Lowe’s appoints new VP
Lowe’s announced that Lara Lee will join the company as SVP customer experience design, effective Feb 25. Lee will report to Robert J. (Bob) Gfeller, customer experience design executive.
Lee will be responsible for translating business strategies into integrated, multi-channel experiences that deliver value to home improvement consumers. Named a “Master of Innovation” by BusinessWeek in 2006, Lee has driven customer-centric business transformation for more than 20 years.
“Customer needs and trends are constantly changing. In this new role, Lara will not only design experiences that support customers across every stage of the home improvement journey, but will also ensure that our employees’ abilities to deliver excellent experiences are evolving and improving to meet those ever-changing customer needs,” explained Gfeller. “Lara has an outstanding track record of helping companies identify growth opportunities and will be a tremendous addition to the customer experience design team."
Lee joined Lowe’s from global design and innovation firm Continuum, where she served as chief innovation and operating officer. Previously, she was principal and member of the executive committee at Jump Associates, consulting with clients such as GE and FedEx to identify growth opportunities and design new businesses. She also spent 15 years at Harley-Davidson, building the international business, launching new ventures and running a division that designed and monetized customer experiences.
Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language from Brown University, a master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in multinational management from The Wharton School.
IKEA wins big award for small space marketing
IKEA has been named "best small space solution" by The Intelligence Group, a consumer insights firm, publisher of the Cassandra Report, which highlights youth trends and behavior.
IKEA was one of the winners of the group’s first Cass Awards, which were awarded to companies and brands that best reached Generation Y through their marketing efforts last year.
The company showed young, broke city dwellers how to make the most of small spaces by cramming the contents of an entire warehouse into a 10.5 x 8.8 cm Web banner. Despite its small size, the resultant banner was patently shoppable and the retailer turned the once-thought-arbitrary sidebar Web banner into a functional, useful, and even enjoyable interactive application. Users could “browse” the banner by department, scroll over its miniscule thumbnail images to enlarge them, and click to be redirected to a product’s page for immediate purchase. IKEA planted the banner on the real estate sections of community websites, targeting the host of urbanites in search of serviceable studios and converted 1BRs.
“This is an exciting time for the advertising industry as so many brands are constantly breaking new ground in their efforts to engage elusive young consumers” said Joe Kessler, president, The Intelligence Group. “We felt that it would be worthwhile to take a step back and bookmark some of the cutting edge campaigns that are leading the way by putting their understanding of young consumers into play in daring and unexpected ways. The best activations have two important characteristics in common — each one is true to the brand or product it represents, and each displays an element of technology innovation or creative expression we hadn’t seen before.”
Newell Rubbermaid reaffirms outlook
Newell Rubbermaid announced it will reaffirm its fiscal year 2013 outlook, as provided in its fourth quarter 2012 earnings press release dated Feb.1, 2013, during its presentation Thursday at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference.
The company’s guidance and key assumptions for the full year 2013 are as follows:
- Core sales increase of 2% to 4%;
- Net sales are expected to grow 1% to 3%; and
- Normalized EPS growth of 5% to 8%, or $1.78 to $1.84.
The company’s 2013 normalized EPS expectation excludes between $90 million and $110 million of restructuring and restructuring-related costs associated with Project Renewal. (A reconciliation to normalized results is included below.)
The company said it is on track to realize cumulative annualized cost savings of approximately $270 million to $325 million by the second quarter of 2015 related to Project Renewal, with cumulative annualized savings of $90 million to $100 million expected by the first half of 2013. The company intends to reinvest the majority of Project Renewal savings in the business to strengthen brand building and selling capabilities and accelerate growth.