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208: Global Brands with Kristof Neirynck at Wallgreens Boots Alliance

Kristof Neirynck, CMO Global Brands at Walgreens Boot Alliance

During this 208th episode of “Marketing Today,” host Alan Hart interviews Kristof Neirynck, chief marketing officer of global brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

On the show today, we talk about how Walgreens Boots Alliance has responded to COVID-19. We also talk about Neirynck’s portfolio of brands that he manages, store-owned brands, as well as their global CPG portfolio. We talk about the differences in various markets where they’re a leader in the U.K. and how they’ve entered the U.S. market and the Chinese market in recent history. Then we switch gears and talk about his background and career trajectory. We also talk about his love of plants.

Speaking how the Walgreens Boots Alliance has responded to COVID-19 in three stages, Neirynck advises, “These are times when we need to make sure that we bring the relevant products to the market.” He also encourages companies to “Show that you as a brand care and contribute to society.” Neirynck has a perspective on personalization and leveraging first-party data in a CPG environment. He says, “Good personalization is when you don’t know that you’re being personalized to.” As he reflects about the trajectory of his career, Neirynck suggests, “You need to set audacious goals and go for it.” This conversation is about staying relevant, driving growth through marketing, and delivering relevant content.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Growing up in Belgium. 01:37
  • Kristof’s career path and how he started as an electronics engineer. 02:33
  • The reasons Kristof landed at Walgreens Boots. 06:18
  • Walgreens Boots’ three-stage response to the COVID-19 crisis. 08:13
  • Kristof’s take on managing CPG brands as well as store-owned brands. 12:50
  • Managing No. 7 in different markets. 17:07
  • Capturing the opportunity to leverage first-party data in a CPG environment. 20:31
  • Launching your brand in a relevant way in different geographic markets. 26:15
  • Kristof’s advice for other marketers wanting to enter the Chinese market. 29:10
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 30:05
  • What is the advice Kristof would give to his younger self? 34:18
  • The most impactful purchase he has made in the last 6-12 months of $100 or less. 36:04
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Kristof follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 37:24
  • Kristof’s take on the top opportunities or threats facing marketers today. 39:00

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