Working at Rémy Cointreau since January 2010
Current position: Area Manager for Germany and Austria
3 skills to work in your team: Autonomy, rigor and creativity
What does your role of Area Manager entail?
My role is to define Rémy Cointreau’s portfolio strategy into German and Austrian markets and coordinate their implementation. My responsibilities are to challenge the distributors on their depletions to increase the rotation level of our products on all channels. Thanks to the support of the Western Europe financial controller, Pierre Ferry, I initiate, analyse and confirm new business opportunities. Besides, being accountable for the visibility of our brands on those markets, I am working in close collaboration with Tom Kiraz, marketing manager in charge of WE. We are driving the marketing team of the distributor and investment towards the proper implementation of the marketing plans agreed, in line with brands guidelines. Last but not least, I am working with the customer service and planning team in Angers to forecast distributors demand with the goal to better monitor financial KPIs from the P&L and reach the objectives defined.
You work with all of our brands. What makes our portfolio special?
The quality and heritage of our brands are trully and fully recognized by the on-trade partners, such as the fit between our values and their perception. Now, we have to emphasize those key messages towards end consumers as they become more sensible to their consumption.
Last year was affected by the Covid pandemic and the shutdown of the on-trade. How did you keep a close link with your clients?
In collaboration with our German distributor, we have proven our agility moving marketing investments towards influencers campaigns on social media to reach consumers at home while sharing brand knowledge and ways of consumptions. We have reached particularly good results on Metaxa, Cointreau and PHD Malts as impressions rates over-achieved our expectations.
Moreover, we supported the on-trade community with promotions, offering cocktails packages including bottles, personalized label with name of the bar and brand, and even snacks, which were then sold to take away. This has been really appreciated and beneficial for the mixology brands of our portfolio like The Botanist, Rémy Martin 1738 and Mount Gay Black Barrel. The barmen remembered that and maintained listings at the time of re-opening.
Will this crisis modify the way your work on the long-run?
The fact the crisis arrived suddenly underlines the importance of the reactivity and reinforces the local presence of my position to identify quicker causes, reshuffle plans and investments to better support our partners.
More generally, it is above all our approach to the consumer that has changed and is now more considered as a whole, on-trade and off-trade operating even more strongly in continuity with one another. It is likely that consumption at home will remain strong, so we are strengthening our visibility in supermarkets through placements and activities on the Cointreau brand, for example with a focus on Margarita, which grows our market share.
10 years in the Group and still counting
You worked in the automobile and cosmetic industries before. Why did you choose to join the wines and spirits sector? Are there any striking similarities or differences?
My previous experiences within large groups like Ford and Beiersdorf, have allowed me to build up marketing and sales expertise, still useful today.
I joined the spirits industry for the dimension of consumption based on pleasure and gathering and travel retail because this channel is full of opportunities when it comes to shopper approach. Having first worked on a partner brand, Russian Standard Vodka, having recently joined the distribution portfolio of global travel retail (GTR) at that time, I discovered over time the fabulous brands of the group with enormous heritage and immense potential.
The most striking difference was to face with the different life cycles of the products. In fact, at Beiersdorf, in several categories, major innovations can reach 40% of the brand’s total sales and sometimes go out of fashion the following year, at Ford, a car facelift is made on average every 3 years, when the Cointreau recipe has been established since 1878!
What has been your journey within Rémy Cointreau, for the last 10 years?
I joined the group to launch Russian Standard vodka into the GTR globally as a trade marketing manager. I subsequently held the position of trade marketing manager for Central and Eastern Europe before becoming a key account for Heinemann, the seventh largest player in travel retail. Thanks to the organizational changes operated in European domestic zone, I took the opportunity to become Area Manager for the German and Austrian domestic markets while remaining based in Hamburg.
What do you like best about working with us?
I take great satisfaction and pride in working for brands with strong savoir-faire and anchoring in time, I appreciate sharing their drink experience with my professional and private contacts.
I value the entrepreneurial spirit that fosters initiatives and the constructive mentality of employees which actively helps to grow the company.
I am particularly sensitive to the fact that I can progress in a company that cares about my professional and personal balance, so that I can lead with serenity my career in accordance to my family life.
Any advice for a future candidate?
Highlight proactive and team player capacities!