Multilingual, multi-cultural builder of international brands, Jorge Gotuzzo has digitally transformed Pace International—and offers his insights to avert the food crises in 2050.
A thought leader and innovator, our colleague, Jorge Gotuzzo embraces technology in an industry that’s been slow to digitize: produce. He’s traveled extensively, lived in multiple countries, and managed diverse food-related brands around the globe, always focused on sustainability and shared responsibility. Since 2014, he has been applying his skills as Global Marketing Director at Pace International, the world’s leader in post-harvest produce solutions, in order to do his part to help prevent a global food shortage.
Pace International is a subsidiary of Valent BioSciences Corporation (of Sumitomo Chemical Company) and the leading provider of postharvest solutions for produce, Pace International works to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables through innovative solutions and services.
I recently connected with Jorge to discuss food production in today’s world, and how we can avoid world hunger in 2050.
You’ve said that the world is in danger of running out of food, and I believe you, since you understand today’s food production systems better than anyone I know. I wanted to dive into root causes.
For example, we Americans have been conditioned to select fruits and vegetables that appear cosmetically perfect. How might that impact us in the decades to come?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), when you measure all produce from harvest to consumer usage, more than 45% of all fruits and vegetables go unused. That is almost half our global production!
7 billion people are alive today. By 2050, that number is expected to reach 9 billion. The question isn’t just how we produce more food to feed the growing population, but how we reduce overall waste. The looming crisis requires both food production innovations and changes in consumer behavior.
We must do much better. Imagine if the discarded product can get distributed to food programs in poor communities, rather than going straight to landfill? Imagine replacing processed snacks at schools with healthy and nutritious food, made from fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be thrown out. Just these things alone would be game changing.
Earthquake devastation in Haiti. Alltech 2010
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. It was devastated by a 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 160,000 and displaced 1.6 million people.
At the time, you were with Alltech—and living in Port-au-Prince. For a decade, you managed marketing initiatives in dairy, beef, and aquaculture on behalf of this global biotech company working to boost the health of plants and animals using nature and science.
After the earthquake, you led the Sustainable Haiti Project, and Alltech adopted a small school. What can you tell us about your experience there? How did the widespread devastation affect your views on humanity, corporate philanthropy, and the need for sustainability?
Gotuzzo, speaking of his mission in founding the Sustainable Haiti Project.
While at Alltech, I was able to spend three months working with Haitian children and helped develop a sustainable coffee project. After the earthquake, Alltech adopted a small school to resume education—in spite of the widespread devastation. All of these experiences were life altering for me.
At that time, the company was the title sponsor of the World Equestrian Games (WEG2010) and our dream was to put together a children’s choir and to bring it to the U.S. for the opening ceremony performance. We wanted to show Haiti to the world through these beautiful little voices—and raise awareness about the recovery efforts.
Three months later, in time for start of the games, I found myself in Lexington, Kentucky with 26 children, two teachers, and one Catholic nun. That experience changed my life forever and helped me understand how lucky we are and how grateful we should be every day we’re alive.
That’s beautiful, and very inspiring.
Data allows us to listen, engage, communicate, and act faster—and with greater accuracy. But the food industry’s been slow to adopt it—and embrace the digital advances available today.
You recently led a holistic online rebranding effort—and introduced an innovative digital product catalog that stands out as a “first” among all Sumitomo Chemical companies. How did you help Pace International break the mold of slow adoption?
Culturally, Pace International is all about innovation and technology. We are always looking for new ways of supporting our customers, their consumers, and the industry overall.
But there was a disconnect between our digital efforts and the day-to-day business. The digital experience we offered the customer was falling behind—and causing the company as a whole to miss out on our best opportunity to engage. To stay current, we had to step up our game and create a digital face-lift. We committed to this—and elevated the entire brand experience.
I enjoy operating in an ever-increasing complex digital realm. I look forward to putting my energies toward innovations that sustain the world and meet people’s needs. It’s a win for me, a win for my company, and a win for society. I hope.
Feel free to connect with Mary Olson or Jorge Gotuzzo for further information.
Frank Rose is simply the most extraordinary expert in the entertainment and marketing fields and my most favorite thought leader on new forms of narrative.
Rose, a Senior Fellow at Columbia University School of the Arts, a member of the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab, and faculty co-leader of its executive education seminar on digital storytelling strategy is also a longtime writer for Wired, strategy+business and author of The Art of Immersion.
Rose allows that every new digital medium has disrupted the grammar of narrative.
Frank’s seminal work on immersive storytelling and his new focus on The Science of Story, unlock the future for every brand to deliver today’s business value.
Follow FR if you want to know where your brand narrative should be heading, assuming you are leading your company toward transformational innovation and engaging people in these digitally disruptive times.
