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Marshall Sims '00

October 28, 2011

Marshall Sims ’00, brand manager of Kroger’s Customer Team delivered a lecture, “A Journey in Brand Management.” Sims had an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age when he created the company PriorityFlowers.com from his college dorm. He was inquisitive and directly questioned a man on the street selling flowers from a white van about the logistics of his business, involving a fast supply chain with the flowers flown directly from Florida. After selling his company to a larger competitor in 2001, he joined Gilchrist & Soames as director of sales in Latin America.

Sims talked about his career course which led him to Procter & Gamble. He advised students to focus and be relentless in their pursuits. He cited his own relentless attitude; at first P&G told Sims that positions were not available and that he should get a masters degree and reapply to the company. After completing his MBA at the University of Chicago, he was told that Procter & Gamble didn’t recruit there. Sims persevered and eventually landed his dream job. He wanted to work at Procter & Gamble because he knows that some of the “best of the best” learned their principles at P&G: the CEO’s of Coca-Cola, eBay, Microsoft, GE, and Estee Lauder, just to name a few.

He has never had a single hesitation while working at the company of whether or not they are doing the right thing. P&G was the first company to do door to door consumer research on their products. Sims used a Gillette Case Study to demonstrate the company’s three-step process of a product’s conception to its journey to market. First, an insight must be learned. For Gillette, individuals needed all day odor protection. Second, there must be a benefit from the product. The new Gillette line of Odor Shield body wash and deodorant helps eliminate odor, it doesn’t just cover it up. Third, consumers must have a reason to believe they will see the benefit. Due to advanced odor shield technology, the Gillette product line has been proven to neutralize body odor at its source for 10x more protection. Sims enjoys his job because it allows him to try to meet the unmet needs of consumers. He believes that a successful product will still be on the market 10 years after its conception.  Marshall Sims brought a methodical approach to the field of brand management.

Sims, who was an economic major, has brand management experience at P&G including roles on Febreze, Zest, Gillette North America, and Gillette Global Male Shave & Personal Care.