Magazine article Marketing

Power 100

Magazine article Marketing

Power 100

Article excerpt

The past 12 months have proved just how quickly the mighty can fall.

Here is our rundown of the top 10 who have thrived amid the recession.

1. Justin King, Sainsbury's pounds IBH

The supermarket's chief executive, King, seems to have achieved the perfect positioning for Sainsbury's during the recession and deservedly holds onto the top spot in our Power 100 list. Sales in the first half of the 2009/10 financial year rose by 3.7%, with pre-tax profits up 32% to pounds 342m. Sales of Sainsbury's 'Basics' range of 550 cheaper products were up over the same period, by 60%. King demonstrated that the brand was quick to respond to the mood of the nation, and outmanoeuvred his rivals with a 'Feed a family for a fiver' promotion that hit the right note with consumers, as the downturn struck Sainsbury's also undercut Marks & Spencer by launching a deal earlier this year offering a meal for two for just pounds 5, as opposed to its rival's equivalent pounds 10 offer.

2. Simon Clift, Unilever pounds IBH

It has been a year of change for Clift, who relinquished his role as vice-presi-dent of personal care last year. As global chief marketing officer, the flamboyant Clift is now free to focus entirely on marketing Unilever's vast portfolio of brands. Having been at Unilever for 27 years, he has worked on a wide range of high-profile campaigns. He now plans to concentrate on the firm's food brands, given increasing consumer interest in healthy eating.

3. Jill McDonald, McDonald's pounds BH

The regeneration of McDonald's is perhaps the single most impressive marketing turnaround story in recent memory. Under the stewardship of chief marketing officer McDonald, the glow has returned to the 'golden arches'. It has been helped to an extent by the recession, which has boosted sales across the fast- food sector. However, at the beginning of the year, the brand made itself even more attractive to cash-strapped consumers with the launch of its biggest-ever promotional campaign in the UK, offering more than pounds 280m-worth of prizes. Its latest TV ad, 'Passing By', which shows people enjoying McDonald's throughout the day, is the sure mark of a confident brand.

4. Richard Brasher, Tesco pounds IB

As commercial director, Brasher has overseen a mixed year for the world's second-biggest retailer. Its 'Britain's Biggest Discounter' strategy, aimed at challenging deep discounters such as Aldi, has attracted some criticism for confusing customers. In January, meanwhile, the supermarket posted its worst Christmas sales since the last recession, which retail analysts claimed was the result of cannibalisation, as sales of its own-brand budget ranges ate into its profit margins. Nonetheless, Tesco remains an overwhelmingly dominant force on the UK retail scene. The retailer has stepped up the pressure on its rivals this Christmas by mailing out pounds 67m of Clubcard vouchers. Brasher, who has held a board-level position since 2004 and is a previous UK marketing director at Tesco, therefore has many reasons to feel the future is bright.

5. Roisin Donnelly, Procter & Gamble pounds IBH

When Procter & Gamble, the UK's biggest advertiser, announced it was cutting its adspend as the recession took its toll, many saw the decision as a bellwether, demonstrating the true depth of the UK's economic doom. Despite this setback, Donnelly, who, as marketing director, oversees all P&G brands, has forged ahead with innovation. This year, P&G launched Ariel Excel Gel, a cheaper, greener laundry detergent. Other fresh ideas included Gillette Shavecare, the first mass-market men's skincare range. Donnelly still finds the time to be a leading industry voice and to champion marketing as a discipline. She becomes president of the Marketing Society in the New Year.

6. Cathryn Sleight, Coca-Cola GB pounds IB

Managing an extensive portfolio for one of the best-known brands in the world, Sleight, the marketing director of Coca-Cola GB, is a busy woman; this year has been no different. …

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