MARY OLSON: I often wonder where your appetite for new knowledge has taken you since 2012. What are your thoughts as you look back on the four years since publishing The Art of Immersion? How have your views changed?
FRANK ROSE: Well, obviously many of the TV shows I wrote about—Lost and The Office and Mad Men, among others—are no longer on the air, although their impact is still felt and their place in pop culture is pretty well assured.
Entertainment and marketing are if anything even more game-like and participatory than when I wrote the book.
Social media is more important than ever.
The big change is virtual reality and the incredible excitement it’s generated, even though most people still don’t even know it exists. Newspapers are jumping in— The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today.
Advertisers are jumping in. And it seems to be generating, even more, excitement for its storytelling possibilities than for games.
Obviously, VR is extremely immersive—that’s its appeal. But in other ways, it runs entirely against the grain of digital media as we’ve known it to date.
Yes, you can tweet about it, but there’s nothing inherently social about having your head encased in goggles. And unlike conventional video, it breaks completely with the grammar of cinema that was developed at the dawn of the motion picture industry. Cuts, pans, fades—none of these work in 360 videos.
There are some great pioneers at work—people like Eugene Chung at Penrose and Edward Saatchi at Oculus. I suspect it’ll be awhile—and to the extent that it’s adopted, will take us in a direction most people haven’t thought about.
MO: Your chapter, How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart includes philosophical and Zen-like views. Social culture and media narratives seem more and more delusional these days. How do you feel about the way the world is emerging?
FR: When I wrote that, I imagined the world of Disney and the world of Philip K. Dick [the American science fiction writer whose novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was the basis for Blade Runner] as opposites, in style if not necessarily in substance.
But the Walt Disney Company has evolved far beyond Walt himself, and the world is growing closer and closer to the highly disconcerting visions of PKD. A crypto-fascist reality TV star for president.
I suspect the purchase of Lucasfilm and the revival of the Star Wars franchise are going to bring these two closer together than ever. The differences in style will be minimized. And digital technology and the thirst for immersive experiences are only going to accelerate the process.
As I wrote in the book, digital technology blurs dividing lines that were considered sacrosanct in the industrial era—between author and audience, story and game, content and advertising, fiction and reality.
Who can tell the difference any more? That’s why we hunger for authenticity.
MO: The way businesses need to communicate is changing. Where is your journey taking you next?
There’s also my blog, Deep Media, which chronicles new developments in storytelling, including some of my projects. Next up will be the DSS seminar focusing on “The Science of Story”. The first segment is titled, “Why Stories? Why Now?” and explains how stories are changing in response to digital technology and how immersion is more sought-after than ever.
“The Science of Story” follows up with an account of recent neuroscience and cognitive psychology research that demonstrates how compelling stories are at changing people’s beliefs and explains why that might be.
MO: Thank you, Frank. Your insights inform not only corporate strategists but watchful adopters, too. We all benefit from your futurist insights about how authentic stories transform people’s behaviors and inform digital marketing and transformative business models.
As Nicholas Ind, Oriol Iglesias, and Majken Schultz wrote in strategy + business, Adi Dassler, a cobbler by training and a keen sportsman observed athletes, talked to them about their needs and then experimented with novel ways of solving their problems. Dassler engaged an iterative process that relied on prototyping and testing and evolving production innovations.
Dassler acquired his first patent on a pair of running shoes in 1925, and three years later, a runner wearing his shoes won an Olympic gold. In 1936, Jesse Owens won four gold medals in Dassler’s shoes.
During Adi Dassler’s lifetime, his company, adidas continued to expand and develop new markets and sports. But the company always united by Adi’s belief in “only the best for the athlete” and his philosophy of industrialized craftsmanship created a stream of innovative products.
Today, the value of authenticity and a deep understanding of the brand also extend into innovative partnerships. adidas selects partners largely by their potential for alignment with the values and philosophy of the company.
Radical designs have opened new audiences and sales channels while encouraging adidas’s designers to be more adventurous.
Credit: Zak Noyle/A-Frame/Parley for the Oceans
As Steve Vincent, Senior Vice President of adidas future, says, “That’s the challenge—to do completely disruptive things that no one ‘s ever seen or expected but still feel like they should come from this brand.”
Along comes PARLEY FOR THE OCEANS, an organization dedicated to reducing plastic waste in oceans. Parley’s collaboration with adidas designers led to a 3D-printed concept shoe made out of recycled ocean plastic.
“The new shoe design rethinks the environmental impact of materials to help stop ocean plastic pollution,” according to adidas.
Among others, this collaboration will accelerate the integration of materials made of ocean plastic waste into adidas products as of 2016.
The true impact of a sustainable future for the adidas brand comes from a long-held mindset of product innovation, a strong embrace of innovative partnerships, and today, helping marine life and showing the world how to shed its throwaway mentality.
