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The ECRM Podcast

The ECRM Podcast

By Joseph Tarnowski
The ECRM Podcast provides industry insights for buyers and sellers of consumer packaged goods, foodservice, pharmacy and contract manufacturing services.
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124. Bringing Speakeasy Style to Retail, Without the Alcohol: Blind Tiger Spirit-Free Cocktails
With the growing popularity of zero-ABV cocktails, it's no surprise that Blind Tiger Spirit-Free Cocktails was among the first wave of brands to receive a wholesale order on RangeMe shortly after the service became available on the platform. According to NielsenIQ, off-premise sales of non-alcoholic grew 87 percent versus last year. And a survey by CGA - Americas revealed that 11 percent of consumers have recently tried a non-alcoholic cocktail at an on-premise location. ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Founder Rebecca A. Styn, Ph.D. (who also owns the Room 33 restaurant in Erie, Pa.) about the origin of her brand, the growing no-ABV trend among consumers, and how she works with buyers to determine the optimal placement and assortment of this growing segment of the adult beverage category. #business #retail #cpg #cocktails #spirits #ecrmrangeme
May 05, 2022
123. From Product Launch to Retail Shelves in Less Than a Year: Fichi Fig & Nut Bites
A 12,000-unit order from a major retailer, just months after launching. That's what Fichi Fig & Nut Bites Co-Founder Steven Tripoli experienced at ECRM's Plant-Based Foods session last year. Here's why he crushed it at our meetings:  First, the products: Fichi Fig & Walnut Bites: Ingredients: Figs, Walnuts. Then there are Fichi Fig & Almond Bites: Ingredients: Figs, Almonds. Clean, simple ingredients. Beautiful packaging. A delicious, plant-based snack. Nailed it on the product front. It was hard to resist eating the whole bag at once.   Second: He's got his biz squared away. Knows his numbers inside and out; has his supply chain locked down, test-marketed his products at local retailers for feedback.   Third: He crushed his ECRM virtual buyer presentations. Conducted deep research for every retailer on his appointment list. Selected the 5-minute meetings and kept his presentation concise: only 5 slides that covered the products and how he would help buyers drive category sales as a partner. Left most of the meeting time for buyer engagement and questions.  The result: In addition to the initial 12K unit order, that retailer already re-ordered, plus Steve also has a few more opportunities in the works!   View the website here:
April 08, 2022
122. So You've Landed on the Shelf... Now What? 3 Steps to Retail Success with Alli Ball
Once you've landed ON THE SHELF, you have to move your products OFF THE SHELF, and into shoppers baskets. In this presentation, Food Biz Wiz founder Allison Ball shares a 3-step plan to boost sales once you have secured that coveted shelf space. This was one of the supplier workshops from ECRM's Global Market: Spring Buying Days, which took place last week, and includes the very engaging Q&A between Alli and the supplier participants. Among the topics she discusses are: - Developing a successful launch plan - Engaging retail staff and shoppers to build excitement around your products - Leveraging promotions, in-person and digital marketing - Nurturing of key partnerships for long-term success post-launch. Tons of practical insights for every emerging brand who has recently landed a retail deal!
April 06, 2022
121. Dr. PAWPAW: From Self-Funded Beauty Startup to International Success
Dr. PAWPAW has grown from a small emerging self-funded brand from the UK into an international success in some of the largest markets in the world, including USA and more recently, China.   Hear directly from Founder Johnny Paterson himself on topics including key successes and learnings when tackling new markets, their focus on the emergence of Gen-Z consumers, and as a loyal participant of ECRM programs, how they have utilized ECRM programs in the past to assist in their growth as an indie brand.
April 04, 2022
120. No Travel Required: How Green Global Foods Wins Retail Deals Virtually
Green Global Foods CEO Santiago Urti discusses how he has found success with retailers and foodservice operators worldwide in the face of adversity caused by the pandemic and supply chain issues. He also provides insights on how he prepares for and executes successful buyer meetings. Urti is a regular ECRM program participant, a RangeMe Premium member, and has participated in the previous two ECRM Global Markets. He'll be at Global Market: Spring Buying Days this coming March. 
February 14, 2022
119. The 'People' Factor: Why Relationships Matter in Leadership
In this episode, Sean Georges and John Buford, Ph.D., Co-Founders of On Mission Leadership and Co-Authors of "On Mission, Your Journey to Authentic Leadership, discuss the importance of building authentic relationships with your teams that are based on mutual trust as a key element of leadership.  Among the topics discussed are: Why relationships matter when it comes to leadership. Empathy and getting to know your team (and allowing them to get to knw you). Leading with love. The importance of honoring commitments. Why it's worth the time and effort required to build relationships. John is a certified Leadership Coach, retired Marine Corps officer, Professor Emeritus, and professional wilderness guide with decades of experience developing leadership competence in young adults and adult professionals in business, higher education, the military, the nonprofit sector, and outdoor education. Sean is a former Human Resource executive and General Counsel for a national, publicly-traded retailer. He previously served as an Officer of Marines for 13 years, to include duty as a Marine Judge Advocate. His TEDx presentation, The Essence of Authentic Leadership, has more than 24,000 views on YouTube.
January 24, 2022
118. Transparency & Candor are Critical for Successful Retailer-Supplier Relationships
Relationship and partnership blind spots can do more than hurt you; they can put you out of business. These days, our industry is facing increased costs, looming inflation, limited face-to-face interactions, and an evolution in consumer behaviors, making strong retailer-supplier relationships more important than ever before. “Partnerships are under more pressure than ever,” says Dan Mack, Founder and Managing Director of Mack Elevation.  “They are under duress because of the pandemic, digital transformation, hyper-competition and a lot of additional factors.” During his presentation at ECRM’s Global Market: Fall Experience, Dan Mack, Founder & Managing Director of Mack Elevation, discussed insights from his interviews with 25 CPG sales VPs as well as 10 leading retailers on how today's fast-evolving retail landscape has impacted their relationships, and how they can best work together. This podcast includes his full presentation, as well as the audience Q&A with Wayne Bennett, ECRM SVP of Retail, who moderated the session. Click here to read the blog post summary of this presentation. Click here to view Dan Mack's profile on LinkedIn. Click here to view the video presentation on YouTube. #business #retail #cpg #ecrmrangeme
January 03, 2022
117. How Embracing Discomfort Enhances Health, Happiness & Performance: Michael Easter Interview
Have you embraced discomfort today? For our latest blog post, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Michael Easter, Author of "The Comfort Crisis," about how intentionally adding discomfort back into our lives can revive the mental, physical and spiritual vitality we are meant to have, and help us grow personally and professionally to levels we may have thought previously impossible. Easter’s journey to understand our evolutionary need to be challenged takes him to meet the NBA’s top exercise scientist, who uses an ancient Japanese practice to build championship athletes; to the mystical country of Bhutan, where an Oxford economist and Buddhist leader are showing the world what death can teach us about happiness; to the outdoor lab of a young neuroscientist who’s found that nature tests our physical and mental endurance in ways that expand creativity while taming burnout and anxiety; to the remote Alaskan backcountry on a demanding thirty-three-day hunting expedition to experience the rewilding secrets of one of the last rugged places on Earth; and more.  Along the way, Easter uncovers a blueprint for leveraging the power of discomfort that will dramatically improve our health and happiness, and perhaps even help us understand what it means to be human. The Comfort Crisis is a bold call to break out of your comfort zone and explore the wild within yourself. Since publication, The Comfort Crisis has become a bestseller and been adopted by Major League Baseball teams, top-ranked NCAA D1 football programs, top-tier universities and law programs, major corporations, tier-one military units, and more.  Purchase the book here: View the ECRM Blog post summary of the interview here. View the interview on YouTube here.  #performance #wellness #personalgrowth #business
December 08, 2021
116. How Zot Organic’s Consultative Approach Landed Deals at ECRM Global Market
2 days ago Zot organic's Todd Kite landed two retail deals from his six meetings at ECRM's recent Global Market: Fall Experience, and is close to closing another. In this interview with Joseph Tarnowski, he discusses his approach to buyer relationships and how it has driven retail success for this organic licorice supplier. Kite is all about servicing the buyer. He takes a consultative approach to sales, presents with the buyer's needs in mind, and is fully transparent about the company's capabilities. “I would rather walk away from the table than get a black mark on our reputation by not being able to supply somebody,” he says.  Indeed, his focus on slow and sustainable growth, along with incredible service, has led to the company continually exceeding the targets it sets every year.. In this post you'll learn about Kite's philosophy when it comes to retail sales, how he presents during meetings, and how he develops long-term mutually-beneficial relationships with retail buyers. #retail #sales #business
November 19, 2021
115. How Authentic Leadership Builds Unbeatable Teams: Sean Georges, On Mission Leadership
Authentic leadership is what builds high-performing teams, forged by mutual trust and accountability in service to one another in support of their organizations mission. And it's not limited by title or rank. EVERYONE can lead. But what makes an authentic leader? According to Sean Georges and Dr. John Buford, co-authors of "On Mission: Your Journey to Authentic Leadership," authentic leaders influence others in the direction of a shared mission by serving them, providing them with the support and resources they need. In some cases, this even means sharing leadership responsibilities. ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Georges about authentic leadership, how it works, what makes an authentic servant-leader, and why relational leadership develops far more powerful teams than transactional leadership. This is the first in a series of four interviews in which the authors will cover a variety of leadership topics from their book, which will e released April 2022. #leadership #leader #personalgrowth #business #ecrmrangeme
November 10, 2021
114. How Frost Popsicles Crushed its Virtual Buyer Meetings
If you are a supplier getting ready to meet virtually with buyers, then this is definitely an interview you won't want to miss. In this podcast, I speak with Natasha Fagri, Co-Founder of Frost Popsicles, which offers a range of seven all-natural alcoholic popsicles, or “poptails,” as Fagri likes to refer to them, as well as several non-alcoholic popsicles. She and her business partner launched the brand in 2016 in South Africa and have recently entered the U.S. market. She participated in ECRM's Frozen and Global Wine, Beer & Spirits Programs, and absolutely crushed her buyer meetings landing a couple of deals shortly afterward. Natasha shares the steps she took to prepare for those meetings, including how she defined her "why," how she researched the buyers, and how she crafted her presentations for maximum impact in the time alloted. She shows how doing your homework beforehand and lots of pitch practice can result in a great meeting experience. ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
February 25, 2021
113. How to Make Better Observations & Communicate More Effectively in a Virtual World
Amy Herman is the President of Art of Perception & Author of Visual Intelligence, and her specialty is working with people from all different types of fields -- from doctors and teachers to law enforcement and military -- to sharpen their powers of observation, analysis, and communication. In this discussion we apply some of her teachings to the world of virtual meetings. Among the topics we cover are: • How to reconsider the importance of observation, perception, and communication skills across new and unfamiliar platforms • How to improve the navigation of unforeseen circumstances and formulation of contingency plans • How to shift situational awareness to meet new challenges of accessibility and connection with colleagues, stakeholders, and clients • How to incorporate multiple perspectives in critical decision making to broaden vision and overcome cognitive bias These topics will benefit both buyers and sellers on each side of the screen during virtual meetings. One note I'd like to leave you with, though -- in the video version of this interview, Amy uses a lot of visuals to complement her discussion, and while she is very descriptive so that they are not needed to get the benefit of her insights (after all, communication is one of her areas of expertise), but if you would like to see them you can watch the video on ECRM's YouTube channel: ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
February 19, 2021
112. Power Trends that are Shaping the Natural Products Industry (Kate LaBrosse, Kate LaBrosse Consu
Last year’s seminal events of COVID and the social equity movements, have greatly accelerated consumers’ interest in wellness, diversity, and the environment, and we are seeing this play out in the types of products they are seeking from retailers and brands. Clean ingredients, transparency, sustainability and social responsibility are top-of-mind among shoppers these days. In this episode, I speak with Kate LaBrosse, Founder & CEO of Kate LaBrosse Consulting, about several key natural products trends that are reshaping the CPG industry. These are the trends that are showing explosive growth across categories and channels, and are important considerations not just for brands but for retailers who want to prioritize more natural offerings. Kate has a long history in the natural products industry. She's worked as a Wellness Category Manager for a national retailer, as a National Sales Manager for a probiotic brand, and most recently as the Conventional Nutrition & Body Care Sales Director for a natural products broker. She and her team have over 100 years’ combined experience in the Natural Products segment, and are passionate about supporting founders who want to grow their natural brand and conventional retailers who want to capture more share of their crossover shopper baskets. ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
February 11, 2021
111. Breaking Into the U.S. Market: Best Practices for International Brands (Galvanina)
International brands looking to break into the U.S. retail market face many challenges, such as connecting with the right buyers, setting up a distribution plan, and determining the right strategic marketing mix to drive consumer demand in locations that have different trends and cultures than their home markets.  Galvanina, an Italian beverage supplier which produces and bottles mineral water, organic carbonated soft drinks, mixers and iced-teas, has cracked the code to success in the U.S., which is among the 50 countries in which it’s products can be found. The company launched nearly a century ago, taking its name from a mineral water spring near the hills of Rimini, and since 1987 has expanded distribution of its branded and private label beverages among the largest U.S. retailers.  In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski with Galvanina's Ronan Noonan and Greta Pagliarani about the brand and its products, and how the wellness trend is impacting the beverage industry. They also do a deep dive on best practices for international brands looking to enter the U.S. retail market. And since they are veterans of ECRM's programs, they also provide tips on how international brands can get the most from their buyer meetings on the ECRM Connect platform.  ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
February 04, 2021
110. Driving Restaurant Revenue with Pop-Ups (Cheryl Niman, For Your Table Consulting)
The restaurant industry was among the hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic. Many locations are limited to outdoor dining, and in some areas are still takeout and delivery only. Needless to say, revenues in the segment have taken a nosedive. However, with a little creativity, marketing savvy and salesmanship, restaurant operators have opportunities to generate some extra sales, expand their markets, and keep staff on payroll by opening up pop-up locations. Cheryl Niman, Owner of For Your Table Consulting, is a 30-year Kroger veteran who has also worked at Gordon Food Service, and she combines her retail and foodservice expertise to help restaurants build successful pop-up locations, primarily by partnering with food retailers, but also with other retail channels and venues as well. In this episode, Niman takes us through the restaurant pop-up concept, and how to successfully market and execute pop-ups in partnership with local venues. This is definitely something that restaurant operators participating in ECRM’s March Foodservice Program should consider exploring. ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
January 29, 2021
109. Ahold Delhaize’s Commitment to Sustainability Success
In 2018, Ahold Delhaize joined the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment Program. The focus of the commitment is threefold: to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuseable packaging models; to ensure that 100 percent of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025; and to circulate the plastic produced by significantly increasing the amounts that is reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products. In this podcast episode, ECRM's Wayne Bennett speaks with John Laughead, Product Sustainability Manager for Ahold Delhaize USA about the company's sustainability efforts to date, and how it's working with suppliers to achieve its sustainability goals. Laughead and his team will be participating in ECRM’s Sustainable & Eco-friendly Packaging Program, which will be held March 23 to 25 on the ECRM Connect platform. For more information about this program, visit
January 20, 2021
108: Driving Trial with CBD Products: How Betterment Retail Solutions Does It
When it comes to selling CBD to mass retail consumers, generating trial is critical if you are looking to tap into the vast swath of shoppers who are new to the segment. But it’s far from easy. Retailers must drive awareness of the segment, furnish a wealth of information quickly and in a format that’s easy-to-understand, have a product assortment that caters to a variety of needs and tastes, and a price-point that is not too prohibitive.  Successfully executing on this, however, can open a wealth of opportunity among the millions of mass retail shoppers that peruse the aisles each day. Betterment Retail Solutions, a wellness distributor based in West Des Moines, Iowa, has developed many such successful programs for the retailers and brands it serves (Yesway and Kwik Chek among them), and from this work has gained a ton of insights on what drives CBD success at the shelf.  In this podcast ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Betterment President Dorsey Sparks about some best practices that retailers and brands can implement to drive the trial of CBD products and to get these new CBD consumers coming back for more. As Dorsey is a regular buyer participant at ECRM CBD sessions, she also discusses how CBD brands can best engage with buyers during our ECRM Connect programs.  ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit Click here to view the blog post from this podcast!
