Sharon’s Marketing career has been defined by taking established brands and businesses that others might consider ‘mature’ and finding new ways to revitalize and drive growth. In case after case, Sharon has demonstrated skill at leveraging the key assets of each company (its brands/products, people and organization) in collaboration with a cross functional team to improve topline and bottom line results. As a general management marketer, her impact sets up businesses for short term gain while establishing a foundation for long term growth, impacting revenue and improving profitability.
Sharon’s skill development was built at highly competitive Blue Chip Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies in food (Nestles, Kraft and ConAgra) and beverage alcohol (Jim Beam Brands and MillerCoors). Learning and applying Marketing discipline and practice to successfully drive strong growth against a wide range of companies and industries, Sharon has demonstrated the ability to bring new, game-changing thought to differentiate and build businesses and brands. She then had success applying those approaches to Automotive (Prestone) and Higher Ed (DeVry) that had not previously seen this type of Marketing approach. The success demonstrated her ability to translate the classic marketing principles to new environments and industries. By applying creativity and resourcefulness, Sharon has been able to drive growth across businesses, despite being outspent by competition.
In addition to building established brands, Sharon has driven growth through innovation and bringing companies into new areas. Sharon has successfully built new product development processes that assure efficient development, prioritization, rigor and alignment to improve success rate. Notable innovations included diversifying the portfolio of Jim Beam Brands to bring them into wine, working closely with R&D to introduce the first new flavors in several categories, bringing Prestone into the Heavy Duty Truck field, and expanding product offerings at DeVry University to capture new prospect interests.
Leveraging insights has been a critical part of improving the understanding of the consumer, customer, and competition. This insight is applied toward developing cross functional understanding and translating the insights to more effective strategies, plans, and communications.
In addition to driving positive results on her businesses, Sharon has also led many initiatives to strengthen employee and team engagement. As a leader in several companies that were going through challenging transitions (mergers, consolidations, acquisitions, etc.) Sharon took lead in launching and championing mentoring programs, programs to improve women’s retention and recruitment, and EAP (Employee Affiliation Programs). She also led identification of best practices and process optimization to optimize organizational results.
Sharon now brings her broad and deep experience to apply to your business needs. With a highly collaborative approach, Sharon will partner with you to truly understand your vision, assets and challenges, and work to find a clearer path to leverage your business strengths for better results, laying a foundation for short term results and long term growth.
What are you best at?
I am best at reviving tired brands. I believe there is no such thing as a ‘mature’ brand. There is always a way to creatively develop a fresh way of making a business more relevant and differentiated from other choices. The key is working with the team, most notably R&D and insights, to dive deep to understand the product/service and the customer problem it solves and how it best solves the problem in a unique or different way.
Examples: Reddi wip, Egg Beaters, Prestone
I’ve also driven very positive results developing new products, either totally new or to support existing brand and help build differentiation. I have found that a strong cross functional team is critical to new product success, and working with the leadership team to assure alignment, prioritization and focus makes a big difference.
Examples: Jim Beam Brands into wine, Egg Beaters, Prestone Heavy Duty
What types of challenges do you love to solve?
I most enjoy revitalizing old, declining businesses that have lost momentum. Finding new ways to articulate what makes your product or service relevant and the best choice involves a cross functional team, and persistence and rigor to identify the one best thing to say that catches the interest of your prospect. Finding this nugget becomes the key to developing new plans that unlock new potential for growth, possibly with new customers.
Also, launching new products, when done right, can enhance the meaning and relevance of your product or service so you can better meet their needs. This offers incremental revenue and opportunity for repeat sales.
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