Adi Dassler would be pleased that the adidas brand is leading the reduction of plastic pollution in the ocean with a genuine partnership while serving the most competitive athletes in the world.
However a compelling story, adidas misses an opportunity to effect greater brand distinction and engagement.
Jim Signorelli, president at Story-Lab U.S. observes, “adidas is making great strides towards becoming a StoryBrand. However, they need to link together the chapters of their story so that a single-minded truth becomes more evident.”
He adds, “Their latest commercial, featuring James Harden, makes a strong and compelling case for the notion that “Creators Never Follow.” However, a story’s theme is proven through its plot. We need to see that adidas is walking its talk. Every brand in the sportswear category innovates. But innovating in ways that support the sustainability of marine life? That’s the kind of stand-out proof that tells the adidas story convincingly.”
Jim Signorelli and I hope our message resonates with adidas. We want to help adidas enter a higher sphere of storybranding and brand advocacy. We think more athletes would engage the adidas/PARLEY solution if they knew what we know.
References: Strategy + Business writers, Nicholas Ind, Oslo School of Management, Oriol Inglesas, associate professor at ESADE, Business School in Barcelona and director of the ESADE Brand Institute, and Majken Schultz, professor at Copenhagen Business School. adidas Partners to Help End Ocean Destruction, Releases Sustainability Progress Report, by Sustainable Brands. adidas and Parley Oceans Partnership Aims end Plastic Pollution Oceans. NYC NEWS.
Note:The adidas brand name in lower case was used correctly throughout the blog.
My interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2015 includes experts in technology, the arts, marketing, and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Some are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; others are creating game-changing paradigm shifts in their market segments.
I recently had a chance to speak with Liz Nightingale, the ultimate expert in relationship marketing.
You can trace Liz’s marketing mindset to every touch-point of a brand experience. I mean, personally and emotionally direct to people.
It doesn’t matter if the market segment is B2C or trade. In the end, it’s people who respond to her remarkable marketing touch. A quick look into her magical toolkit reveals strategic planning, PR, advertising, brand marketing, emotional branding and brand experience.
Philosophies, processes and creativity are the driving elements of Liz Nightingale’s world of marketing. Although she has been the ultimate leader in luxury marketing from legendary brands to global influences, everything is about building and valuing relationships.
I asked Liz recently, “You are at the top of your game. Every brand you touch increases by double digits. What’s next?” She replied, “I envision opportunities to collaborate at the C-suite level with business visionaries who understand the value of relationships. Marketing has never been as competitive as it is today. But it is not just about appreciating how to simplify complexity or creating and managing data, but about understanding and creating a relationship with your market on a personal basis.”
Liz is the ultimate example of a professional who integrates a love of relationships with digital technologies.
A deep look into Nightingale’s world and you find a master strategist who loves creating world-class brands and building lasting relationships with customers—With digital data.
I mentioned the widely held belief in the marketing world that what you knew two years ago is no longer true today. Nightingale dispelled that notion with a twist when I asked, “What do you think about the impact of technology on C-suite marketing careerists?”
She said, “It is likely that the CMO role shortly will transition to the Chief Marketing Technologist. But, remember, CMT’s need interpersonal skills and a deep and authentic respect for people. Process-wise, relating to people won’t change.”
MailChimp is a high-performance marketing platform with a rock solid infrastructure to power email marketing. MailChimp is yet another fearless and responsive innovator among the recipients of my 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH list.
Co-Founders, Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut recognized the importance of their own data intelligence and user trends. Ever since launching the brand in 2001, Kurzius and Chestnut have demonstrated flexibility and industry-wide leadership. For instance, they looked at the rapidly changing mobile landscape, went through a rigorous redesign, and made MailChimp Mobile universal.
Mail Chimp is a great marketing tool. It provides an easy way for users to send email newsletters, manage subscriber lists and track campaign performance. Over 5 million people in 200 countries use MailChimp send more than 4 billion emails a month through MailChimp.
It offers a variety of basic and advanced features (like templates, list segmentation, a/b testing, geo-targeting and ROI tracking) and makes them accessible to the everyday user through automation and a competitive price point.
Its platform uses an open API and encourages other systems and web applications to integrate with its email-marketing engine.
Currently they offer integrations with systems such as PayPal, Google Analytics, Shopify, Magento, Salesforce and several others.
According to Ben Chestnut, “People just want to get their work done with whatever tools they can get their hands on. We just want to help them get that work done easily.”
Ben Chestnut, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dan Kurzius, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer
512 Means Street NW
Atlanta, GA, 30318
Laura Brown's, How to Write Anything is the first book I've seen that addresses the very core of writing for today's communications channels. Writing and communications rules and guidelines for new our digital culture have simply not been available…until now. The lessons in this book are for everybody. I felt that it was immeasurably relevant to me—digital communication is my profession, and I learned something on every page. Even the simple question "How does one reach a colleague?" has become a struggle in the current environment, and How to Write Anything offers practical, do-able advice and guidance that everyone can use to improve their written communication in the digital age. The tone is intelligent, gracious, and caring; and the content provides real honest-to-goodness skill building. I really hope that this will be required reading in high schools, colleges, and businesses. Every marketing and HR department should buy How to Write Anything for distribution to new hires–it applies to every professional business person.