January 12, 2021
107. Successful Goal-Setting for Brand-Owners (Alli Ball, Founder of Allison Ball Consulting)
Happy New Year everyone! For most people, the start of the new year involves setting goals, and so for our first podcast of 2021 our focus is exactly that. In this episode, I speak once again with Alli Ball, a former grocery buyer and founder of Allison Ball Consulting, which works with emerging food and beverage brands to help them succeed at retail. She's also the host of the Food Biz Wiz podcast, in which she shares all kinds of helpful advice for brands on how to effectively run their businesses and get their products on the shelf and into consumers' hands.  Alli takes us through the steps and strategies brand-owners can take to set and achieve effective goals (and common mistakes to avoid in doing so). She then shows us how to reverse-engineer those goals into tactics and timelines that will deliver optimal success without overwhelming you. Alli and I also go off on a fun tangent about productivity hacks that we each do and how these can be applied to your goal-setting practices. I really enjoyed this interview, and I know you will too!  ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit Read an overview of these tips on ECRM's blog. Here are links to some of the books we discussed: Free to Focus, by Michael Hyatt The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Indistractable, by Nyr Eyal My column on "Boundaries: Creating Work/Life Balance in a Remote World"
December 31, 2020
106. B2B Virtual Sales Success: Mojo Skin & Haircare
One could say that Paul Adrian, Founder & CEO of U.K.-based Mojo Skin & Haircare, had a successful experience at ECRM’s recent European Personal Care Virtual Program. Not only did his company win the Buyers Choice Award for its Hair Molding Clay, but his products were picked up by the Ideal World TV shopping channel just days after his meeting with them, and his products were featured just last weekend. Plus, he’s in the midst of several follow-up conversations with buyers from the program, and is expecting a few more wins to come out of them.  Mojo is a premium men’s grooming and styling range, and currently offers four products that cover most men’s hair types and are sold in more than 3,000 stores in Europe and Australia. In this episode, I speak with Paul about the origin of the company, how he approaches retailer relationships, and his experience meeting with buyers at his recent ECRM session. He also discusses his upcoming skincare launch, and his plans to leverage ECRM's virtual platform to launch in the US next year.  ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods in category-specific, highly curated face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
November 24, 2020
105. Stephensons Online: Helping Brands Expand E-Commerce Globally
If you're a brand looking to grow your business on third-party ecommerce platforms around the world, then Taylor Sargeant, Head Buyer for Stephensons Online, is someone you definitely want to know. Stephensons specializes in helping brands of all sizes to successfully market and sell their products on platforms like Amazon and eBay in dozens of countries, and provides an array of turnkey services and support to help them do so. The company buys and warehouses the products, and manages everything from set-up to day-to-day operations, including product listings, storefront design and management, brand registry, messaging, returns, and even language translation. It also handles global distribution to both B2B and B2C customers. And where does Taylor go to find many of these brands? ECRM, of course! He's been to more than a dozen in-person and virtual sessions, and listed more than 50 brands from this year's sessions alone. In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Taylor about the types of brands he works with and how they help them to succeed with third-party ecommerce sites around the world. We also touch on his ECRM virtual experience, and how virtual has helped Stephensons expand into new categories. ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumers goods in category-specific private, prescheduled face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
November 18, 2020
104. Hint, Inc. Founder & CEO Kara Goldin on Becoming 'Undaunted'
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Kara Goldin, the Founder & CEO of Hint, which is best known for its beverages, but also has a line of personal care products too. She's a groundbreaking entrepreneur who has received a ton of accolades during her career, including EY Entrepreneur of the year for Northern California, InStyle's Badass 50, Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, and Fortune's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. The Huffington Post listed her as one of six disruptors in business, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.  And now she can add Wall Street Journal bestselling author to her accomplishments as well, having just made the list with her newly-released book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts & Doubters. In this interview, we cover several key learnings she wrote about in the book from throughout her varied career, which spanned Time Inc., CNN, and AOL before launching Hint.  They discuss the value of creating your own opportunities and just getting started without overthinking things, the concept of building the airplane while flying it, and how to transform setbacks into opportunities.  SHOW NOTES What 'Undaunted' means to Kara (02:55) Creating your own opportunities (08:18) New York City & Time Inc. (10:33) Just show up every day and try to learn something (15:20) If I just go try, I can ultimately do these things (17:54) Entrepreneurship is really solving a new problem (18:44) The cold call that led to AOL (22:35) Just get started! (26:40) Own your mistakes and learn from them (30:17) Launching Hint at Whole Foods, having child No. 4 and selling out every case -- all on the same day (36:09) Expanding to New York (41:04) Building the airplane while flying it (41:55) Making time for everything (49:09) The Starbucks de-listing and transforming setbacks into opportunities (50:38) Taking a chance on direct-to-consumer (55:43) Nobody can solve your problems for you (61:01) Failure as a part of success (1:04:32) Be okay with not having all of the answers (1:07:49) Lots of great anecdotes and insights from the book, which I highly recommend you pick up if you haven't already read it!  Click here to order Undaunted:
November 07, 2020
103. 5 Steps to a PERFECT Virtual Buyer Pitch (Alli Ball, Allison Ball Consulting)
If you want to CRUSH IT in your next virtual buyer meeting, well then this podcast is for you. Alli Ball, Founder & Principal of Allison Ball consulting lays out five steps to creating a perfect virtual buyer pitch. And Alli knows a thing or two about pitching buyers. She's a former buyer turned wholesale consultant who has helped hundreds of emerging brands understand what it takes to get their products on the retail shelf.  She's the creator of Retail Ready, an online course for producers of packaged food products seeking to succeed at retail, and the host of the Food Biz Wiz podcast, where she shares behind-the-scenes secrets and thought processes of buyers as they asses new products for their retail operations.  Prior to launching her consulting business, Alli was essential in the development of the Bi-Rite family of businesses in San Francisco, sourcing products and consulting with hundreds of up-and-coming food businesses for years.  Lots of great information here for all emerging brands, particularly those participating in ECRM Virtual Programs.  ECRM holds more than 80 category-specific virtual sessions in which brands can have private, prescheduled face-to-face virtual meetings with buyers in food and beverage, health and beauty care, general merchandise and pharmacy and medical markets. For more information, visit  Allison Ball's Website Check out Alli's Retail Roadmap, 9 steps to building a brand that flies off the shelf:  Food Biz Wiz Podcast Alli Ball's Retail Ready Online Course
November 04, 2020
102. Growing Up in the Candy Business: Alina Morse, Founder and CEO of Zolli Candy
In this episode, I speak with Alina Morse, Founder and CEO of Zolli Candy, which makes sugar-free candy that is actually good for your teeth, including Zolli Pops, Zolli Drops, Zaffi Taffy and Zolli Caramels (the last two being my personal favorites, as I'm a chewy candy kinda guy). And while Alina is only 15 years old, she's the real deal. I've seen her at our Candy Planning sessions every year since she was 10, meeting with buyers, networking with other partcipants and getting business done. She's actually closed a lot of business with retailers she's met at our sessions. In this discussion, we talk about how she has both literally and figuratively grown in the business with ECRM. We cover how she came up with the idea for the candy, how she approaches her buyer meetings, and how she develops custom solutions based on buyers' specific needs. We also chat about life as a teenage entrepreneur, and how she finds a balance between work, school and recreational activities. Great insights here from a rising star in the industry, and entrepreneurs both young and old will enjoy this one! ECRM connects buyers and sellers of fast-moving consumers goods in category-specific private, prescheduled face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit
October 26, 2020
101. Michele Deeves, Retail & Marketing Lead, Medicare Pharmacy Group (South Africa)
In this episode, I speak with Michele Deeves, Retail & Marketing Lead for South African pharmacy chain Medicare Pharmacy Group. Michele is a veteran ECRM session participant, attending in her first in-person session more than a dozen years ago, and has recently participated in both our Euro and U.S.-focused Virtual Sessions. In her role as retail lead, Michele heads up the front-end buying across all categories, and takes us through how the pandemic has impacted shopper behavior in the South African market. She also discusses how the retailer has been sourcing and merchandsing various categories as country-wide restrictions and consumer demands have varied widely over the past few months. She wraps up with details of her experience with ECRM's Virtual Sessions, and how they have enabled her to find trending products from suppliers around the world -- all from the comfort of her home office. Lots of great South African market insights in this one.  ECRM hosts category-specific face-to-face virtual meetings for retailers and brands around the world. For more information, visit View the blog post of this interview on the ECRM Blog. View the video interview on YouTube.
October 14, 2020
100. Lorena Acosta, Founder, Be Busy Being Awesome Agency
For our 100th podcast, I wanted to do something a little special, a little different. So we're going to teach you how to sell without selling by building a powerful personal brand. My guest on this podcast is personal branding expert Lorena Acosta, the Founder of Be Busy Being Awesome Agency, who coaches business leaders on how to develop and engage an audience of followers who share their values and beliefs, and to create content that builds trust and creates meaningful, long-lasting relationships.  We discuss what personal branding is (and what it's not), how to build your tribe of engaged followers, and how to leverage social media -- and LinkedIn in particular -- to make this happen. And Lorena knows a thing or two about LinkedIn, as she recently surpassed 1 million followers on the platform. Lots of great insights in this one, and I certainly learned a few things to apply to my own personal brand building efforts, and I'm sure you will too. Click here to view the blog post. Click here for the YouTube video interview. Click here to see ECRM's full list of category-specific virtual sessions.
