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DSN webinar weighs in on importance of meeting consumers changing demands

DSN’s and Mack Elevation’s webinar highlighted shifting consumer expectations and how retailers need to respond with purpose.

Consumer expectations have changed amid the pandemic. How do retailers need to respond to this evolution?

Retailers shared how to focus on shifting consumer expectations during Drug Store News and Mack Elevation's webinar entitled, “The Purpose Driven Growth Summit,” held on Nov. 11.

Dan Mack, founder of Mack Elevation, noted that a lot has changed in the last two and a half years. Specifically how COVID exposed the quality of companies and leadership, while also elevating the importance of purpose-driven cultures, leadership and brands.

“Purpose attracts, inspires and retains leaders,” said Mack. “Everything is purpose. Every meeting is purpose. Why does purpose matter to you? People are reevaluating a lot of things. A lot of it is tied into purpose. People are reassessing what they value. That’s what we’re seeing. Purpose is a powerful and tangible asset.”

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Panelists included Lou Fata, vice president of sales at ET Browne; Jill Short- Clark, chief customer sales officer at Simply Good Foods; Gary Gatton, vice president of sales at Traditional Medicinals; Andrea Harrison, vice president of merchandising, beauty and personal care at CVS Health; Bruce Kramer, vice president North America consumer division at Wahl; Todd LaRue, vice president of sales at Bausch & Lomb; Chad Marquardt, chief customer officer at Glanbia Performance Nutrition; Vinima Shekhar, senior merchandising director of Omni Channel, Fintech, Walmart; Sue Smith, partner at Emerson Group; and Brian Terry, director of sales FDM and specialty at Nordic Naturals. 

“We need to empower our teams. The best purpose we can deliver for customers is ensuring our associates are engaged. We empower our teams, creating a regenerative company. We need to be customer obsessed,” Vinima Shekhar, senior merchandising director of Omni Channel, Fintech, Walmart, said during the panel. 

When it came to the topic of company culture, many were quick to share their perspectives. LaRue went into detail about how the company encourages employees to not be afraid to speak up or try something new. 

“Our folks know they have the ability to try things without fear of failure. We know we’re going to fail and we need to. That’s how we learn. We invest, we go for it, when something works,” LaRue said. “When it doesn’t work, we don’t dwell on it. We’re a medium-sized company and that helps us. We have a lot of autonomy and decision-making authority. Problems come. It helps us solve problems quickly. Our sales and marketing folks have a great relationship with one another and see each other as an extension of one another.

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Fata, vice president of sales at ET Browne, shared that purpose-driven companies come in all shapes and sizes. “They share trying to be a better version of you. You need to be real also. Our challenge is we’re not there yet. We’ve been around over 180 years. You have a humble founder-driven company. Most people don’t leave because they love working together. This is all about caring for our colleague environment, that allows us to be the best version of ourselves. Then we have to figure out how to show up.”

Fata also pointed out that being founder-driven, the people at the company show up for the supportive culture.

The entire video can be watched on-demand here.

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