Businesses succeed or fail on the connection between branding, customer engagement and financial performance. Here is the formula that I have been discussing with clients recently:
Follow this guideline by understanding the business thoroughly and prioritizing branding as the key component to your business growth. Branding is the foundation of marketing. Marketing fulfills the mission statement and creates the customer experience. The customer experience creates the brand engagement, thus building brand equity. Brand equity contributes to P&L metrics like profitability and stakeholder value.
Leaders are in the business of creating shareholder value whether they manage consumer or manufacturing companies. Brand creators are in the business of creating valuable assets; and marketers are in the business of influencing the customer experience and capturing brand value.
If you are focused on valuing your brand, then you have your sights set on improving your P&L. However, as we speak with manufacturing executives about brand equity, few understand its full power and the profit improvement they could gain.
Various indices have been developed to help B2C companies understand the value of their brand. However, most of the measurements rely on soft (qualitative) data. We believe it is important to use a statistically valid method of quantifying brand value in dollars and cents. B2B companies are now just realizing the power of combining price optimization with branding strategies.
The key advantage includes product and value pricing. Enter author, Jerry Bernstein, President, Value Pricing Group, one of the top-tier pricing experts for manufacturing companies with engineered and technology based products. He has a superb understanding of branding and pioneered the now proven "black box" formula he developed, appropriately named, Brand Contribution Analysis™.
Bernstein's quantitative pricing analytics, combined with branding expertise is so powerful, that improvements in profitability are guaranteed. Here is how we overlaid our experience:
Result = The Brand Contribution Analysis™ and related services are enablers for quantifying the dollars that pricing and brand equity can bring to the P&L. Fortunately, for manufacturing executives, the knowledge and methodologies for brand value and profit improvement are demonstrable and attainable.
Ref: 1Value Pricing includes analytical tools and processes designed to capture the full value of products and services. The result is measurable improvements in revenue and profitability.
At Transition Networks, we believe that branding is the foundation of marketing. Marketing in turn creates the customer experience, and the customer experience creates brand equity. Brand equity contributes to metrics that the executive suite understands, like profitability and shareholder value.
It's a very simple business model that took us several years to evolve and clarify.
NETFLIX is among the leading customer-centric organizations in the world. How does NETFLIX create and benefit from the customer experience?
The NETFLIX brand is the customer experience. NETFLIX fills the need for media anytime, anywhere in whatever display device you choose to watch your favorite shows. It personalizes the experience for 33 million members in 40 countries. Not only is NETFLIX a media preference, the brand name can be a verb, a noun, or a generic reference (like Kleenex). In other words, NETFLIX is synonymous with people's daily lifestyle.
John Mello of PC World writes about ForeSee's customer satisfaction rating, which scores e-tailers on a scale of 0-100. While NETFLIX's rating last year was 81, it is trending upwards. More important, it has crossed over the magic 80 point mark, which ForeSee calls the "Threshold of Excellence." Scoring at 80 or above is an indicator of superior customer satisfaction performance.
What is the value proposition? NETFLIX is adept in tracking and communicating customer preferences and experiences. This becomes a simple connection and engagement with each and every member. The ease and reward flows both ways. NETFLIX becomes an emotional lifestyle commitment by the member, who is likely to recommend a film, concert or TV show to someone else.
By comparison, other media delivery models are currently zooming off the cliff (e.g., NBC). These brands don't understand today's customer experience. Network TV's delivery model is likely to die.
NETFLIX overcame its pricing bobble nearly two years ago and today is the on-demand market leader. However, streaming video challengers are encroaching. According to FierceOnlineVideo.com, NETFLIX is being chased by three competitors: HBO GO, Amazon Prime and Vudu (the new Walmart Partner). Other competitors include Hulu, Xfinity by Comcast and Verizon's Redbox. However, NETFLIX currently has the lead with its superior service and brand recognition.
From NETFLIX'S solid foundation of branding and marketing, its interactive customer experience business model is leading to its competitive advantage and profitable brand equity valued in the C-suite and by shareholders. (Nasdaq: NFLX)
Brand Definitions for Business Leaders was written for a corporate officer of a Fortune 500 company to understand the value of branding as a business asset. Branding is one of the great business disciplines that has direct influence on customer relationships and financial gain.
Brand Definitions for Business Leaders establishes the essential foundation for successful marketing strategies. Here you will learn how to calculate the value of a brand name and apply brand equity to your 2013 financial statements.