So we did. Welcome to Rise: Retail Intelligence for the Strategic Enterprise.

The first part of our name refers simply to the fact that consumer product manufacturers must get smarter about retail – although that knowledge does come in two forms: First, they need to better understand the overall retail marketplace and the key accounts for their brands, both of which have been changing dramatically.

But they also are required to better understand the business of retailing more than ever before, because the steadily growing need to engage with consumers directly is demanding that they act like retailers, whether building up substantial direct-sales channels or less aggressively using DTC programs to improve engagement (and gather insights).

The second part of the name needs a little unpacking. In our viewpoint, a “strategic enterprise” is one that, as suggested earlier, is strategically aligned to focus on consumers and shoppers. (Creative eyes in the audience may have noticed that the “S” in our logo comprises a pair of interlocking “C”s.)

Our goal with Rise is to guide the industry toward sustainable growth and operational excellence by identifying unique solutions to the challenges of a consumer-centric marketplace. We will cover every aspect of the business that impacts consumer purchase decisions, from product ideation and development through the manufacturing and fulfillment processes and right on to the various sales and marketing activities that now drive engagement.

So yes, there’s ambition in our name as well: We invite you to Rise with us.

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