October 05, 2020
99. Food & Beverage Innovation: Barb Stuckey, Chief Innovation Officer, Mattson
In this episode, ECRM's Wayne Bennett Speaks with Barb Stuckey, President & Chief Innovation Officer at Mattson, a Silicon Valley-based insights, strategy, and development firm that helps clients develop food and beverages for the retail and chain restaurant industries. Barb is known as a taste, food trend, innovation, consumer insights, and product development expert. As part of Barb’s role in the innovation projects that make up her daily job, she is required to taste food and figure out how to make it better. After more than 2 decades doing this, she’s honed her tasting skills and ability to help others make food taste better. She shared this insight with the world in 2012 when her book TASTE WHAT YOU’RE MISSING was published (the paperback edition was released under the simplified title TASTE). Barb was instrumental in helping The San Francisco Cooking School integrate the science of taste into their curriculum. She now teaches the Fundamentals of Taste to each entering class. Barb is a regular contributor to where she writes about the food industry. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Plant Based Foods Association, and was previously on the boards of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, as well as La Cocina, the San Francisco-based food incubator for low income women of color. During the episode, Wayne and Barb discuss what it means to innovate and create a product that truly represents a point of difference from what's on the market. They review what factors are important in achieving this, and what segments of the food and beverage industry are ripe for innovation. And speaking of food and beverage innovation, ECRM has several virtual sessions coming this November where you'll find tons of it, including three foodservice sessions, as well as sessions on plant-based food and beverages, keto food and beverages, meat and seafood. For more information, visit
October 02, 2020
98. Conor O' Farrell, Buying Manager - Positive Healthcare, Boots Ireland
In this podcast we journey across the Atlantic for an interview with Conor O' Farrell, Buying Manager for Positive Health at Boots Ireland, who was a recent participant in ECRM's Euro Health, Nutrition & Wellness Virtual Session. During our discussion, we talk about how COVID has shifted consumers' view of health to one of prevention and longevity, and how this has changed the way they shop as well as how they consult with the retailer's healthcare advisors. We also touch on the role digital has played during the pandemic -- not just for ecommerce and the next day delivery offered by Boots, but also as a valueable source of health information. Conor also discusses his experience with ECRM -- both at the in-person sessions as well as the recent virtual session, and how they have helped him be first-to-market with innovative and on-trend products. ECRM has more than 80 category specific sessions connecting buyers and distriutors in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America with suppliers from around the world. For more information, visit
September 29, 2020
97. Virtual Presentation Tips from a 3-Time Emmy Award-Winning Journalist
This episode is a great one for anyone who participates in virtual meetings - which is basically everybody these days. I had the opportunity to chat with Wendy Saltzman, CEO of Philly Power Media about how to effectively communicate and engage with people in a virtual setting. Wendy coaches executives, entrepreneurs, celebrities and sports figures about how to deliver strong presentations, whether in-person or virtually.  And she definitely has some credibility in this area. In fact, she's won three Emmy Awards during her 23-year career as a broadcast journalist, so she knows the ins and outs of working in front of a camera. She provides a variety of practical and easy-to-implement tips on how to put your best foot forward on screen, and we cover areas such as framing your visual space, lighting, camera angles, the importance of smiling, and -- how to even avoid mumbling. I certainly walked away with a lot of things to apply to my virtual meetings.  Now we do have this interview in video format, and if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend watching that version, as you'll get to see some helpful visuals - including the two of us making funny faces as she walks me through a couple of exercises. But, and there is no surprise here, she is very descriptive in her explanations, so you'll get a ton just from listening.  Watch the YouTube video here. ECRM has more than 80 category-specific virtual sessions where buyers and sellers of products in food and beverage, health and beauty care, general merchandise and pharmacy and medical markets can connect in private, pre-scheduled virtual meetings. For more information, visit  Visit the Philly Power Media website. Email Wendy:
September 23, 2020
96. Mastering the 5-Minute Buyer Pitch: Shirley White, OTC Beverages
What's up everybody! This episode is a great one for any and all emerging brands looking to engage with retailers. Shirley White, Founder, Owner and Managing Director of U.K.-based OTC Beverages, has mastered her “elevator pitch” for buyers, having delivered it several dozen times as a recent Discovery Hub participant at ECRM’s Euro Food session.  With the assistance of ECRM’s Client Success Managers and armed with information about the buyers with whom she would be meeting, she honed her presentation down to its crucial elements: who they were, what products they manufactured, and how they can meet each buyer’s category needs and objectives. She even left time for questions after her presentation.  She also participated in ECRM's Efficient Supplier Introduction for black-owned businesses. There she had 10 minutes to present to a panel of more than 20 beverage buyers from U.S.-based retail chains. So she added a little bit to her pitch but left more time for Q&A as that 10 minutes was her only shot. In this episode, Shirley gives us a little background on her company and the products they make, which include an organi non-alcoholic ginger beer and sorrel beverages, and then she gives details on how she prepped her pitches for both the virtual session and the ESI.  ECRM has more than 80 category-specific virtual sessions in which suppliers and buyers meet face-to-face at scale, as well as dozens of Efficient Supplier Introductions, during which suppliers have the opportunity to pitch a panel of up to 20 buyers. For more information, visit See the blog post of this interview here. Watch the interview on YouTube here. Visit the ECRM Blog.
September 18, 2020
95. Bringing the In-Person Experience to Virtual: How Herbally Yours Does It
Herbally Yours is a contract manufacturer specializing in the production of a full spectrum of products to a variety of customers in many markets, including liquid products, therapeutic creams & lotions, powders, capsules, botanical extracts, and skin care. It has a dedicated team of professionals including a biologist, medical doctor and analytical chemists in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry. Together they provide solutions from existing companies looking to make products better or add new products, to start ups looking to completely create a new product concept and develop a brand. The company recently participated in ECRM's Contract Manufacturing Virtual Session, and built an intricate "home studio" to provide buyers with as close to an in-person experience as possible, using several cameras, lighting, microphones and a projector. In this interview with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski, they walk us through their presentation setup, and discuss their experience using the ECRM Connect platform. Just a side note -- we tried to be a detailed as possible in the discussion, so that those listening to the podcast will get a good idea of the setup, but if you'd like to also visually see what they did, we have a link to the YouTube video interview below. Watch the interview on YouTube: Click here to see the full list of ECRM Virtual Sessions: Clik here for details on the ECRM Connect Platform, including customer testimonials:
September 14, 2020
94. How Clark Food Service Equipment is Helping to Make Dining Safer (Becky Smith, Project Exec.)
There’s no doubt that the foodservice industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. The entire nature of the business – in which people gather around closely to eat, drink and converse at restaurants, campuses, corporate dining rooms and nursing homes – has been turned upside down by social distancing requirements. Foodservice operators have been innovating ever since the outbreaks in March to accommodate these requirements as best as they can, helped in no small way by their supplier partners, who have done much innovating themselves. Clark Food Service Equipment, based in Lancaster, Penn. and a recent participant in ECRM’s Foodservice Virtual Session, is a great example of this. In this episode, I speak with Becky Smith, Project Executive at Clark Food Service Equipment, on how they are working with foodservice operators to enable them to keep their business going safely and successfully during the pandemic, as well as prepping them for a post-pandemic world. We also discuss her experience at the virtual foodservice session, and how virtual will play a role in Clark's future.
September 04, 2020
93. EATING BUGS: A Q&A With Entosense Founder Bill Broadbent
In this episode, I talk about eating bugs with Bill Broadbent, Founder & President of Entosense, a retailer and wholesaler of edible insects and insect-based foods, whose products can be found in retail stores, bars and restaurants. During our conversation, Bill discusses the market for edible insects, the many nutritional benefits they have, and how great they are from a sustainability standpoint. We also cover how they are being merchandised in stores and included as ingredients on menus. And while the idea of bugs as food may be icky to some people, they do have a built-in viral marketing component to them. As Bill says in the interview: "No one eats a scorpion and doesn't tell everybody they know about it." This is a fast-growing segment with a lot of potential, particularly among Millennials and younger generations, and Bill delivers a wealth of insights on the topic.
August 30, 2020
92. Hecky’s Barbecue: Food, Family & Philanthropy
Hecky Powell, Founder of Hecky’s Barbecue, is a legend in Evanston, Ill. A true community icon, Powell was known as much for his philanthropy as for his restaurant’s delicious barbecue food, including ribs, rib tips, chicken and especially for his barbecue sauce. Indeed, “It’s the Sauce” became the restaurant motto, and its sauces, spices and beverages are now carried in local restaurants and grocery stores. This past May, Powell, who founded the business in 1983, was featured on NBC’s Lives Well Lived series when he passed away due to complications from the coronavirus. In this episode, I had the privilege of speaking with three members of the Hecky's team, including Hecky Powell Jr., Kathryn Boatright, and Carl LaMell about the company's origin, its products, and its recent participation in ECRM's Efficient Supplier Introduction for Black-Owned Businesses. A great story about a brand with a huge histroy of giving back.
August 26, 2020
91. Q&A: Brandy Alexander - Senior Buyer, Health & Beauty Care, 99 Cents Only Stores
Brandy Alexander is the Senior Buyer for Health & Beauty at 99 Cents Only Stores, which has more than 350 locations across four states. And while the company's name might be 99 cents only, their products are not only 99 cents. In fact, over the years they have evolved to a retailer that delivers amazing value compared to the rest of the market, even at price points around twenty-five bucks.  In this episode, I speak with Brandy about how the pandemic has changed the way consumers shop the retaler's stores, and how Brandy herself has adapted her day-to-day activities working remotely. She also talks about her experience participating in ECRMs recent Personal Care, Health Care and Sun Care virtual sessions. And while she was initially reluctant to participate, after about 100 meetings using the ECRM Connect platform, she can probably explain the benefits it delivers buyers as well as any of us on the ECRM staff can.  We wrap up with a discussion on the future of virtual in retail and CPG, as well as some advice for suppliers when they are pitching virtually to Brandy. Click here to see ECRM's full list of category-specific virtual sessions. ECRM's Blog
August 10, 2020
90. Giant Eagle's Brain Ferrier: Turning Adversity into Opportunity with Virtual Tools
Face it, we all miss meeting in-person; the ability to see, touch, taste products, feeling the energy of people when you are sitting across the table face to face, and sharing a joke with them over cocktails during a networking function. Last year I’ve been to almost 20 ECRM Food & Beverage sessions as well as other industry events, and like everyone else, I’ve had to accept the fact those personal connections will not happen for quite some time. However, being forced to adapt to a virtual world has forced us to embrace new technologies, and in doing so we’ve learned the efficiencies they can deliver. Brian Ferrier, Merchandising Manager for Giant Eagle is a case-in-point. While he loves meeting with vendors in person, he admits that virtual tools have driven efficiencies into his day-to-day activities, particularly his participation in ECRM’s recent Candy Planning: Easter & Valentine’s Day Virtual Session. In this episode, I speak with Brian about how he's adpted to this new virtual word, how it's helped give him some time back to focus on strategic initiatives, and where he sees virtual playing a role in the future. He also share for suppliers on what he likes to see in virtual presentations.
August 04, 2020
89. Staples’ Brian Coupland: Building Solutions for the ‘Remote & Ready’ Consumer
Many of you are likely reading this from a makeshift home office, perhaps squeezing in time between virtual meetings with customers or colleagues while you’re kids are learning from home and wondering what school is going to be like when and if they return as the school year starts. You might have recently waited on line getting takeout, standing on the social distancing floor marker as you read the sign noting that masks are required, and if you are venturing into work, you are taking precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your team and your customers. This is a part of everyday life now, and from the looks of things, will be the norm for the foreseeable future. And all of it requires products, tools and solutions to help optimize your efficiency and safety in this new world. And Staples is looking to provide them, reinventing its assortment to help us be “remote ready.” In this podcast, ECRM's Wayne Bennett speaks with Brian Coupland, SVP of Retail Merchandising of Staples about the needs of today's consumers and businesses as they adapt the way they work, learn and communicate in a world of restricted travel, social distancing and sanitization, and how Staples itself is adapting its stores and assortments to accommodate these needs.
August 02, 2020
88. Walmart’s Scott Gutche on This Year’s Virtual Open Call
The application process for Walmart’s seventh annual Open Call is now open, and the retailer is inviting entrepreneurs seeking to get their U.S.-manufactured products on Walmart shelves to apply for the opportunity to meet with Walmart buyers October 1 via virtual pitch meetings. The event kicks off Walmart’s celebration of U.S. Manufacturing Month and will include similar programming to previous years. In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during smaller breakout sessions designed to inform, empower and encourage supplier-hopefuls. In this podcast, ECRM’s Wayne Bennett speaks with Scott Gutche, Senior Director of U.S. Manufacturing and Sourcing for Walmart, about this year’s Open Call program. The deadline to apply to participate in this year's Open Call for U.S.-manufactured products is Aug. 10. The application and additional information about the event are available below. Suppliers can submit their application here:
July 22, 2020
87. Today's Consumer Needs an 'Empathetic Ear' From Retailers & Brands (Larry Levin, IRI)
With the myriad challenges the industry has faced over the past few months, empathy is probably the most important quality a retailer and brand can demonstrate when it comes to their shoppers. Now more than ever, we need to put ourselves in their shoes and develop not only products, but solutions that will help make their lives safer, easier and as close to a sense of “normalcy” as we can make it. In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Larry Levin, EVP of Market & Shopper Intelligence for IRI Worldwide, about how consumers’ needs and shopping behaviors have changed over the past several months as the pandemic continues to fluctuate from one segment of the country to another, and the lasting impact it will have on how, when and where they shop. They also discuss how retailers and brands can best accommodate these changes. But at the root of each of these recommendations, is the ability to have what Larry refers to as, an “empathetic ear.”
