Director of Innovation

5 - 7 years experience  •  Food & Beverage

Salary depends on experience
Posted on 10/10/17
Cashton, WI
5 - 7 years experience
Food & Beverage
Salary depends on experience
Posted on 10/10/17

Job DutiesThe Marketing Manager, Innovation is responsible for two key areas: (1) conceptualizing and developing compelling new products in support of the brand and CROPP’s strategic plans, and (2) managing and refining the product innovation process in close collaboration with the cross-functional Innovation Team.  This position will focus on branded new product development working with Brand Management, QR&D, Operations, Sales and Finance to deliver profitable, high growth business.Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Product Innovation (delivering profitable branded growth) – This position is responsible for planning, executing and managing the new product pipeline and innovation process through all facets of marketing, including idea generation, opportunity assessment, product development and launch/roll-out.• Lead development and execution of branded 3-5 year new product pipeline.


     • Lead and influence innovation to develop and launch short and long term new product initiatives.
     • In collaboration with cross-functional teams, generate innovative product ideas that meet consumer needs while supporting the mission of the cooperative.
     • Systematically evaluate ideas to select high potential opportunities for further testing and/or feasibility analysis.
     • Complete competitive analysis and Market projections as part of the innovation feasibility, product approval and new product sell-in support process.
          o Early-stage opportunity assessment
          o Lead financial and initial volume forecasting for new products and contribute to achievement of P&L targets during development.
     • Develop strong, collaborative relationships with marketing and cross-functional teams (Operations, Sales, QR&D) to ensure collaboration and alignment of direction at all stages of development and launch.
     • Develop briefs for all new innovation projects and provide feedback on marketing and creative output to ensure all activities cohesively supports brand/product strategy.
     • Develop and manage new product and program handoffs (process and materials) to ensure a smooth transition of new product launch activities throughout the development process.
     • Keep abreast of consumer and industry insights that can be used to develop more powerful consumer driven new products and product evolutions as well as communications and brand programming.

Product Innovation Process (efficient and effective process evolution) - This position is also responsible for managing and refining the product innovation process in collaboration with the cross-functional Innovation Team.
     • Assess existing product innovation processes as well as external best practices, tools and techniques.
     • Collaborate with Innovation team to align and refine new product processes to drive efficiency and effectiveness of product innovation, development and launch/roll-out process.
     • Maintain product innovation process and communicate and train affected teams as changes are implemented.
     • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with external partners and agencies.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

     o Supervise, mentor, and develop the Innovation staff.
     o Provide direction, leadership and coaching to members of select project teams to execute brand plans.
     o Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Core Competencies- the following is a list of top Core Competencies needed for the job.
     o Drives Innovative Business Improvements: Develops new insights into solutions that result in organizational improvements; promotes a work environment that fosters creative thinking, innovation and rational risk-taking.
     o Balances Immediate and Long-Term Priorities: Seeks to meet critical objectives while considering the impact of those decisions and activities on the ability to achieve long-term goals.
     o Delivers Results: Focuses on the critical few objectives that add the most value and channels own and others' energy to consistently deliver results that meet or exceed expectations.
     o Imports and Exports Good Ideas: Relentlessly seeks, shares and adopts ideas and best practices in and outside the Company and embraces change introduced by others.
     o Develops and Inspires Others: Builds and maintains relationships that motivate, guide, and/or reinforce the performance of others toward goal accomplishments. Develops self and others to improve performance in current role and to prepare for future roles; seeks and provides feedback and coaching to enhance performance.
     o Lives the Values: Demonstrates the values of CROPP Cooperative and the Organic Valley brand through words, actions, and by example; fosters an environment that reflects the values of the company

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Experience and Education Requirements:
     o Minimum 5 years of progressive product management experience in branded CPG company.
     o Minimum 5 years direct experience in leading development and execution of product innovation pipeline including close-in commercialization and further-out innovation (demonstrated ability to lead a concept from idea to shelf.)
     o Demonstrated leadership skills and experience managing people (direct and indirectly.)
     o Bachelor’s degree highly preferred.
     o Food experience required; dairy and/or beverage industry desired but not required.

Skills:
     o Creative Skills: The ability to think out of the box (in a way that makes out of the box seem in the box) when approaching all aspects of brand and innovation management activities from new product ideas to package design and marketing material development. 
     o Passion for understanding consumer behavior
     o Communication Skills: Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills are required. The incumbent will present to diverse audiences, work cross-functionally for results and collaborate with external partners. Enthusiastically champion support for projects and ideas that drive existing brands and new business development.  Effectively communicate, inform and inspire.
     o Strong project management skills to maintain timeline, organizational communication, P&L and budget management.
     o Ability to work with all levels of the organization.
     o Resourcefulness to improvise and adapt to deal with daily challenges via creative problem solving.
     o Entrepreneurial mind-set: creative, resourceful, risk taker, business savvy, adaptable
     o Syndicated Data experience in order to track product performance and inform sales and marketing team decisions.
     o Strong analysis, strategic thinking, creative thinking, team leadership, planning, organizing, problem solving skills.

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