Scaling a CPG Brand in 2022 and Beyond

Materne NAM-GoGo squeeZ's Mark Edmonson on branding and expanding

In the latest episode of The Speed of Culture podcast, Mark Edmonson, CMO at Materne North America-GoGo squeeZ, joins Suzy founder and CEO Matt Britton to discuss marketing in a rapidly evolving environment. Edmonson shares his journey and demystifies the process of growing and scaling a major brand like GoGo squeeZ.

Edmonson is responsible for revamping iconic brands like Old Spice, Gillette, Campbell Soup Company, Febreze and Henkel. He definitely knows the playing field. When he first began as a digital marketing manager at Procter & Gamble, marketing seemed to evolve at a reasonable pace. 

Today, massive shifts in consumer behavior are constantly changing the rules of engagement. The good news is that disruption empowers consumers and consumer-facing marketers alike. The bad news is that rapid change creates unprecedented challenges for even the savviest marketers.

In this episode, they explore how these shifts play out in the real world. Edmonson offers an insightful view of consumers and shares strategic engagement models to build and expand successful brands in today’s economic and digital environment.

Stream the new episode below, listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or find it on Spotify.

How do smart brands position themselves to win? Read out the key takeaways to learn how influential brands drive engagement.

Key Highlights:

  • 01:59 – 03:17 – How Does the Rise of Retail Media Affect Brand Management? – Marketing is constantly evolving, and it’s impossible to keep up with every new development. One of the most surprising developments Edmonson has seen in recent years is the rise of retail media. Retail companies are constantly innovating, coming up with new ways to reach customers and using cutting-edge technologies like OTT and search. He realized he had to form partnerships with retailers and digital companies to stay up-to-date with state-of-the-art technologies. Edmonson says, “it’s just all about making sure that one, you’re participating with the retailer. They have these capabilities. They want to continue to build those capabilities. They want to compete with other media channels. You lean in as a good partner.”

  • 03:36 – 06:20 – How Has the Macro Environment Changed Your Business Models and Plans Going Forward? – Edmonson and many big CPG companies have successfully used DTC models to roll out new products. It’s a smart move because you can prelaunch products to collect consumer data and get feedback in real-time to make adjustments to your product or marketing strategy. This can give relatively smaller brands like GoGo squeeZ an advantage over more prominent brands in terms of speed to market. Edmonson says his team can develop an idea and get the product on the shelf in as little as eight months.

  • 16:53 – 21:07 – Redefining a Brand and Driving Expansion – There are many ways to redefine your brand and drive growth. GoGo squeeZ has a variety of flavors and products (pudding, yogurt, applesauce, etc.) One way to expand is to look for opportunities beyond your core audience. Maybe you can reach new segments by creating a sub-brand. Edmonson also recommends niche marketing for different customer segments. For GoGo squeeZ, those segments include older kids, moms or dads.
  • 12:41 – 16:30 – The Consumer is in the Driver’s Seat – Consumers shop everywhere and have many options. Brands must be strategic in their approach to cut through the noise and reach their target consumers. Getting consumers to engage is one of the most difficult challenges. Telling the story of your product and why the consumer needs it is more important than ever. Consumers have high expectations from brands in 2022. It is not enough to be present; you need to participate in conversations relevant to your target market.
  • 32:41 – 36:30 – Advice for Marketers Who Want to Advance their Careers – Edmonson’s advice for young marketers is to get hands-on experience by literally keeping your hands on the keyboard. You need to learn every platform like TikTok, Google, etc. Become embedded in all the processes to offer insights from a marketing perspective. It’s also critical to build relationships and not burn bridges. Build a diverse network of people in and outside of your niche. You never know when you’ll need someone’s help, and a diversified network will give you more leverage. Finally, have fun and make it enjoyable!