July 15, 2020
86. Success at the Shelf: Color-Blocking Strategies for Packaging Design
The true test of effective packaging design is that it makes the product jump out on the shelf and ultimately -- into the shopper's basket. One of the ways to accomplish this is by employing color-blocking strategies in the context of those competing products on the shelf, as well as within your line of products. To show you how this is done, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Emily Page, CEO of Pearl Resourcing and a packaging design and product branding expert, who will take you through the steps on what you need to do. Side note: This was originally recorded as a youtube video with a ton of visual examples, so if you get the chance, definitely check out the video with the link below. However, knowing that this would be a podcast as well, we did use a lot of descriptive language to make it as visual as possible for those of you just listening. Either way, you'll get a lot out of it! YouTube video link: ABOUT EMILY PAGE: Emily has managed and launched multiple 7-figure brands in Costco, Williams-Sonoma, Kroger, and Amazon. She’s bringing you the expertise, resources, and mentors you need so that you can develop products and make them sell. Work with her as a business growth consultant at OR subscribe to her Start To Sold YouTube Chanel for more product development advice Or add her on LINKEDIN to broaden your network: To hire her packaging design company visit #ECRMrangeme #PackagingDesign #PackagingDesignStrategy #colorblocking #packagingdesign #SalesStrategy #RetailStrategy #RetailLaunch #PrivateLabelProducts #FoodIndustry #BeautyIndustry #VitaminIndustry #BuyerEducation #PearlResourcing Joe Tarnowski ECRM | VP of Content Office: 440-528-4207 (Eastern) Mobile: 917-446-7192
July 10, 2020
85. Back to Business: How Bars & Restaurants Can Navigate Re-Opening Challenges
The last time ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Art Sutley and Ashley Bray, Publisher and Editor respectively of Bar Business Magazine, it was April and we were early in the lockdown phase due to the coronavirus pandemic. During that interview, they discussed what bars and restaurants need to do to survive the lockdown, and what they need to start thinking about when we eventually started reopening. Now bars and restaurants beginning to reopen. Well, kind of. The country is really a patchwork of different phases of re-opening, with some places allowing limited indoor seating, others, like my home city of New York just recently allowing outdoor dining. Then you have other areas that opened up earlier that are now shutting down due to spikes in Covid cases, many caused by reopening too early, or doing it improperly – or both. So during this interview Joe, Art and Ashley discuss the current state of the industry as it pertains to opening back up for business, and some best practices bars and restaurants can deploy in order to provide a safe operation for guests, while at the same time maximizing revenue opportunities. As you’ll learn from the interview, these two things are often closely tied together.
July 08, 2020
84. Enstrom Candies: Bringing the In-Person Experience to Virtual Meetings
Sometimes change sparks up innovation, and that’s certainly what it did for Enstrom Candies during ECRM’s recent Candy Planning: Easter & Valentine’s Day Virtual Session. Jim Simons, the fourth-generation owner and VP of Sales for the manufacturer of all-natural almond toffee products, has been participating in ECRM in-person Candy Planning sessions for years, ever since they decided to expand from direct-to-consumer onto the store shelves. With our pivot to virtual sessions, Jim and his team wanted to create an experience that was as close to the in-person ECRM meetings as possible, and found some interesting ways to do it, building a set up in their conference room that enable them to share their catalog digitally and provide a view of their product and displays – all while keeping the face-to-face component of the meeting. In fact, they even plan to bring some of their learnings from their virtual presentation to ECRM’s in-person sessions one we can all get together again! During this interview with ECRM VP of Content Joseph Tarnowski, Jim gives an overview of his company and products, discusses how they have adapted to the new normal of the pandemic, and relates his successful experience on ECRM’s recent Virtual Session.
July 02, 2020
83. Retail Reset: Best Practices for Engaging Cautious Consumers (WSL Strategic Retail)
The team at WSL Strategic Retail is known for their "in-the-trenches" analysis of retail where the rubber meets the road -- in the store and online -- and they have scouts in major cities around the world gathering intelligence to evaluate how retailers are engaging with shoppers. As retailers are beginning to open up for business, these scouts have been checking out how they have adapted their stores and operations to this new environment, where shoppers are cautiously starting to make their way into stores again, whether to browse the aisles or to pick up an online order. During this interview, I speak with WSL Senior Consultant Elizabeth Gretkowski and Consultant Analyst Kaci Floyd about what they and their scouts have witnessed among retailers and some restaurants located in Texas, Florida, London, New York and New Jersey. One thing is for sure: Everything that retailers have been working on – convenience, store-experience, e-commerce, services -- have new definitions now compared to just three months ago, something WSL refers to as the "Retail Reset." We wrap up the conversation with seven recommendations from the WSL team, based on this feedback from the field. on how to make your operation the place consumers feel confident to shop.
June 25, 2020
82. Virtual Sessions, Real Orders: Earth Friendly Products's Craig Harlan & ECRM Connect
Craig Harlan, VP of Sales for Earth-Friendly Products, is an example of a supplier who has experienced the speed in which buyers are following up from ECRM’s Virtual Sessions. Not only did he receive 33 follow up notifications from his meetings during our Pet Virtual Session, but one of those retailers, Bartell Drugs, already placed an order just days after the session wrapped up – and it wasn't just for his pet products, but for some other products as well! In this episode, ECRM VP of COntent Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Craig about his company and the products they offer, and how the pandemic has impacted their business – both from a sales and supply chain perspective as well as how it changed the way they engage with buyers. He also provides details on his ECRM Virtual Session experience and the benefits that virtual meetings will bring to the industry moving forward.
June 23, 2020
81. What's Trending in the Pet Category (Maria Lange, VP of Pet & Cannabis Verticals, Nielsen)
Maria Lange, Nielsen’s VP of Pet and Cannabis verticals, was slated to speak at ECRM’s Pet Program this past April, but the pandemic through a wrench in the works and so we transformed that program into a Virtual Session that was held last week, hosting more than 1,600 meetings between retailers and suppliers of pet products over the span of four days. And in place of the in-person thought leadership session, participants were able to get a first-look at the video Q&A with Maria hosted by ECRM VP of Content Joseph Tarnowski, during which they covered some key trends in the pet category, including the impact of Covid-19, the “re-grainification” of pet food, sustainability, and premiumization. With the Pet Virtual Session now behind us, we’re opening up the Q&A for everyone, and below you’ll find an edited excerpt from the interview, as well as links to the full podcast and video interviews.
June 18, 2020
80. Q&A With Bartell Drugs' Gemeral Merchandise Category Manager Howie Cohen
During the initial phase of the pandemic, essential items were considered to be things like food, hand sanitizer and of course, toilet paper. But as the stay-at-home orders began to span months, the definition of what was essential has shifted. Now it includes products that keep us occupied, that help us to work and learn from home, things that help us to prepare meals, and many of these products fall under the general merchandise umbrella.  In this podcast, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Howie Cohen, General Merchandise Category Manager for Bartell Drugs, about how their consumers' shopping activity around general merchandise has changed over the past few months. They also discuss how the stay-at-home orders hae impacted Howie's day-to-day activities as a category manager, and the role virtual has played in them. And since he also participated in ECRM's recent Pet Virtual Session, we talk about his experience using the platform, and the opportunities it presents for him in sourcing products in other GM segments, as well. This is actually Joe's third interview with Howie, who is just an all-around awesome guy, and you'll not only find this discussion informative, but very entertaining, as well.  Click here to read the blog post Click here to watch the video interview on YouTube Click here to see the list of ECRM's category-specific virtual sessions.
June 16, 2020
79. The New Retail Mindset & What it Means for Suppliers (Dan Mack, Founder of Mack Elevation)
One impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has changed the mindset of retailers and the way in which they view thier supplier partnerships. They have new expectations when it comes to supply chain capabilities, innovation, and consumer engagement, and trust is now more important than ever.  In this episode, ECRM's Wayne Bennett speaks with Dan Mack, Founder & Managng Director of Mack Elevantion Forum, they discuss this new retail mindset and provide some insights on how suppliers can best engage with them moving forward.  Dan is a strategist, advisor and performance coach to numerous companies in the consumer package goods industry. He is the founder of the Elevation Forum Leadership Group and he hosts thought leadership events bringing together retailers and suppliers to discuss higher level partnerships and the future of the industry. He researches and advises executives on the practices of elite growth companies in his first book, Dark Horse: How Challenger Companies Rise to Prominence.  Mack was a sales and training leader at GlaxoSmithKline, served as Vice President of Sales at GOJO Industries (the creator of PURELL) and Vice President of Sales at Dentek Oral Care. He as a passion for coaching leaders on creating high performing sales cultures. Read the blog Q&A here:
June 11, 2020
78. ECRM Virtual Platform a 'Game Changer' for Hy-Vee's Todd Gean
Todd Gean, Candy Category Manager for Hy-Vee, who was originally a bit skeptical about participatng in ECRM's Virtual Session for Easter & Valentine's Day Candy Planning. After all, he had been working remotely for a couple of months now and had been setting up virtual meetings with suppliers on his own. So he figured, why would he need us to do it? But that all changed once his meetings began, and he saw the value delivered by the people, process and platform behind ECRM's virtual sessions. In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski chats with Todd about his experience with our virtual platform, and why he thinks it's a game-changer for buyers and suppliers. Click here to read the blog post. Click here to watch the video on YouTube. Click here for the list of ECRM's category-specific virtual sessions. #retail #cpg #candy #virtualmeetings #categorymanager #sourcing
June 08, 2020
77. Rebound, Reboot, Reinvent: Nielsen's Scott McKenzie on What's Next for CPG Retail
In this podcast, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Nielsen's Global Intelligence Leader Scott Mckenzie on what we can expect as the CPG retail industry emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, based on Nielsen's global research of companies and consumers around the world -- including countries that are further along the road in terms of opening up their businesses. They discuss the various mixed scenarios that we can face depending on which direction the pandemic takes, as well as how consumers will shop differently post-pandemic. Scott also provides recommendations for how retailers and brands can effectively engage consumers as we pass through the various stages of recovery. Lots of great and timely insights here.
June 04, 2020
76. Delivering Awesome Virtual Buyer Presentations: How Total Cluster Fudge Does It
Total Cluster Fudge makes several lines of baked goods ranging from the unapologetically indulgent to the healthy and nutritionally dense. Founder Alisa Shakespeare has seen a ton of success with ECRM's digital solutions. Her RangeMe Verified Premium profile received more than 1,000 views from buyers in just two weeks. Her Efficient Supplier Introduction presentation resulted in a pending retail deal that should be closed any day now. And on top of this, she had six buyers contact her immediately following her participation in ECRM's first virtual session. One buyer said that Alisa's virtual presentation was among the most memorable that she's ever seen.  In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Alisa about her approach to leveraging these various digital platforms, and in particular about what makes for a successful virtual presentation. They talk about the meeting space setup, the presentation delivery, and the importance of passion and energy in driving engagement. There's a lot of great insights here for any supplier looking to participate in one of our virtual offerings! Click here to read the blog post: Click here to see the video on YouTube: ECRM Blog: See the list of ECRM's category-specific virtual sessions:
June 01, 2020
75.’s Kate Soffe on the ECRM Virtual Session Experience's Kate Soffe was among the more than 70 buyers who participated in ECRM's first virtual session ever: the Healthy Living, Vitamin & Nutrition session, which was held last week. During the span of four days, ECRM hosted more than 630 face-to-face meetings between buyers and sellers of vitamins, supplements and nurition products on the Connect platform.  In this episode, Kate gives us an overview of her experience with the virtual session. She discusses how she worked with our client success team to prepare for using the platform and its tools. She then gives details on she used those tools during her appointments to take notes, rate the meetings and communicate followup timelines to suppliers. What's more, all of this information was accessible on the followup site, which she was able to review following her meetings. This enabled her to start her followups with suppliers as soon as the session ended. We wrap up with a look into the future, and the role virtual will continue to play as we get out of the pandemic. Click here to read the Q&A with Kate Soffe on the ECRM Blog: Watch the Youtube video interview here: ECRM Blog: See the list of ECRM's category-specific virtual sessions:
May 28, 2020
74. ECRM’s Virtual Session a ‘Seamless’ Experience for Clorox (Bob Richardson & Alla Scharlinski)
Clorox was one of the supplier participants of ECRM's very first virtual session, the Healthy Living, Vitamin & Nutrition Program, during which we hosted more than 630 meetings between buyers and sellers in the vitamin, minerals and supplements categories. It's line of Better Health brands includes Renew Life, a probiotic and cleanse brand; Rainbow Light, which specializes in premium multivitamins and prenatal supplements; Natural Vitality Calm, a magnesium brand; and NeoCell, a premier collagen brand.  During this podcast, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Bob Richardson, Director of Customer & Industry Development and Alla Scharlinski, Clorox’s Customer Development Manager for National, Grocery and Club about their virtual session experience. Among the things we touch on are: how they worked with our Client Success team to get set up and prep for the meetings; their experience in using the platform itself; additional benefits that a virtual setting provides that you just can't do in-person; and how virtual platforms will change how buyers and sellers engage in the future.  Any supplier who is considering participating in one of our sessions should definitely check this out! Read a Q&A excerpt on ECRM's blog: View the video interview on YouTube: ECRM Blog: ECRM category-specific programs:
May 25, 2020
73. COVID-19's Lasting Impact on the Mass Retail Landscape: Jeff Woldt, Racher Press
What will the mass retail landscape look like as we make our way through and past the pandemic? To explore answers to this question, I spoke with Jeff Woldt, VP and Editor-in-Chief at Racher Press, which publishes Chain Drug Review and MMR magazine. Jeff has been covering the mass retail industry for almost three decades and has spoken extensively with top executives at the largest retail chains on the subject. During the podcast we cover a variety of areas, such as how the instore environment will be impacted moving forward, the role online and delivery will play, new opportunities that have come out of this for emerging brands, and how virtual technologies will have an increasing role in the industry. Lots of great insights here from someone who has his finger on the pulse of mass retail.
