Whether it’s identifying an unrevealed consumer belief or the way that shoppers behave, we are relentlessly on the lookout for insights to drive product development and communication.
As a mentor at RB once told me, you can tell it is a good consumer insight if you find yourself nodding by the end of the sentence.
2. Gross Margin
Throughout RB, teams are constantly innovating around ways to expand gross margin to inject back into brand building and top line growth.
Package Engineering, R&D, Materials Management, Purchasing, Quality and Marketing are scrutinizing every SKU (a warehouse term which stands for Stock Keeping Unit) in the portfolio for ways to cut costs without compromising product quality.
The best kind of squeeze is a value-in – where you can improve product performance in a more cost-effective way or simultaneously provide a more environmentally sustainable product.
One of the important skills to be successful in brand management is the ability to set direction, align and lead projects.
Most of the projects we undertake could not be successful without the full engagement of a project team. RB is not a ‘consensus culture’, which is why it is important to have cross-functional teams involved in initial project meetings.
An objection from trade in the first project meeting can result in a fruitful debate that can widen the scope of the project and lead to a bigger opportunity.
4. Existing Product Development
At any one time a brand can have dozens of EPDs in the pipeline.
Associate Brand Managers spend a lot of time making sure projects are moving quickly and achieving the objectives we set out to achieve. It is also a chance to work with our Supply Managers who act as intermediaries between the brand and the supply organization.
On these projects we have the opportunity to take risks and have an impact early on.
If you have a good insight, it has good gross margin (it makes business sense) and you align it with your team you are on your way to an EPD.
It’s the simple straightforward way of interpreting the entrepreneurial culture around project management that exists at RB.
We have the opportunity to uncover possibilities and lead projects as long as they are based on real consumer insights and make business sense.
Sometimes you will have to fight for your projects to be prioritized and you will need to identify and deal with potential blockages that come up.
If you don’t follow your project closely, there is a chance it can get de-railed or de-prioritized.
Working at RB is not for everyone – it’s fast paced, dynamic and calculated risk taking is encouraged. But for me it presents an opportunity to get real responsibility early and fight for the projects and initiatives I feel most passionately about.