Sandra Creamer, MBA '05, strategy director, CBX
Mindful Marketing: Promoting creative thinking and innovative approaches
Before joining CBX, Creamer worked as a brand manager in Proctor & Gamble's beauty division, focusing on the Cover Girl and Max Factor brands. Throughout her years at P&G, Creamer developed special expertise and knowledge of the Hispanic market, an awareness that helps her market brands effectively because she understands what it takes to market to a specific group. "It's important to have a really well-rounded view of the consumer to do your job effectively," she says. "A lot of clients don't understand the importance of branding, innovation, and design like it is done at P&G, which still remains my benchmark for an innovative organization," she says.
The decision to move from P&G to CBX was not an easy one for Creamer; she worried about the transition from a large firm to a smaller one. The people she encountered at CBX, however, convinced her that she was making a good choice. "I felt really positive about the caliber of the people [at CBX] from the very beginning of the interview process," she says. "And while working on projects over the past year, I continue to be thankful that I am working with such a great group of smart, proactive team players." At CBX, Creamer works on all aspects of branding, including identifying target consumers, coming up with an "own-able and differentiating story," and creating a new look for the brand, sub-brand, or new product introduction.
Targeting consumers by demographic group is one of the most challenging and fun aspects of her job, according to Creamer. "I enjoy doing the analysis and then being creative, by trying to make connections from seemingly disparate areas. That is where the fun and hard work comes in," she says. "One company thought they should target Hispanics, African-Americans, and white consumers with different marketing messages, but [actually] their shopper attitudes differ based on psychographic and attitudinal lines, so we came up with ways to speak to those [consumer groups], yet appeal to everyone. Brainstorming new ideas, testing them and seeing consumers respond enthusiastically - that was fun."
While promoting a culture of innovation is a challenge for many companies in the branding industry, CBX is unique in encouraging creativity and imagination among its clients. According to Creamer, too many companies are bogged down in the everyday management of their business and don't have the time or skill set to come up with new ideas. "Most companies don't realize that to be successful they really need to [be innovative] and think like designers in all aspects of their problem solving. Companies are slowly realizing they need to change, but many agencies are not prepared to help them [like we are]," Creamer says.
Currently, Creamer is working on a number of projects, yet to be unveiled. "I'm working on new product ideas for a big player in the frozen dessert category," Creamer says, "a new design for a hair care product for a major beauty company, a new marketing campaign for one of the fastest growing retailers in the U.S., and a new private label beauty brand for a major mass retailer."