May 21, 2020
72. Walgreens' Stefanie Kruse on How Covid-19 is Accelerating the Role of Digital
We've all seen how the pandemic has driven many shoppers to digital solutions, whether e-commerce for shopping, telemedicine for pharmacist consultations, or that hybrid of order online and pick up at the store. In this podcast, ECRM SVP of Retail Wayne Bennett speaks with Stefanie Kruse, who as the VP of Digital Commerce & Omnichannel for Walgreens, is right in the center of all of this. While she was already working on a ton of digital innovations for the drug chain, Covid-19 has greatly accelerated many of them. During this interview you'll learn about some of these initiatives, as well as how digital will play an increasing role in the retailer's future -- both online as well as in the store.
May 18, 2020
71. How Consumers Will Shop Post Covid-19 (Elizabeth Gretkowski, WSL Strategic Retail)
As many states look to start opening up their businesses, fear and financial insecurity are still the main drivers of how consumers are shopping. Fear of the coronavirus is keeping many people indoors even after being quarantined for two months, and with the number of newly unemployed now hitting Great Depression levels, fear of running out of money is leading shoppers to stretch their dollars as much as possible. These are some of the topics ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski touches on during this podcast interview with Elizabeth Gretkowski, Senior Consultant at WSL Strategic Retail, as they review some of the findigs of WSL's latest research on how Covid-19 has impacted shoppers. When Joe interviewed WSL CEO Wendy Liebmann six weeks ago, the quarantine was still fresh and consumers were still in panic-buying mode. Now, consumers realize they are in this for the long haul, and so Liz and Joe also explore what the shopping landscape will look like as we progress through the pandemic and beyond it. Liz wraps up with some recommendations on how brands and retailers can survive today's challenges. WSL Strategic Retail Website: ECRM Podcast interview with Wendy Liebmann: Watch this interview on YouTube:
May 15, 2020
70. Connecting With Buyers When You Can't Meet in Person: Stephen Caldwell, Swiss Rosti
In this interview, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Stephen Caldwell, Founder of Swiss Rosti, which makes "Crispy Potato-Filled Pockets of Deliciousness." And Joe can tell you first-hand that that is an accurate description of the products because he tried a bunch of samples last week!  Steve discusses all of the things that went into his very successful Efficient Supplier Introduction Exprience, from his prep work with ECRM's Client Success Managers behind the scenes, to the detailed schedule and instructions they provided for his presentation, and even how he set up his meeting space so he can present to buyers across channels. He's been fielding sample requests and engaging the ESI buyer participants ever since! But one additional aspect to his successful experience that will definitely come through in this interview -- is Steve's passion: for his product, for his company, and even for food in general, and it's the kind of passion that comes through clearly whether you are in-persn or on a computer screen.  Click here to watch the interview on YouTube:  Swiss Rosti website:  ECRM Program List:
May 12, 2020
69. How TickKey Intl. Connects with Buyers Around the World via ECRM Virtual Solutions
If you are a supplier considering participation on one of ECRM's virtual solutions, then this is the podcast for you. In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Donna Lucente, CEO of Tick Key, which makes an innovative tick removal product that sells in U.S. and in countries around the world. She's a regular at ECRM Programs, and recently participated in our Pet Efficient Supplier Introduction. Donna provides details on how the ECRM team worked hand-in-hand with her to ensure she had an optimal ESI experience. They took her through the platform, making sure she was comfortable with all of the tools, and even helped her with dry runs of her presentation in advance of the ESI. She also discusses the live ESI experience, and the follow up with those buyers who reached out to her following the presentation. In fact, she was so happy with the experience, she has signed up for two more of our virtual offerings: our Euro Pet ESI this month, and the Pet Virtual Session in June. Donna provides lots of details here and it will answer just about any question you might have about the ECRM virtual experience.
May 07, 2020
68. ECRM Euro Virtual Solutions: A Seller's Experience (Merzdorf Fine Food)
In this podcast episode, I speak wth Andrzej Grudniok of Merzdorf Fine Food, which makes high-protein healthy snacks made from chicken breast fillets. The company won a buyers choice award at last year's ECRM Euro Food session, and I was supposed to meet him again this past March in Rome, but unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic prevented that from happening. Instead, we held launched our European Efficient Supplier Introductions last week, and he was able to present his products to buyers virtually. Durig our discussion Andrzej goes over his very interesting origin story with details on how the company and its product evolved to where they are now. He talks about the challenges caused by the pandemic, and how he's embracing virtual solutions like our ESIs and virtual sessions to get in front of buyers during this time of travel restrictions. He also provides some interesting insights into delivering a powerful virtual presentation, and having seen his actual ESI presentation, I can tell you firsthand that you'll get a lot of great tips from him. If you can, watch the video and you'll see what I mean -- the link to it is below in the podcast notes. Enjoy! YouTube Video: Company website:
May 06, 2020
67. Irish Distributor Taps ECRM for Virtual Product Discovery (David Morrin, Wholefoods Wholesale)
Last week ECRM launched its Efficient Supplier Introductions in Europe, giving retailers, wholesalers and foodservice operators the ability to meet with suppliers at scale in a virtual format so that they can continue their product discvery efforts even though they can't travel. In this interview, I speak with David Morrin of Wholefoods Wholesale, Ireland's largest distributor of natural foods and healthcare products. He participated as a buyer on our Euro Beauty Efficient Supplier Introduction, where he saw presentations from more than 10 suppliers in the category. He talks about his experience on the ESI, and how the ECRM team helped him to prepare for his meetings as well as how they managed the meetings to ensure a successful experience for all those involved. David also discusses how the coronavirus has driven the industry to virtual solutions, and how they will become more prevalent even after the pandemic passes.
May 04, 2020
66. The Art of Differentiation in the Face of Adversity: Branding Expert & Author David Brier
In these challenging times, there are two options. You can freeze in fear, and do nothing, or you can take action. David Brier is all about taking action. He’s a branding expert and Creative Director of DBD International, as well as the author of Brand Intervention: 33 Steps to Transform the Brand You Have Into the Brand You Need, a book that was lauded by the likes of Daymond John and Grant Cardone. He also has a huge social media presence, and is well known for his One-Minute Wednesday videos which range from inspirational to hard-hitting, and even downright hilarious – look up his Valentine’s Day Slow Jam video to see what I mean. In this interview interview, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and Dave discuss how brands can take action and differentiate themselves in this tough environment, so that they set themselves up for success in the new normal that we will all be a part of once the pandemic passes. He drops a lot of great nuggets in this one, and I’m sure you’re going to get a ton out of it.
May 01, 2020
65. Ecommerce Auto-Replenishment in a Post Covid-19 World (Tom Furphy, Consumer Equity Partners)
In this episode, Wayne Bennett, SVP, Retail for ECRM and Tom Furphy, CEO of Consumer Equity Partners, discuss the growing importance and growth of e-commerce in today’s retail environment, and how auto-replenishment capabilities can help grow basket size, create supply chain efficiencies and drive shopper loyalty. Tom also provides some insights into technology's role in retail's future, and what strategic areas retailers and suppliers should be exploring for the post Covid-19 world. Tom Furphy is CEO of Consumer Equity Partners, a Seattle-based venture capital and venture development firm that focuses on retail and related commerce technologies. Within the portfolio, he is Chairman of Ideoclick, an Amazon agency, and Replenium, an Auto-Replenishment technology platform. Earlier in his career Tom was at Wegmans, built a startup in Silicon Valley that sold to Oracle and then went to Amazon as VP, Consumables & AmazonFresh.
April 27, 2020
64. Covid-19 and the CBD Category: Challenges & Opportunities (Bethany Gomez, Brightfield Group)
The CBD industry was just starting to gain momentum in mass retail when the coronavirus hit the United States. The pandemic impacted CBD supply chains and posed a challenge to startup brands that depended heavily on outside investments. Yet at the same time, heavy CBD users stockpiled products in order to provide themselves with a means of self-care and to deal with the anxiety they knew would be coming with the quarantine. In this episode, ECRM’s Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Bethany Gomez, Managing Director of Brightfield Group, which provides market intelligence and consumer insights for the CBD and cannabis industries. They discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the category, as well as the way consumers are shopping it. She also provides recommendations for how CBD brands can best stay engaged with these consumers to stay top-of-mind with them once the pandemic is over.
April 23, 2020
63. Yesway's Derek Gaskins: Meeting the Covid-19 Crisis with Flexibility & Agility
Flexibility and agility are the key traits that Yesway’s Derek Gaskins attributes to the convenience store chain’s ability to adapt to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This flexibility and agility comes in numerous forms, including finding sources of products they never would have considered before, leveraging Fedex or UPS to distribute products to stores when necessary, and taking on furloughed QSR employees as temporary help. Indeed, the retailer has managed to achieve what’s seems almost impossible to do in today’s world -- staying one step ahead of the coronavirus. In this Episode, ECRM SVP of Retail Wayne Bennet takes a deep dive with Yesway’s Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer into some of the ways the pandemic has impacted the chain, what they’ve done to address these challenges, and what key learnings came from this they will apply to the business once the pandemic passes.
April 19, 2020
62. CBD Emporium's Andrew Young Turns to Virtual Platforms for Product Sourcing
Andrew Young is the Vice President of Product Management and Vendor Relations for CBD Emporium, a retailer with stores across Arizona that offers a full range of branded and store brand CBD products. Its associates provide a very consultative approach to customer interactions, making them the go-to spot for first timers as well as veteran CBD users. In this interview, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and Andrew discuss the retailer's approach to selling CBD products, as well as how he discovers, vets and partners with the vendor community.  And due to travel restrictions from the Covi-19 pandemic, he's increasingly turning to virtual meetings to accomplish this -- such as ECRM's recent CBD Beverage Efficient Supplier Introduction program. He relates his experience with the ESI, and even offers some tips to suppliers on how they can crush it in their virtual presentations. Click here to view info and categories covered by ECRM Efficient Supplier Introductions:
April 16, 2020
61. Staying Engaged With Customers During COVID-19: Manna Kadar, Founder of Manna Kadar Beauty
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Manna Kadar, Founder and CEO of Manna Kadar Beauty, about how she has adjusted to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic –– not just as a business owner, but also as a mom. They discussed the various ways in which Kadar is staying engaged with buyers and consumers, and how she's leveraging content and social media to do this, sharing information not just about beauty, but about different ways in which her audience can cope with the isolation, such as cooking together with the family, sprucing up different areas of the home, and managing your personal and business finances (Manna's a former banker). In addition, they explore how this pandemic is actually helping to bring people closer together, even though it's being done virtually (and how comforting a simple phone call can be) They wrap up with a discussion of how Manna is using this time to strategically plan out how she's going to pick up the ball and run with it once things get back to normal.  ECRM Health & Beauty Care Efficient Supplier Introductions: Watch on YouTube:
April 15, 2020
60. Getting Back to Business Post Covid-19: What Bars & Restaurants Need to Know
Once the coronavirus pandemic passes, we'll all be getting back to business -- but getting back to business for bars and restaurants may be particularly challenging with potental social distancing requirements and consumers who will remain cautious about being near others. In this epidsode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Bar Business Magazine's Art Sutley and Ashley Bray about what a post Covid-19 world will look like for bars and restaurants, and how owners and operators of these establishments can best prepare for this new normal.
April 12, 2020
59. The Value of Virtual Buyer Meetings: Pamela Heyward, Founder of SOS Life Sciences
In this episode, I speak with Pamela Hayward, Founder of SOS Life Sciences, which makes solutions for people and pets living with diabetes. We discuss her recent successful participation in an ECRM Efficient Supplier Introduction, as well as the value of virtual buyer meetings. For more information on ECRM Efficient Supplier Introductions, click here: SOS Life Sciences Website:
April 10, 2020
58. How Covid-19 is Impacting the School/Office Supplies Category: Leen Nsouli, NPD
Now that we've been under the stay-at-home order for a few weeks, consumers have been seeking out products that can help them and their families better cope with isolation, and many of these products are within the school and office supplies category. They include everything from arts and crafts-related materials, to organizational products for those now working or learning from home, to fun products like finger paints and slime. In this podcast, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with NPD's Leen Nsouli about how consumers are now shopping the school and office supplies category during the crisis, which segments of the category are seeing growth, and how retailers and brands can best engage people while they are locked away at home. View on Youtube: NPD Website: ECRM:
April 09, 2020
57. Managing in the Age of COVID19: Perspectives from Leading CPG Sales & Marketing Consultants
ECRM's SVP of Retail Wayne Bennett speaks with Roger Gravitte, Chief Operating Officer of The Emerson Group, Jeff Mueller, Senior Director, Trade Marketing/Analytics & Insights of The Greenwood Group, and Kristine Urea, EVP of Market Performance Group, about how they're supporting their customers and working with retail partners during the coronavirus crisis. They discuss the key priorities of retailers, and how this affects current supply chain needs, product supply and process, and wrap up with their predictions on how the industry will recalibrate once the pandemic passes.  
