Disrupt or Be Disrupted: A Q&A with Adam Cooper

January 28, 2020

By Marni Gordon, SVP of committees and conferences, ANA

ANA

With emerging technologies, continuously changing consumer preferences and brands of all sizes fighting to cut through the clutter, how do we continue to move fast and think big? Ahead of his session at the 2020 ANA Brand Masters Conference, presented by Twitter, the Wonderful Company’s SVP of marketing Adam Cooper sat down with Marni Gordon to share his insights on how his organization stays ahead of the curve.

 

Q. How does your team keep up with the latest emerging technologies?

As an organization, the entrepreneurial spirit is embedded in our DNA, so we’re always searching for new ideas. We learn internally from each other when our brands execute new campaigns and learn externally by attending conferences and trade shows. We also enjoy the benefit of having a dedicated in-house, full-service ad agency that has strong relationships with many vendors, including those in the technology space. I also see great value in studying other industries outside of produce, which can sometimes lead to those breakthrough ideas.

 

Q. How does The Wonderful Company leverage influencers to build your brands?

Influencers are an important part of our marketing mix, and the practice of partnering with them has certainly evolved over time. We focus on creating relationships with individuals early on in their careers, and then nurture and build upon them year-over-year. I get particularly excited when we challenge our influencer partners to try new things. That’s when we often see the big wins. Building brand love is one of our core objectives, and influencers can achieve that in an authentic way.

 

Q. What have been The Wonderful Company’s top challenges in breaking through the marketing clutter?

As a leader in the produce industry, we have many advantages in-store. However, one challenge we do face is that Mother Nature can present unexpected situations – both large and small. Sometimes, all the careful seasonal planning in the world must be readjusted in real time to address new circumstances. One way we prepare for this uncertainty is by outlining a host of potential scenarios in our planning work.

 

Q. How is The Wonderful Company organized internally to drive innovation and results?

Vertical integration has been a key driver of our success over the years, from our farming operations to our sales and marketing efforts. We have an amazing team of brand managers focused on each individual brand. They’re part of a broader organization that constantly shares information and key learnings internally. We train, communicate best practices, and bring in experts to ensure that the teams are exposed to useful tools so they continue to grow. We also have a year-long marketing rotational program that allows our team members to experience each of The Wonderful Company’s brands. And, our in-house, full-service ad agency is dedicated exclusively to our brands, so they have a unique understanding of our products and can best position them in the marketplace.

 

Q. Which product from The Wonderful Company is your personal favorite and why?

I can’t play favorites! They’re all equally wonderful.


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