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



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Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?

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



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Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?

Design of the Times offers “Academy Awards” of shopper marketing industry

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Call it the Academy Awards of the shopper marketing business.

The Shopper Marketing Expo, scheduled for Oct. 8-10, here, at the Navy Pier, will once again host the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Design of the Times merchandising display competition.

In mid-August, 50 judges convened at the Path to Purchase Institute headquarters, here, in Chicago, to pick finalists in eight different retail channels, including drug, food, mass, consumer electronics, convenience, home center/hardware, sporting goods and specialty stores. More than 100 finalists were selected, and final judging will take place on site at Shopper Marketing Expo on Tuesday, Oct. 8., with official winners announced the following evening during the Design of the Times Awards reception, with gold, silver and bronze winners, as well as one platinum award winner in each retail category, and one overall “Best of the Times” winner selected across all retail channels.

Here, DSN examines the 17 finalists in the drug store channel. For the complete list of finalists, visit:

Palmolive Coconut & Cotton Glorifier

Colgate-Palmolive Colombia sought to introduce shoppers to a variant of the brand with its display that appeared in 100 drug stores in Colombia over an eight-month period. The display depicts the coconut converting into a natural soap. Also part of the display, a cotton stem conveys a sense of softness associated with the product.

Rimmel ‘London Look’

In promoting its Rimmel Cosmetics, Coty put together a display that was featured in more than 4,000 Walgreens stores. The objective was to lift sales, build Coty’s Rimmel brand and launch two exclusive-to-Walgreens’ lines of lipstick and nail polish while promoting top seasonal foundations and a new mascara. The combination delivers plentiful stock and one-stop shopping for the "London Look."

Someday by Justin Bieber

Elizabeth Arden put together this display in 5,000 Walgreens stores to drive awareness and trial for the new fragrance, Someday by Justin Bieber, at drug and mass retailers, and to obtain prime, high-visibility placement at Walgreens on its étagère fixture. According to Elizabeth Arden, incorporating fragrance tester-bottles to display vehicles is critically important in mass retail. Testers perform as a "silent" sales associate in this environment, providing an authentic sampling of the fragrance and bottle to shoppers.

J&J Medicine Cabinet

Johnson & Johnson fielded a number of brands within this display that ran in some 2,600 Walgreens stores. The display’s primary objective was to use high introductory Balance Rewards point offerings and unique graphics to draw consumers to the endcap and generate incremental sales. The design leverages three insights of successful promotion:

  • Surprise — The design must be unexpected to draw the shopper to the display;
  • Relevance — Once attracted to the display, the products must be relevant to the target; and
  • Information — The offer must be easy to spot and quickly explained.

J&J Neutrogena endcap

Johnson & Johnson rolled this display into 5,000 Walgreens stores. The objective of the in-store activation tactic was to drive the Neutrogena brand with a unique endcap coinciding with a national Neutrogena FSI drop (May 5), a Neutrogena SaturDate (May 18) and the Neutrogena "Night at the W" (May 22). The goal was to encourage shoppers to purchase more than one product across Neutrogena skin care, cosmetics, bath, and sun care brands, and the display allowed J&J to bring all of the categories together in one place.

belVita countertop display

Kraft Foods rolled this display out across 300 drug, convenience and grocery stores in Puerto Rico. The objective of placing the belVita breakfast bars at the cash register in a single-serving size was to introduce shoppers to the new, healthy, on-the-go breakfast option.

L’Oreal new items tower

L’Oreal Cosmetics unveiled this display of L’Oreal Cosmetics across more than 6,000 Walgreens stores to increase consumer awareness for its newest product offerings, and to create an innovative, interactive buying experience for the shopper. The tower needed to fit within an enclosed three-sided Walgreens space and draw the shoppers’ attention.

SensatioNail Island Fever counter unit

Pacific World promoted its gel nail supplies in an effort to leverage its leadership position in the gel polish category and showcase its vibrant array of summer shades. SensatioNail’s target shoppers are women, ages 18 years to 54 years, with household incomes of more than $50,000. When shopping, they expect to see what’s new and want to be delighted.

ZzzQuil ‘Snoring’ shelf tray

Procter & Gamble featured this promotion of its new ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid across more than 6,000 Walgreens locations. The objective was to drive trial of ZzzQuil and subsequently grow the overall sleep category. “We knew that our shopper’s trust in NyQuil to rest when she has a cold was paramount, so we used the iconic bottle visual the two brands share and emphasized the ZzzQuil logo to drive brand recognition of the ‘Quil’ line of trusted products,” P&G noted.

CoverGirl ‘What’s New’ 2013 displays

Procter & Gamble sought to promote its new 2013 CoverGirl products in more than 7,000 Walmart, CVS/Pharmacy, Target and Walgreens stores. Development of a new sleek “beauty case” to launch the first CoverGirl Gold new item initiatives would prove to be a win-win for logistics and in-store execution excellence, the supplier noted.

Duracell ‘Mini Tower’ floorstand

Featuring Duracell Duralock batteries, Procter & Gamble helped to disrupt the consumer-shopping pattern to stop and look at this display. Batteries are typically an impulse purchase, and the display is meant to draw the consumer’s focus.

Pantene Expert Collection floorstand

In this Pantene Expert Collection display, Procter & Gamble helped to drive awareness and trial outside of the hair care aisle for an entirely new, premium sub-brand across some 5,000 Walgreens locations. The language used helped communicate that the line was geared toward the youth-seeking hair care shopper — with the claim, "For hair that acts up to 10 Years Younger."

P&G Tim Gunn and the People’s Choice Awards endcap

Procter & Gamble promoted a number of products in this endcap, including Pantene, Crest, Olay, Cover Girl, Secret, Always and Tampax, in Walgreens and Duane Reade stores. The People’s Choice Awards was looking for a vehicle that would help its image, to regain its “cool,” to be taken seriously and to get people to participate and watch the show again. To help drive the point home, P&G invested in celebrity spokesman Tim Gunn, who delivered a call to action to shoppers to “make it fabulous.”

Axe Apollo Astronaut floorstand

Unilever featured its latest Axe product, Axe Apollo, in this display to drive awareness and encourage participation of Axe’s contest to go to space camp. Because the majority of Axe purchase decisions are made in store, the display needed to be disruptive in nature and command the shopper’s attention, Unilever noted.

Vaseline Spray & Go countertop display

In this display, Unilever’s new Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer helped to highlight the uniqueness of the product’s new breakthrough lotion and spray format/delivery system. The campaign’s eye-catching, premium-looking Spray & Go counter display helped to stop the shopper and allowed the breakthrough innovation — “absorbs in seconds…no waiting” — benefit to initiate trial.

Walgreens Taylor Swift endcap

Walgreens successfully designed a “store within a store” featuring all items Taylor Swift timed to the debut of her "Red" album in Walgreens stores across the United States. According to the retailer, the product exclusive drew a younger demographic — girls and young women ages 14 years to 24 years — and provided an opportunity to capture their loyalty.

Walgreens Bus/Haunted House floor displays

Walgreens sought to drive multiple purchases and boost market share during the highly competitive back-to-school and Halloween shopping season with this unique display. Walgreens wanted to give shoppers one-stop shopping with attractive price points for seasonal, core drug store and household products, recapturing their core business from competitors.

For more information on the Shopper Marketing Expo, visit

To view a slideshow of the Design of the Times finalists in the drug store category, click here.


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Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?