April 09, 2020
56. Cul+ure Collective's Virtual Happy Hour & Cocktail Class: Innovation in a Time of Crisis
Cul+ture Collective's Virtual Happy Hour and Cocktail Class is a weekly live event that the restaurant and hospitality company started when restaurants were closed to dine-in customers due to coronavirus, and takes place every ‪Saturday at 5pm‬. It draws live crowds of more than 100 people to enjoy entertainment and cocktail education while chatting with each other on Zoom. What's more, all of the proceeds from this innovative event go to help the bar staff. In this interview,  ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Assistant Director of Guest Experiences Carolyn Rhoades and Creative Partner Pat Pipi, who discuss everything a restaurant or bar operator needs to know about how to launch one of these programs for their own customers: How they promote it, shoot it, engege with the participants, and how it keeps evolving every time they do it.  Cul+ure Collective website: Buyers and suppliers of adult beverages can connect virtually at ECRM's Efficient Supplier Introductions:
April 07, 2020
55. Creating Contextual Content During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Mark Evans, The Sasha Group)
For brands, developing content that's contextual to the market is more important now than ever before. At a time where consumers are concerned with survival, finding peace of mind, and establishing somea sense of normalcy, a brand's content must be empathetic and definitely not come off as trying to sell something. These are some of the areas I discuss with Mark Evans, Executive Director of The Sasha Group, which works with emerging brands on marketing and growth, including many brands that participate in ECRM programs. We also touch on how the new normal of digital engagement during this pandemic will change how we connect with each other once it's over. Among the topics we discuss are: - The importance of listening to your audience and focusing on them vs. your product - Content that solves the problems of being stuck at home - Community-building and engagement - Involving your audience Check out ECRM's recent podcast interview with Habib Salo of Young Nails, a client of The Sasha Group that is currently deploying many of these principles: The Sasha Group:
April 07, 2020
54. Covid-19's Impact on Retail & CPG: Joan Driggs, VP of Content & Thought Leadership, IRI
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Joan Driggs, VP of Content & Thought Leadership for IRI, which just hosted a webcast about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the retail and CPG industries. We discuss some of the key findings from the research, including the recession-like behaviors consumers are demonstrating, the shift to online or click and collect, and he willingness for consumers to try new products, which is creating opportunities for emerging brands to fill the gaps from out-of-stocks. We wrap up with a look at what the post coronavirus retail environment will look like. Here's a link to the webinar: IRI Real-Time Covid-19 Insights Dashboard: ECRM Virtual Platform to Help Buyers Continue Sourcing Amid Travel Restrictions:
April 06, 2020
53. Social Responsibility & Covid-19: Mel Bandler, Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA seeks to build a model of responsible business, conscious consumerism, and shared value to eliminate poverty and enable sustainable development for farmers, workers, their families, and their communities around the world. It also helps provide producers with the tools they need for resiliency and help increase their access to sanitation, preventative resources, and healthcare services -- whch are becoming critically important during the coronavirus pandemic. In the intervew, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Mel Bandler, Retail Relationship Manager, about how Fair Trade USA works with retailers and suppliers, and the challenges -- as well as opportunities -- they are facing during the pandemic. Vist the Fair Trade USA Website: ECRM Website:
April 05, 2020
52. ECRM Efficient Supplier Introductions: A Supplier's Experience (George Mandras, Flex Beauty Labs
If you are a supplier and thinking of participating in an ECRM Efficient Supplier Introduction program, then this podcast is for you. In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with George Mandras, President of Flex Beauty Labs, who discusses his experience on our first ESI, which was for the hand sanitizers category. He takes you through everything from when he registered up to his presentation and follow up, as well as how our client success manager got him up to speed on using the digital platform.
April 03, 2020
51. Young Nails' CEO Habib Salo: Delivering Value with Beauty Content During Covid-19
Those beauty suppliers out there definitely want to check out this interview. In this interview, ECRM’s Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Habib Salo, CEO of Young Nails about how he leverages digital content and social media to stay engaged with his audience – something that’s especially critical for those of you in the category impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  . And they get into the weeds in this one. Habib not only discusses his general philosophy around content marketing in general, but he provides details on the type of content he’s been putting out, how he approaches each social media platform, and the importance of community management.  . Many of these approaches he developed with Gary Vaynerchuk and The Sasha Group, which many of you may know from Mark Evans’ presentations on brand growth and marketing at ECRM programs. Habib wraps up with some recommendations for other suppliers facing the challenges of Covid-19.  . Check out Young Nails on Instagram:
April 03, 2020
50. Albertsons Marketplace, Covid-19, and How Everything Changed in 3 Weeks
During this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speakwith Jeff Bordes, the Business Development Manager for Albertsons Marketplace, about how much has changed since they last spoke on March 13. Consumers are now flooding the ecommerce site to pick up those food staples like beans and rice that they would have typically picked up in the stores pre-coronavirus. Jeff also discusses how he is keeping up with this demand by finding and engaging with emerging brands that can ship directly to these shoppers, and how this may change the way people think of ecommerce once this all passes. View on YouTube: #ecrmrangeme #retail #ecommerce #brands #cpg #coronavirus  
April 02, 2020
49. How Coronavirus Has Changed the Way Consumers Shop: Wendy Liebmann, WSL Strategic Retail
The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the way consumers shop. First of all, with a limited number of brick and mortar stores open and people concerned about social distancing, many people have turned to ecommerce. On top of this, with millions of people now out of work, finances are playing a major roe in shopping decisions. These are just two of the topics I discuss with Wendy Liebmann, CEO & Chief Shopper of WSL Strategic Retail, which just fielded some new research on how the pandemic is impacting consumers’ shopping habits. Learn more about the study:
March 30, 2020
48. The Impact of Covid-19 on the Beauty Category: Marlea Clark, CMO of Stella Rising
The beauty category may not technically be among those "essentials" customers are yanking off the shelves such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but many consumers are turning to products like face masks, hair care and bath bombs for self-care and to bring a sense of normalcy to self-isolation. In this podcast, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Marlea Clark, Chief Marketing Officer for digital marketing agency Stella Rising, about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the beauty category, and how beauty brands can leverage social media to stay engaged with customers until they can get back into stores. #ecrmrangeme #beauty #skincare #haircare #socialmedia #coronavirus
March 30, 2020
47. Nicholas Bertram, President of The Giant Company: Adapting to the Coronavirus Pandemic
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Nicholas Bertram, President of The Giant Company, about how his company has adapted to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. They touch on how the company has dealt with supply chain issues and finding new sources of products that are out-out-of stock from panic buying, how daily operations have evolved to accommodate the new normal, as well as the surge of online shopping and how they are handling it. Nicholas also discusses how Giant has engaged its community -- including providing jobs for those affected by layoffs, and the role of it's in-store technology in helping customers maintain social distancing. They wrap up with Nicholas providing recommendations for retailers who are experiencing this or may soon be. The Giant Company is part of Ahold-Delhaize USA, and operates approximately 190 stores in the Northeast. Website:
March 27, 2020
46. How Restaurants Can Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic - and Emerge Stronger (Donald Burns)
If you're running a restaurant operation during today's challenging times, then you definitely need to listen to this episode. ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Donald Burns, also known as The Restaurant Coach, who is the author of two books on running successful restaurants, has spoken at restaurant events around the country (including at ECRM programs), and coaches restaurant owners and operators around the globe. In this episode, they discuss the challenges that restaurant operators face during the coronavirus pandemic, and what they can do to not only survive it, but to emerge from it stronger than ever. Tons of practical information in here that you can put to use RIGHT NOW! The Restaurant Coach website:
March 26, 2020
45. How the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Changed the Way Consumers Think About Food (Kim Kirchherr)
In this podcast episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Kim Kirchherr, President of K2 Outcomes, which specializes in the connection of agriculture, food and health for individuals and organizations. Kim is a Registered Dietitian and certified personal trainer, has worked for 10 years at a major food retail chain, and has pretty much been in the food and agriculture industry her entire career. They discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way consumers think about food from the perspective of shopping, storage and meal prep, and how retailers can best engage them in today's environment, as well as once this pandemic passes. Great insights here for food retailers as well as their suppliers! Kim's website: ECRM Food & Beverage Efficient Supplier Introductions:
March 25, 2020
44. Entrepreneurship in the Face of Adversity: LoveHandle Smartphone Grips & the Impact of Covid-19
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Mike Watts and Scott Glaser of LoveHandle Smartphone Grips, a RangeMe Premium member and ECRM program participant that attended our Impulse, Front-End & Checklane as one of The Shark Group suppliers, and showcased its innovative American-made product that makes it virtually impossible to drop your cell phone while using it. They discuss the origin of the company, how they are working with Daymond John and The Shark Group, and their experience with RangeMe and ECRM. They also talk about the challenges they are facing during the coronavirus pandemic, as many of the company's customers are event companies. It's a great discussion about entrepreneurship in the face of adversity! Check out the Lovehandle website: ECRM:
March 24, 2020
43. Datassential Update: The Impact of Coronavirus on the Restaurant Industry
Datassential update on how the coronavirus is impacting the restaurant industry. This is a video version of the podcast interview with Ian O'Neil in which he and ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski discuss Datassential's most recent update on how Covid-19 is impacting restaurants, as well as the way consumers are purchasing food from them. Among the topics they cover are: - The impact of restaurants shifting to delivery/takeout - Shift in focus from taste to cleanliness/sanitization - Gaining the trust of foodservice consumers - How people have shifted their food ordering habits - The popularity of ordering pizza during self-isolation We'll be giving these updates with Datassential regularly on an ongoing basis moving forward. See the links to the report download and the Datassential page in the comments! YouTube version of podcast: Download the slide deck: ECRM: #ecrmrangeme #foodservice #restaurants #delivery #takeout #coronavirus #covid19
March 23, 2020
42. Foodservice Buyer Profile: Dot Foods, Inc. (Park Plank, Dir. of Business Development - New Suppl
In this episode me and Stephanie Nicklos from our foodservice team speak with Park Plank, Director of Business Development - New Suppliers for Dot Foods, Inc., which, as a national re-distributor, sits between the manufacturers and distributors to add efficiencies into the entire food supply chain. We cover the history of Dot Foods, how it drives these supply chain efficiencies, and what Park looks for in the suppliers with which he decides to do business. Definitely a must listen for any suppliers looking to do business with Dot Foods! ECRM Program List: ECRM Efficient Supplier Introductions:
March 23, 2020
41. Food Trends in 2020 & Beyond: Ian O'Neil, Datassential
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Datassential's Ian O'Neil about menu trends in the foodservice industry based on recent research from the company. They address four key areas: - Generational shifts in food consumption - The influence of global flavors - College & university food behavior - Impact of health and wellness on menus
March 19, 2020
40. Greystone Premium Organic Tea: Forging Ahead During the Covid-19 Pandemic
ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Shiv Joshi, Managing Director of Greystone Premium Organic Tea about the steps he's taking to keep his business going during the lockdown we're all experiencing as a result of the coronavirus.  This includes leveraging digital opportunities, such as the buyer review days RangeMe has been hosting for several major retailers, and keeping engaged with the natural foods community on LinkedIn. Lots of useful info here for all suppliers!  #ecrmrangeme #brands #rangeme #coronavirus #covid19
March 18, 2020
39. How Foodservice Buyers are Adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic: Keith Schalk, Gordon Food Service
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and Stephanie Nicklos speak with Keith Schalk of Gordon Food Service about how Covid-19 has impacted the way the company and its customers are going about their business. Keith gives an overview of the 120-year-old company, the various services it offers to independent restaurants and other foodservice operations, and how they have adapted sourcing and product reviewing -- including "virtual cuttings" that span several locations.  Keith was one of the buyers planning to attend ECRM's Foodservice Programs in Vegas this week, which obviously had to be rescheduled due to travel restrictions. New dates will be announced soon, or you can email Stephanie for more info:  #ecrmrangeme #foodservice #restaurants #bars #coronavirus #covid19
March 17, 2020
38. Albertsons Marketplace: The Impact of Coronavirus on Shopping, Sales & Product Discovery
In this episode, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with Jeff Bordes of Albertsons Marketplace about how the Coronavirus has impacted the e-commerce business. They discuss how shoppers' buying habits have changed as the virus has become more prevalent, challenges the marketplace vendors are facing in replenishing their supplies, and how his product discovery efforts have altered with fewer face-to-face options available -- including his leveraging of solutions from ECRM and RangeMe #ecrmrangeme #brands #retail #business #coronavirus
March 13, 2020
37. NPD's Stephen Baker on Trends, Challenges & Opportunities in the Consumer Technology Segment
This episode is the audio from a presentation given by Stephen Baker of The NPD Group during ECRM's Innovative Technology Program in Chicago. During the presentation, Stephen discussed trends in the Consumer Technology industry and the future outlook based on NPD data. He also examined the impact of e-commerce on consumer tach sales, as well as took a deep dive into specific consumer technology product categories to uncover the challenges and opportunities within each. #consumertechnology #electronics #speakers #headphones #audio #gaming
March 09, 2020
36. How Brands Can Bootstrap Awesome Content Marketing (Mark Evans, The Sasha Group)
How emerging brands can bootstrap awesome content marketing: ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and Mark Evans of The Sasha Group discuss how brands can develop and deploy effective content at scale with limited resources by leveraging man y of the strategies and tactics Mark discussed in his presentation at our Innovative Tech Program in Chicago. Among these were: * Developing "hero" content that can be repurposed across various platforms * Effective storytelling * Engagement and community-building * The mobile phone as a powerful content-development tool They also discussed the importance of viewing your content marketing as part of your business development efforts, and scheduling it regularly as such. #ecrmrangeme #brands #retail #marketing #content #socialmedia #business
March 05, 2020
35. Marketing for 2020 & Beyond: Winning the Battle for Consumer Attention
This episode is the audio from a presentation by Mark Evans of The Sasha Group (a VaynerX Company) given at ECRM's Innovative Technology Program in Chicago. His presentation focused on marketing for 2020 and beyond, and how to win the battle for consumer attention, which -- more often than not these days -- is on their mobile devices and those digital platforms on which they spend their time. He offered tons of practical information on how to grab and hold these consumers attention via consistent, great content and engagement that's specific to each platform. For more information on The Sasha Group, visit http:/
March 03, 2020
34. Joe's Visit to the Planet 13 Dispensary, and What Mass Retailers Selling CBD Can Learn From It
In this podcast, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski discusses his observations from a recent visit to the Planet 13 dispensary in Las Vegas, and what learnings mass retailers selling CBD products can learn from it. There are two main takeaways from this: 1. Education is the key to success in the CBD game: both the education of those selling it, as well as THEIR ability to educate those looking to buy it. 2. Every retailer selling CBD should visit a dispensary, and see how they interact with customers. It's a lot different than helping shoppers decide which cereal or lipstick to buy! Let us know your thoughts on this -- especially if you have toured a dispensary in the past!
