By Max Rothman
Three weeks after the resignation of its president and CEO, Kevin McClafferty, Marley Beverage Company (MBC) announced today that it has adjusted its growth strategy and will hire additional staff to support strategic regions.
According to Craig Thibodeau, MBC’s senior vice president of sales for U.S. and Canada national accounts, the company will develop its branding and in-store sale strategies with its distribution partners and heavily invest in six regions: the Southeast, the mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, the Midwest, Southern California and the Pacific Northwest. After doing so, MBC plans to enter more yet-to-be-determined regions.
In a press release, MBC announced that it plans to add 30 to 40 sales and marketing personnel and eliminate eight to 10 positions from all levels of the organization that aren’t currently aligned with the new growth strategy.
“We are focused on developing the brand at the point of sale,” Thibodeau wrote to BevNET in an e-mail. “The additional feet on the street planned will result in better placement, more displays and secondary placements, new facings and better positioning of our [point of sale].”
As part of the adjusted growth strategy, Lee Brody, MBC’s global marketing director, will leave the company at the end of September. Brody said that the company has shifted to a more regional marketing focus, which ended the need for a marketer of his national and, at times, global focus.
Brody added that he’s in ongoing talks regarding the possibility of a future consulting and advising arrangement with MBC, but nothing is official yet.
“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish for the brand,” Brody said.
In the release, Thibodeau said that in the last three years, MBC has grown from two CSD offerings to more than 10 prominent SKUs serviced by more than 145 distribution partners.
“Now that Marley Beverages is established,” Thibodeau said in the release, “the logical next step in our growth is to work closely with our distribution partners to increase placements and facings, establish prominent planogram positioning, utilize additional ‘in-store’ [point of sale], and add key personnel to drive sales and consumer awareness through demo and other interactive marketing initiatives.”
Thibodeau wrote that MBC continues to constantly add new distributors to meet demand, such as its recent agreement with Haralambos Beverage Company to bolster its presence in Southern California.
Although McClafferty remains an equity shareholder in the company, Thibodeau wrote that MBC is currently evaluating options for his successor and has no timetable for the hire.