Senior Manager Product Development Private Brands at

Many of you may have noticed that I have begun to post Private Brand related job postings, there are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. The economy continues to be a challenge for retailers and job seekers and I think it is a service to my readers.
  2. Job postings are often an early indicator of strategic shifts. Look back at major events in Private Brand over the last few years and you can often see jobs posted 6-12 months before. 

Senior Manager Product Development Private Brands Consumables at

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas (Fayetteville, Arkansas Area)
Type: Full-time
Experience: Mid-Senior level
Functions: Management, Product Management, Research, Strategy/Planning, Science 
Industries: Cosmetics, Chemicals, Consumer Goods, Pharmaceuticals, Research 
Posted: January 30, 2010

Job Description
Contributes to strategic product development plans by developing short and long-term plans; collaborating with other business areas (for example, Brand Management, Merchandising, suppliers) regarding plans; ensuring plans meet Private Brands objectives; and initiating, coordinating, and evaluating research and analyses to identify product quality and performance standards.

Manages the development of Private Brand products with other business areas (for example, Brand Marketing, Merchandising) by directing suppliers to create products; identifying and addressing technical and consumer drivers of category success; identifying nutritional and quality standards for categories; establishing product and category priorities; identifying and allocating product development resources; planning, executing, and monitoring product development projects; and ensuring products and categories meet Company goals (for example, profits, sales,
market share, Customer experience) and brand identity.

Identifies and develops business opportunities for the Private Brand portfolio by monitoring and evaluating competitor and industry products; analyzing the Private Brand portfolio; recognizing, analyzing, and prioritizing product opportunities; communicating technical, regulatory, performance, and consumer product opportunities to the Private Brand team and suppliers; supporting the inclusion of business opportunities into brand and category planning; and collaborating with Consumer Insights to test products.

Provides technical support to the Private Brand team by developing and maintaining relationships with other internal and external resources (for example, Legal, Compliance departments); responding to product inquiries (for example, nutrition, performance criteria, food safety); advising other business areas (for example, Sourcing, Quality) regarding product development (for example, supplier selection, product and packaging specifications, evaluation parameters, Customer needs); developing product specifications; and ensuring that tolerances are incorporated into product specifications which balance Customer needs with manufacturing constraints.

Contributes to the Product Development infrastructure by identifying and recommending infrastructure tools (for example, facilities, product evaluation protocols) and improvements; and identifying and engaging companies to perform services (for example, laboratory, consumer testing, sensory resources).

Develops timelines by collaborating with cross-functional teams (for example, Brand Marketing, Merchandising); coordinating product development and negotiating product specifications with Buying team.

Drives the execution of multiple business plans and projects for Product Development – Private Label by identifying Customer and operational needs; developing and communicating business plans and priorities; removing barriers and obstacles that impact performance; providing resources; identifying performance standards; measuring progress and adjusting performance accordingly; developing contingency plans; and demonstrating adaptability and supporting continuous learning.

Provides supervision and development opportunities for Associates by selecting and training; mentoring; assigning duties; building a team-based work environment; establishing performance expectations and conducting regular performance evaluations; providing recognition and rewards; coaching for success and improvement; and ensuring diversity awareness.

Promotes and supports Company policies, procedures, mission, values, and standards of ethics and integrity by training and providing direction to others in their use and application; ensuring compliance with them; and utilizing and supporting the Open Door Policy.

Ensures business needs are being met by evaluating the ongoing effectiveness of current plans, programs, and initiatives; consulting with business partners, Managers, co-workers, or other key stakeholders; soliciting, evaluating, and applying suggestions for improving efficiency and costeffectiveness and participating in and supporting community outreach events.

Judgment: Make Informed Judgments – Uses relevant business metrics, analyses, and reports to measure, monitor, and improve performance. Identifies and applies sound, fact-based criteria in setting priorities and making decisions. Looks beyond symptoms to determine the root causes of problems, and identify and implement applicable solutions. Integrates knowledge and expertise in making fact-based recommendations and decisions.

Customer Centered: Ensure Customer Centered Performance – Analyzes data and information, and develops plans to exceed customer expectations. Sponsors initiatives and practices that provide customers with desired products, services, and experiences and that grow the business. Ensures customers receive the level of service that builds their trust and confidence. Removes barriers to delivering customer value, service, and support.

Execution and Results: Ensure Execution and Achieve Results – Conveys a sense of urgency in ways that motivate others to complete responsibilities and achieve goals. Pursues the achievement and alignment of measurable and meaningful goals. Leverages resources and talent to achieve business goals. Ensures others are held accountable for achieving expected results. Prioritizes and balances time, actions, and projects to ensure accomplishment of results. Monitors progress of others and redirects efforts when goals change or results are not met.

Planning and Improvement: Ensure Planning and Improvement – Sets clear expectations, performance measures, and goals, and helps others do the same. Plans for and ensures others have the information, resources, implementation time, and talent needed to accomplish business initiatives. Identifies and plans for improvement in performance using key business metrics.

Influence and Communicate: Build and Influence Team – Develops and communicates logical, convincing reasons, including lessons learned, to build support for one’s viewpoints and actions. Involves others in decisions and plans that affect them, when appropriate. Recognizes and rewards team accomplishments, celebrating team and organizational success. Ensures business priorities, change initiatives, and organizational information are communicated in clear and compelling ways. Promotes the exchange of diverse experiences and ideas within own organization.

Ethics and Compliance: Ensure Ethics and Compliance – Actively communicates, trains, and guides associates on compliance with policies and procedures. Maintains an environment that promotes and reinforces the highest standards of integrity and ethics. Anticipates potential issues and takes action to enhance compliance.

Adaptability: Adapt and Learn – Demonstrates creativity and strength in the face of change, obstacles, or adversity. Adapts to competing demands and shifting priorities. Updates knowledge and skills to handle new complexities, challenges, and responsibilities. Seeks exposure to new ideas and perspectives. Identifies and takes steps to improve adaptability and continuous learning capabilities in own organization.

Talent: Manage and Leverage Talent – Develops talent plans for own organization targeted at increasing effectiveness, building diversity, and enhancing bench strength. Manages roles, assignments, and developmental opportunities to maximize organizational performance. Ensures people processes (for example, selection, development, performance evaluation) lead to effective associate performance and desired results throughout own organization. Monitors associate performance and provides constructive feedback that is specific, honest, accurate, and timely. Provides learning opportunities, guidance, and support in the development of associates.

Social Responsibility and Reputation: Strengthen Reputation and Local Involvement – Participates in and supports community events, and conducts business in a manner that creates and maintains a “good neighbor” image. Develops external relationships and partnerships to strengthen the reputation of the Company. Serves as a credible and effective spokesperson and representative for the Company.

Build Relationships: Network Internally and Externally – Builds trusting, collaborative relationships and alliances with others, inside and outside of the organization. Relates to others in an accepting and respectful manner, regardless of their organizational level, personality, or background. Promotes a team-based work environment that respects, embraces, and values diversity in others.

Position Summary

Functions include:

  • Synthesize what is known from the market and consumers to create product brief and bring tangible, differentiated products to the shelf
  • Leverage suppliers to consistently manufacture and upgrade capabilities and capacity as needed to meet pipeline requirements
  • