Brand Director, Vinegar in Mount Prospect IL

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Mizkan America
Brand Director, Vinegar
Job ID: 
Mount Prospect IL
Not Specified
Not Specified
Job Types:
Director/VP Marketing, New Product Marketing/Innovation, Product/Brand Management

The Brand Director, Vinegar will be a seasoned brand and business leader, responsible for managing and growing the Vinegar and Bitters portfolio, while enhancing equity and delivering attractive financials for the brands. Reporting directly to the SVP, Marketing, their work will require deploying insightful, innovative consumer and trade Marketing programs across the current product line and by helping to develop a compelling pipeline of new initiatives through close collaboration with a multifunctional team (including Innovation, Operations, Finance, and Insights). This is a line role with P&L accountability, and it includes responsibility for Marketing staff and agencies. The scope of the work will include Portfolio Strategy, Positioning, Architecture, Innovation, Packaging, Advertising and Messaging, Media (traditional, digital), Promotion (Consumer/Trade), Insights (Consumer/Shopper), Budget, and Agency Management.


Brand Stewardship Serve as a passionate steward, advocate and gatekeeper for Vinegar and Bitters brands and the equities they have built. This Brand and Marketing leader will be the champion for any refinements to either brands strategic positioning/architecture. Such work will be derived from a deep understanding of consumer insights and key brand health measures, as well as an understanding of the ever-changing competitive, technological, and nutritional environments.

Strategic Planning Provide thought-leadership to the SVP, Marketing and help optimize the Vinegar and Bitters strategic plan, with a specific focus on consumers evolved decision journey and needs, channels and retailers they prefer, routes to market and best way to achieve trusted customer relationships. There are a variety of strategic paths such as growing within the categories we currently play, expanding into adjacent categories, and acquisition and/or development of new brands. The strategic plan must also include key resources (people, dollars, systems, technologies) needed to scale the business efficiently.

Financial Management - While building brand equity, awareness and consideration are all critical responsibilities of this Brand Director role, the ultimate deliverable is driving increased sales and profits for the vinegar portfolio. This Director will be accountable for creating and activating an integrated Marketing plan designed to grow this business, and contribute significantly to Mizkan, financially.

Innovation/NPD - Dive right into Mizkans current new product agenda and work closely with Innovation and R&D leadership to help develop and qualify new products, based on what will resonate most convincingly with consumers and retailers. Looking ahead, strive to continually uncover and identify new marketplace and consumer trends, enabling the company to set the pace for what comes next from a category standpoint. This understanding will be leveraged to define new product opportunities worth exploring further via business case development and measurable, projectable in-market testing.

Advertising, Media, PR Primary responsibility for developing the brands creative strategy, and messaging, working closely with Mizkans agencies to bring that strategy to life with compelling, brand-building and usage-driving advertising and other forms of communication (including digital, social, mobile and E-Commerce, and in-store). Additionally, responsible for developing regional/local media plans, and working closely with agencies to deploy media strategically, and with an eye towards ROI. Responsible for overseeing and approving both regional and local PR efforts (strategy and plans). PR responsibilities will include both offline (traditional) and online (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Blogs) vehicles.

Promotion Planning & Activation - Working closely with Sales, Digital/ E-Commerce, Shopper Marketing, and other Retail specialists, help guide development of an annual consumer and trade promotion plan, designed to deliver against both brand and product Marketing objectives. Long-term, Mizkan wants to build consumer loyalty be offering great food products at competitive prices, creating an inherent value-proposition that takes some pressure off having to promote and discount the line.

Research & Insights - The Brand Director will guide consumer Research and Insights efforts for our Vinegar and Bitters portfolio, ensuring the brands are capturing all the appropriate information and data to help make smarter, more informed decisions. This includes consumer learnings, retail and shopper Marketing data, etc. This work will require leveraging both internal Research staff and external consultants and suppliers.

Packaging - Responsible for ongoing packaging development and optimization, across the full line of vinegar. This includes supporting consumer research designed to identify opportunities to address unmet needsand differentiate the line versus key competitorsthrough innovative new packaging (both design and look)

Functional Development - Build and shape a highly effective, world-class Marketing team by hiring, training, motivating and setting leadership direction for his/her entire staff. Continue to nurture a collaborative and consumer/customer-oriented Marketing community, cross-functionally, within Mizkan. Working closely with the SVP, Marketing, review and enhancewhere necessaryall Marketing processes, measurements, information systems, etc., that enable the overall Mizkan Marketing function to operate more efficiently and more effectively.

Agency Oversight - This Brand Director will be responsible for managing a best-in-class portfolio of external agencies, suppliers and consultants, who can deliver exceptional service and solutions, at a fair cost. This work may include an occasional review (likely led by the SVP, Marketing) and an assessment of current Mizkan partners and suppliers, determining the viability of working with them into the future, and exploring alternatives, if needed.


Blue Chip CPG Foundation We would expect this Brand/Marketing leader to have a world class Marketing and Brand Development foundation, from any number of major CPG Food & Beverage companies, including PepsiCo, General Mills, Kraft-Heinz, Mondelez, Kelloggs, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle, Hershey, Groupe Danone, etc. This experience should have included building expertise in Positioning, Segmentation, Communications, Innovation & NPD, Research & Insights, Consumer & Trade Promotion, Digital Marketing, Shopper Marketing, Forecasting & Budget, Packaging, Pricing, etc.

Smaller Companies Ideally, we would like to see progression from larger companies to smaller companies, where success (and survival) required operating with a different level of resourcefulness. We need someone who knows how to compress timelines, and fully leverage every person and every dollar in the organization. Big-company trained is the right starting point, but smaller-company scrappy is what we really need.

Digital Competency - - While were not seeking a pure Digital Marketing expert, per se, we do need a Brand/Marketing leader for Mizkan who is highly skilled and savvy across the Digital landscape, particularly with Search, Display, Retargeting, Web Video, and Paid Social. There are others on the Mizkan Marketing team who are focused exclusively on Digital delivery, and there are external agency resources too.

Innovation/NPD - Proven experience developing new products from an end to end perspective (e.g., concept to activation). They must understand the importance of using a robust Stage Gateor comparabledevelopment process. Experience should include line extensions, upgrades, flankers, and ideally, new-to-world brand development. There are dedicated Innovation staff at Mizkan (Marketing, R&D), but the Brand Director will be a key player within this agenda.

Financial Management - Ability to effectively establish, justify, manage and cost-contain an integrated Marketing program and budget, using a combination of effective vendor management skills, fair negotiation, and creativity in terms of resource allocation and resource utilization. Has demonstrated ownership of volume, net sales, and profit, and developed/delivered strategies to ensure delivery of financial commitments.

People and Agency Management This Brand Director must bring proven experience recruiting, hiring, managing, developing, motivating and promoting direct reports, and installing a Marketing/Brand-centric culture. This ability extends to external relationships, too, with key agency partners, consultants, and suppliers.


  • World-class Brand Strategy and Communications skills (technical competencies)
  • Leadership skills in creating engaged, winning culture (ability to hire, train, guide team)
  • Intellectual horsepower (highly analytical & strategic)
  • Analytical and Strategic (data-driven, but does not need piles of data to pull trigger)
  • Communication (clear, frequent, candid, honest)
  • Innovative and creative thinking (need fresh, imaginative thinking)
  • Listening skills (listen first, then respond)
  • Influencing (proven ability to persuade others towards an idea or goal)
  • Strong relationship management, collaboration and interpersonal skills (high EQ)
  • Drives for results in prioritized manner (balanced sense of urgency)


  • Self-directed and motivated
  • Pioneering spirit
  • Focused on results vs. process
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Frugal treats company resources as their own
  • Enthusiastic
  • Tenacious, resilient, blue collar work ethic
  • High integrity
  • Trustworthy
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