February 27, 2020
33. The Impact of Veganism on the European Beauty Industry (Peter Mudahy, CEO of Pak Group)
ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski and Pak Cosmetics CEO Peter Mudahy discuss the impact of veganism on the cosmetics industry during the ECRM Euro Beauty Program in Barcelona. January has become known as Veganuary when a UK-based nonprofit group by that name was started to encourage consumers to embrace a plant-based lifestyle for the first month of the year. Recently, the UK passed a law saying that organizations like restaurants and hotels must offer vegan options for consumers. Joe and Peter discuss how this has impacted the way consumers shop his stores and website, as well as his assortments and product selections. #ecrmrangeme #beauty #vegan #sustainability Click here for more info on ECRM's Euro Beauty Programs:
February 25, 2020
32. Tops Markets' Dir. of Center Store/Grocery Michael Nugent on ECRM's Format, Process & Culture
Michael Nugent with Tops Markets is not just a 25-year veteran of the grocery industry, but is also an adjunct professor of organizational behavior and so in this interview with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski he wears both hats to discuss how the ECRM format, process and especially its culture combine to deliver value for retailers like Tops. Mike gives an overview of his company and its goals at the Snack, Center Store and Coffee, Tea & Cocoa Programs, as well as how he and his team work closely with the retail team (in his case, Wayne Bennett , Jessica Moore and Taylor Huston ) as well as the team members on-site to maximize his experience. #ecrmrangeme #retail #brands #cpg #business
February 24, 2020
31. How SpartanNash Completes its Christmas Candy Planning in Just One Week with ECRM
SpartanNash Candy Category Manager Barry Phillips accomplishes all of his Christmas candy category planning in less than a week at ECRM 's Candy Planning: Christmas & Halloween Program. In this interview with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski , Barry outlines how he works with Laura Dillie of our Retail Team prep for the program, the at the program itself he'll meet with participating suppliers -- as well as some suppliers who come in specifically to meet with him. Then he selects product samples to be sent to his planning room, where he works with his analysts to make his final decisions on which items they will carry. This is a service our Retail Team offers to select retail partners and helps them accomplish in a few days what would normally take a few weeks or longer at the office. #ecrmrangeme #retail #cpg #brands #categorymanagement
February 21, 2020
30. ECRMADVANTAGE: Prepping Suppliers for Successful Buyer Appointments at ECRM Programs
ECRM Client Success Managers help buyers and sellers prep for our programs to ensure they get the most out of their experience. This includes learning the needs and objectives of the buyers, and educating suppliers on how to use our tools, how to prepare for buyer appointments, and how to set up their meeting spaces. This includes webcasts in which buyers and sellers with experience at our programs providing advice from their own experiences with us on how to take advantage of every opportunity offered at our programs, from the meetings to the networking functions as well as the educational sessions. They also host how-to webcasts on using the ECRM Connect App at a session. In this interview ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and Client Success Manager Dylan Hall discuss all of these services, which are collectively referred to as ECRMADVANTAGE. #ecrmrangeme #cpg #brands #retail
February 21, 2020
29. ECRM SupplierDEMAND: Promoting Your Brand to Buyers in Advance of our Programs
The moment a supplier registers for an ECRM program, our Client Success Managers begin promoting them to registered buyers in a process we call SupplierDEMAND. We provide these buyers with all the relevant supplier information, including product information, supplier capabilities, relevant certifications, and any unique points of differentiation. In this interview with Joseph Tarnowski , CSM Caroline Bernitt discusses how they execute these services and how they help set up suppliers for success! #ecrmrangeme #cpg #brands #retail #business
February 20, 2020
28. What Consumers are REALLY Saying About the Snack, Coffee, Tea & Cocoa Categories
This podcast was a presentation given by Razi Imam, Co-Founder and CEO of 113 Industries during ECRM's Snack and Coffee, Tea & Cocoa Programs in Las Vegas. Razi took a deep dive into the changing behaviors of consumers in the categories of snacking and coffee/tea/cocoa, based on artificial intelligence tools the company has developed that analyze social media conversations to detect those compensating behaviors and unarticulated needs that when satisfied lead to immediate adoption of a product. He shared actual case studies of products that have reached $100M in sales using 113's research methodology. He will also provide a how-to guide in using AI to predict trends and changing consumer behaviors to innovate the next $100M product and provide a predictive behavior analysis based on review of the snacking and coffee/tea/cocoa categories.
February 19, 2020
27. The Paleo Foundation & Certifications for Paleo, Keto and Grain-Free/Gluten-Free Foods
The Paleo Foundation has developed certifications for Paleo, Keto and Grain-Free/Gluten-Free foods, and is working with retailers and brands to help consumers navigate these categories as these diets become increasingly prevalent among them. In this interview, Joseph Tarnowski of ECRM speaks with the Foundations VP of Advocacy Todd Jamalkowski about what these certifications mean, the process behind them, and their benefits for retailers, brands and consumers. ECRM recently launched its Specialty Diets & Healthy Foods Programs to connect retailers and brands seeking these types of products -- click the link below for more info! Specialty Diets & Healthy Foods: Center Store Program: #ecrmrangeme #paleo #keto #wellness #food
February 18, 2020
26. Trends & Opportunities in the Convenience Channel - Full Presentation: Larry Levin, IRI
Here's the audio from the presentation given by IRI's Larry Levin an trends and opportunities in the convenience channel at ECRM's Convenience Program in Las Vegas last month. During the presentation, Larry discussed what's driving trip growth, and which categories present the most opportunity for growth in the coming years. For information about ECRM's 2021 Convenience Program, click here:
February 18, 2020
25. The Importance of Sustainability for CPG Brands: Larry Levin, IRI
IRI 's Larry Levin discusses the importance of sustainability for suppliers in the CPG retail industry in this interview with ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski during the Convenience & Impulse Programs in Las Vegas last month. IRI conducted research with NYU Stern School of Business in which they examined POS data for products that had sustainable attributes on the packaging such as Fair Trade, organic, Leaping bunny -- attributes that showed the products were good for people, good for the planet or good for the workers producing them -- accounted for more than half of all of the CPG growth during the period of data studied (2013 to 2018) So if you're not in the sustainability game yet, now's the time to get in! #ecrmrangeme #cpg #brands #retail #sustainability #organic #fairtrade
February 17, 2020
24. The Shark Group: What it Is, What it Does & Who it Works With (Morri Chowaiki, Head of Sales)
The Shark Group offers a ton of turnkey services to get brands ready for retail. While it's owned by Daymond John , it has nothing to do with the Shark Tank TV show -- indeed, some of its brands did not come from the show. Among the services it provides are marketing, branding, social media engagement, EDI, and preparation and preparation for buyer meetings. ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Head of Sales & Retail Morri Chowaiki about the group, what it does and who it works with during our Impulse Program in Las Vegas, where 10 of The Shark Group brands had the opportunity to meet with retail buyers, and everyone had the opportunity to see Daymond's fireside chat with ECRM's Wayne Bennett ! #ecrmrangeme #brands #retail #cpg #ecrmxdaymondjohn To register for ECRM's 2020 Impulse, Front-End & Checklane Session, click here:
February 13, 2020
23. CBD Trends in Mass Retail: Larry Levin, IRI Worldwide
IRI 's Larry Levin discusses trends in the CBD category with Joseph Tarnowski of ECRM during our Convenience & Impulse Programs in Las Vegas. During the interview, they touch on how the CBD segment is exploding in mass retail, and how keeping an eye on the dispensary channel will provide retailers and suppliers with insights into where it may head in food, drug and mass channels. #ecrmrangeme #cbd #hemp #cannabis #retail #brands #cpg Click here for info on ECRM's 2020 Convenience Program:
February 12, 2020
22. When a Brand Owner IS an Influencer: Erich Roa, CEO of Pacinos Signature Line
When a brand owner is an influencer with 683K followers on Instagram , it makes for a powerful combination. That's the case with Pacinos Signature Line CEO Erich Roa, who went from celebrity barber -- who has styled Puff Daddy and Jay-Z, to owner of a line of hair products available at retailers like Target . In this interview with ECRM VP of Content Joseph Tarnowski , Erich takes us through his journey as he grew his social media presence as he grew his business, first on MySpace (remember that platform) as a barber, then Facebook, and finally to Instagram. When he sold 1,000 store brand razors online in a couple of hours from one Instagram post, he knew he hit something, and launched his product line. Following his direct-to-consumer success, Target put his products on the shelves. Their success at that retailer led Erich to look for more opportunities at brick and mortar retail, and discovered ECRM through its content on social media, of course! Throughout the interview he offers insights on how brands can become their own influencers and leverage the power of social media to succeed online and on the shelf! #ecrmrangeme #brands #retail #socialmedia #influencermarketing #business
February 10, 2020
21. How FTI Brands Expanded Distribution from 200 to 40K Stores in Just One Year.
Hear how FTI Brands LLC went from distribution of its SneakERASER products in 200 stores to 40K+ stores in one year in this video interview with Co-Founders Kevin Consolo (a former ECRMer) and Chris Pavlica . In this interview, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and the two entrepreneurs discuss the company's origin, as well as how they leveraged both ECRM and RangeMe to get on the shelf at major retailers like Walmart , CVS Health and Dollar General , and how they have evolved their brand based on the needs and objectives of retailers they have met to address the auto and golf markets as well. We're so proud to see the great success of one of our own! #ecrmrangeme #retail #brands #cpg #business
February 09, 2020
20. Driving Sales in the Convenience Channel (Alan Adato, Yesway)
Yesway Merchandising & Procurement Manager Alan Adato discusses several ways to boost sales in the Convenience category, which was the topic of the roundtable discussion he moderated during the ECRM Convenience Program in Vegas. In this interview with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski, Alan touches on the importance of merchandising (and merchandising displays) particularly for fresh foods, as well as how one convenience store operator at his table boosted the bottom line by eliminating coupons. The roundtable was one of several concurrent discussions held as part of ECRM's Thought Interaction Pods, which give program participants the opportunity to take a "deep dive" on various topics of interest in the category. #ecrmrangeme #retail #merchandising #convenience #business
February 02, 2020
19. Best Practices for Sellers Participating in ECRM Programs (Jack Savdie, Global Beauty Care)
ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski speaks with veteran ECRM seller participant Jack Savdie of GLOBAL BEAUTY CARE, INC about how to get the most from buyer meetings at ECRM programs. Jack has been participating in ECRM programs for years, and has won multiple Buyers Choice Awards for GBC's beauty products. In this video he discusses: - How to prep for buyer meetings - including meeting space set up and buyer research - The conversation flow with the buyer during meetings - How to best follow up after a meeting #ecrmrangeme #brands #sales #meetings #business
February 02, 2020
18. Mirza Minds' Fam Mirza on Entrepreneurship & Successful Product Launches
ECRM VP of Content Joseph Tarnowski and CEO of Mirza Minds Fam Mirza discuss what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, as well as the criteria behind successful products during ECRM's Impulse, Front-End & Checklane Program, where Fam was a special guest. For entrepreneurs, focus is key, and the laser-focus needed to weather 18-hour days only comes when you have passion for what you're doing. And when it comes to products, the R&D groundwork is crucial for developing a product that will generate the most return for the least marketing spend. And when it comes to grabbing eyeballs from the shelf, strong structural packaging helps stand out from the crowd. Fam has launched eight successful brands, including the 1Face watch, which was one of the most successful purpose-driven brands ever. Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview on Fam's latest product, This Cleans, which will be posted shortly! #ecrmrangeme #brands #entrepreneurship #business #startup
January 31, 2020
17. Opportunities for Growth in the Convenience Channel: Larry Levin, IRI Worldwide
IRI's Larry Levin discusses opportunities for growth -- in trips as well as CPG sales -- in the convenience channel, during ECRM 's Convenience Program in Las Vegas. While there are some categories that will always be mainstays of the convenience channel, such as alcoholic beverages, snacks, and beverages, segments like fresh and prepared foods are growing fast (for example, people are willing to wait on line to get a sandwich at Sheetz ). He also discusses the impact of wellness on the channel, including the explosive growth of CBD. #ecrmrangeme #alcoholicbeverages #brands #convenience #retail
