Consumer Products

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Adaptability is a Competitive Advantage for CPG Companies

Prior to 2020, the Consumer Product Industry was already well-versed in navigating and adapting to a rapidly changing market. Advances in technology spurred shifts in consumer behaviors and demand, marketing, sales, and supply chain optimization – just to name a few. Covid-19 forced CPG companies to deal with the reality that change can happen without notice – underscoring the imperative to develop agile, adaptive organizations.

As the CPG Industry takes stock of the new landscape and confronts supply chain constraints, workforce shortages, and the ongoing speed of shifting consumer behaviors, the demand for innovation has never been greater. Kotter’s top-down, bottom-up approach to transformation and capability development addresses consumer goods companies’ vital needs to accelerate transformative results while cultivating change leadership skills at every level of the workforce.

Our Unique Approach

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Orienting around a compelling “why”

CPG companies are largely geographically dispersed – creating a greater need for strongly aligned direction-setting. Leading successful change starts with a business case that speaks to the needs of a diverse change population – framing transformation as a response to opportunities and inspiring engagement and action.

Bringing the outside in

Meaningful change rarely starts at the center – past successes can cloud the assessment of future needs. Soliciting and paying attention to external perspectives, including those of the customer and competitors, will encourage creative thinking and help identify blind spots.

Identifying and amplifying wins

Transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. The resilience to maintain focus on a thoughtful, multi-year strategy is supported by fast and meaningful results that demonstrate what is possible, build momentum, and develop new capabilities.

Activating leadership at every level

Collectively defining what success looks like and how it will be operationalized while creating space for more people to step up and lead.

Increasing transparency, trust + partnerships

Leveraging leader-facilitated engagement forums for employees to voice concerns and ask questions while engineering opportunities for collaboration between functions, regions, business units, external partners, vendors, and customers.

Consumer Products Focus Areas

We work with Consumer Products clients to accelerate the realization of their goals including:

1

Customer Centricity

Illuminating line-of-sight around the customer to account for channel disintermediation and the ongoing speed of shifting consumer behavior; aligning new behaviors, structures, processes, and systems around a clear view of customer value as the ultimate outcome.
2

Digital Transformation

Many investments in new technology fail to deliver meaningful business impact because they are not connected to business objectives and leaders don’t create a compelling narrative behind the investment. By engaging the entire organization in the change process, Kotter helps clients create a movement to empower employees to enable successful adoption and accelerate the value and impact of enterprise technology implementation.
3

M&A Integration

Many high-profile mergers in the CPG space have failed to deliver on the promise of value realization. This is most often because of integration challenges. Led by an early and intentional focus on culture as an enabler of the desired business outcome, Kotter engages legacy organizations to align around the promise of what is newly possible, reinforcing new cultural norms to support value realization without a drop in productivity.
4

Workforce Re-skilling & Change Leadership Capability Development

The pandemic brought with it the realization to the CPG industry that change can and will continue to happen without warning. Kotter’s approach to learning and development blends experiential, action-based learning with tailored training modules to drive results that will enable success today and lead through future challenges.
5

Workforce Optimization

As consumer products companies take stock of the post-Covid world, workforce shortages and hybrid/virtual operation models can present significant challenges. We partner with clients to remove structural, process, and policy barriers and engage beyond the C-suite to enable teams to move with urgency, agility, and creativity – positioning management systems to foster the speed and innovation required for success in the 21st century.
6

Speed-to-Market + New Product Innovation

Re-defining what is possible can only be accomplished by evolving how the work is achieved; the old ways of working just won’t cut it anymore. Kotter works with CPG clients to drive seemingly impossible results at unprecedented speed through cross-functional initiatives to: facilitate new ways of working across silos to drive speed and innovation; unlock a change-capable workforce; and promote broad behavior change that enables long-term resilience.

Featured Resources + Insights

COTY Case Study

Global consumer products company, Coty Inc., was in a period of rapid expansion and preparing for a public offering, precipitating the need to dial-up its supply chain excellence.

Abercrombie & Fitch Product Article

The rise, fall, and rebirth of Abercrombie & Fitch is an arc that doubles as a business case study in management practices and brand reinvention.

Areas of Expertise

While not an all-inclusive list, the strategies below represent the most common situations our clients face.

01. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Increase engagement, transparency, and excitement for the new technology to deliver the desired business impact.

02. CULTURE CHANGE

Drive intentional culture change that starts with new actions, generates better results, and eventually produces an evolved culture.

03. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Provide the breadth and depth necessary to advance change capabilities up, down, and across organizations in a sustainable and scalable way.

04. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

Engage employees to uncover new ideas and the capacity to lead, innovate, and drive value for the customer and the business as a whole.

05. M&A INTEGRATION

Move the “how” of M&A integration to the top of the priority list – right next to the “what” – focus first on culture and people.

06. Strategy Execution

Mobilize people throughout the organization to break down barriers, solve problems, and inspire innovation.