January 28, 2020
16. Ways to Flex Your Social Media Muscle: Nancy Trent, Founder & CEO, Trent & Co.
Nancy Trent, Founder & CEO of Trent & Co. gave a presentation titled, "Ways to Flex Your Social Media Muscle" during ECRM's Everyday and Holiday Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath Program in Chicago. Social media supports the human need for social interaction. It has the powerful ability to take a message from dozens to millions. Social media is the democratization of knowledge and information. At its best, it can transform consumers into actual journalists and producers for your brand. Some brands thrive on social media, while others consider it a necessary evil. Those brands that do social media as a chore are doing what we call “check-the-box”social media. They need to start authentically engaging to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a wellness influencer, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, the leading wellness PR firm. Trent & Company has office in NY and LA and a client roster of products, venues, books, films, experts and lifestyle brands spanning traditional and alternative disciplines for tech, design, wellness, beauty, fitness, food and the environment. Nancy is an investigative reporter turned PR guru with seven books under her belt. She continues to spot and spark trends wherever she goes. Today she is running publicity and social media campaigns for 50 different lifestyle clients for every member of the family in every room of the house. Nancy has spoken at conferences around the U.S., as well as in Dubai, Bangkok, Vienna, Seoul, Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne. Nancy serves on the editorial boards of industry associations and magazines, and has written many how-to articles on marketing, promotion and PR that were published in all of the leading trade and business publications. Her company gets its client’s products on celebrities, in the hands of influencers, on popular morning and day time talk shows, in national consumer lifestyle magazines as well as newspapers, online magazines and blogs and social media platforms. The firm’s national publicity and social media campaigns take messages viral and spiral, maximize awareness, enhance credibility and raise recognition.
January 26, 2020
15. How to Drive Explosive Brand Growth: Mark Evans, The Sasha Group (a VaynerX Company)
This is the audio from a presentation given by Mark Evans, Executive Director of The Sasha Group (a VaynerX Company) during ECRM's Vitamin, Weight Management & Sports Nutrition Program, in which he provided practical tips on how emerging brands can boost growth. Among the topics covered were: • Company culture • Marketing • Leadership • Mission and purpose. He was joined at the end by Gabe from Insane Labz -- an ECRM participating supplier who also happens to be a Sasha customer -- who spoke about how he actually has put these principles into action.
January 23, 2020
14. TBT - Jocko Willink & Brian Littlefield Discuss the Origin of the Origin Labs Nutritional Supple
Former Navy SEAL commander and best-selling author of "Extreme Ownership" Jocko Willink and Brian Littlefield, CEO of Origin Labs discuss their line of nutritional supplements as well as their engagement with the Jocko Podcast community during ECRM's Vitamin, Weight Management & Sports Nutrition Program back in 2018. Because of their participation in that program -- where Jocko gave an awesome presentation on leadership -- their line of supplements will be launched at a national retailer next month! #jockowillink #jockopodcast #wellness #sportsnutrition
January 23, 2020
13. How to Amplify Your Influencer Marketing Content: Karen Koslow, Wellness Amplified
Once you are working with influencers, it's important to amplify their content beyond its organic reach to get maximum exposure and ROI. In this interview with ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski , Wellness Amplified Founder and CEO Karen Koslow discusses how brands can accomplish this through paid sponsorships as well as repurposing influencer content for use on their own platforms, such as on their own website, their RangeMe profile and on their Amazon storefront. Karen will be speaking about influencer marketing at ECRM's Cough/Cold, Preventative & Allergy Program next week in Jacksonville! Click here for more info on the program: #ecrmrangeme #brands #marketing #influencers #retail #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #content
January 22, 2020
12. ECRM Buyer Profile: Diana Gumbs, Category Manager - Beauty, Wakefern Food Corp.
Wakefern Food Corp. Category Manager Diana Gumbs gives an overview of her company, the markets and consumers it serves, as well as the trends in beauty products among them during this interview with ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski at our Everyday and Holiday Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath Program last week in Chicago. She also touches on the value she gets from participating in ECRM programs, such as how our Retail Team works closely with her to discuss her needs and objectives so they can curate a schedule of appointments to match them perfectly. The result? Meetings with new innovative suppliers and the discovery of unique products, like one she found at last year's program that will be on the shelf shortly! #ecrmrangeme #retail #beauty #cosmetics #business
January 22, 2020
11. Navigating the CBD Legal & Regulatory Landscape (Bridget Hill-Zayat, Hoban Law Group)
NAVIGATING THE CBD LEGAL/REGULATORY LANDSCAPE: Hoban Law Group's Bridget Hill-Zayat discussed the ever-changing legal and regulatory environment related to CBD during her keynote this morning at ECRM's Pet CBD and CBD Food & Beverage sessions. In this interview with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski, she provides some key takeaways from her presentation. #ecrmrangeme #cbd #pet #food #beverage #legal
January 22, 2020
10. CBD Beverage Market Trends (Liz Stahura, BDS Analytics)
CBD BEVERAGE MARKET TRENDS: CBD beverages are already seeing 80 percent growth year-over-year in the dispensary channel, and mass retailers at ECRM's CBD Food & Beverage Program met with many of these suppliers to be ready once the FDA issues an opinion. In this interview, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and BDS Analytics' Elisabeth Stahura discuss CBD beverage trends and opportunities for mass retailers. Two key trends are the popularity of water-soluble powders -- for their discreetness and portability, as well as functional ingredients, which create a connection with ingredients consumers are already familiar with. Many brands are marketing the mood and effects around these beverages. #ecrmrangeme #cbd #hemp #beverages #retail
January 21, 2020
9. NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis and the Origin of his CBD Brand, DEFY
NFL LEGEND AND CBD ENTREPRENEUR Terrell Davis discusses his journey into CBD and how it resulted in the founding of DEFY with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski at ECRM's CBD Food & Beverage Program in Cape Coral, Fla. -- where the company also took the 1st Place Buyers Choice award. As an NFL running back, Terrell took a lot of bumps and bruises during the course of his football career (and also experienced severe migraines throughout his life). Traditional OTC and prescription remedies provided little relief, but when he discovered CBD, it changed his life. Terrell also gives a little background on how they came up with the "DEFY" name, as he continuously defied the odds throughout his life to get to the top of his game! #ecrmrangeme #cbd #nfl #business #wellness
January 21, 2020
8. Pearl Resourcing Rebrands Charcoal House Product Line for Success at the Shelf
REBRANDING SUCCESS STORY: Great case study on how a supplier leveraged ECRM and Pearl Resourcing to successfully rebrand its line of products for several retailer wins from our programs. This is a long one, but a good one. Charcoal House offers a TON of products that use activated charcoal to address all kinds of needs, from health, to the home, to pets and everything in between. As the were originally online only, their packaging wasn't suited to stand out on the shelf. So CEO John Dinsley, who co-founded the company with his wife Kimberly, reached out to Emily Page of Pearl Resourcing -- who he found from one of his video interviews with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski -- to revamp his entire line of products. Emily recommended that he attend ECRM's Store Brands Program where she happened to be presenting (he's already a RangeMe member) and he landed several clients from it. Emily worked with John on the rebranding, which was unveiled at ECRM's Beauty & Wellness with Purpose Summit, with great response from buyers. In this video, they discuss the process and how it unfolded. #ecrmrangeme #branding #wellness #healthcare #business
January 21, 2020
7. How Albertsons Marketplace Works with Brands: Jeff Bordes, Business Development Mgr.
Albertsons Marketplace provides an "endless aisle" for the retailer and serves an an entry point for emerging brands looking to eventually get on the shelves or for established brands to try out new concepts. In this interview with ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski, Jeff Bordes gives an overview of Albertsons Marketplace and how he works with brands. #ecrmrangeme #retail #ecommerce #business #digital
January 21, 2020
6. Selecting the Right Influencers for Your Brand (Karen Koslow, Wellness Amplified)
There is no question that influencer marketing is a powerful way of reaching your target audience. But finding the right influencers to work with for your particular brand is critical. According to Karen Koslow , founder of Wellness Amplified -- who spoke with ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski on the subject -- it comes down to considering the "5 Rs": - Reach - Resonance - Relevance - ROI Potential - Reputation The influencer you work with must have similar values as you brand, reach consumers that you are targeting, and authenticity in the field you play in. Depending on your goals, you might seek those with larger followings for reach, or smaller, more engaged followings for conversion and value. Keep in mind that working with influencers can be labor-intensive, and agencies like Wellness Amplified, that address specific niche markets, might be the way to go. Karen will be speaking on the topic of influencer marketing at ECRM's Cough/Cold, Preventative & Allergy Program later this month: #ecrmrangeme #wellness #influencermarketing #business
January 20, 2020
5. Social Media Engagement & Community Management for Brands: Zain Gaziani, VaynerMedia
ECRM 's Joseph Tarnowski and Zain Gaziani of VaynerMedia & Team GaryVee discuss the importance of social media community management for brands. Engagement is a two-way street, and building a thoughtful dialogue with your brand's audience helps drive loyalty and extend your reach to potential new customers. In this interview, Zain gives some background on his role at Vayner, how he engages with the Gary Vaynerchuk community, and provides some recommendations on how to best engage your audience. #ecrmrangeme #socialmedia #marketing #communitymanagement #garyveechallenge
January 20, 2020
4. 99 Cents Only Stores Brandy Alexander: ECRM Helping New-to-Desk Buyers Get Quickly Up to Speed
ECRM Programs are a perfect immersion education experience for buyers who are new to a category, like 99 Cents Only Stores Beauty Buyer Brandy Alexander, who joined the company last month and participated in our Everyday and Holiday Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath Program in Chicago. ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski spoke with Brandy about how she leveraged her meetings with sellers and the many networking opportunities to learn category trends, meet brands face-to-face, and ramp up her category relationships. #ecrmrangeme #beauty #retail #buyers #sourcing #business
January 17, 2020
3. How ECRM & Apex-Brasil Helped Brazilian Brands Reach $122 Million in Sales in the U.S. Market
Trade Partner Organizations like Apex-Brasil leverage ECRM programs to help their supplier-members enter the U.S. retail market. At each category-based ECRM session, these suppliers have opportunities to meet with buyers face-to-face in private, prescheduled meetings, and also have many opportunities for networking and learning. ECRM Client Success Managers work closely with each supplier before, during and after each session to ensure that they maximize every opportunity. In this interview with Joseph Tarnowski , Apex-Brasil's Fernando Spohr discusses how the organization works with ECRM to help its members succeed in the U.S. market. And the ROI is tremendous -- a $1.5 million investment by Apex-Brasil resulted in more than $122 million in business for its members! For more information on ECRM's Trade Partner Organization programs, contact Eric Savitch at #ecrmrangeme #internationalbusiness #export #business #internationaltrade
January 16, 2020
2. Virtual Restaurants, Real $$$: (Kristen Adamowski, Uber Virtual Restaurants)
Virtual Restaurants, Real $$$: Uber Virtual Restaurants' Kristen Adamowski will be presenting at the ECRM Commercial Foodservice Program on how restaurant and foodservice operators can leverage virtual restaurant concepts to drive incremental sales. In this interview with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski she gives an overview of how virtual restaurants work, and how food delivery data is leveraged to select the best menu concepts to use. In some cases, restaurant operators have actually grown their virtual concepts so much their sales match or exceed those of their physical locations! Kristen's presentation is Tuesday, March 17 in Las Vegas. Click here for more information, or to register: #ecrmrangeme #foodservice #restaurants #business #delivery
January 11, 2020
1. The Importance of Earned Media for Brands: Nancy Trent, Trent & Co.
EARNED MEDIA 101: This is the first in a series of video interviews on how brands can maximize exposure by getting earned media -- media coverage that is not paid for such as articles, blog posts or news features highlighting the vale of their brand. In this video interview with ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski, public relations expert Nancy Trent of Trent and Company gives an overview of what earned media is, why it's important, and how it complements a brand's paid advertising efforts. The video series will cover different aspects of earned media, including crafting a strong press release, working with influencers, media relations, and collaborating with other brands. Nancy will be speaking on the topic at ECRM's Everyday & Holiday Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath Program in January. #ecrmrangeme #publicrelations #marketing #brands #media
December 13, 2019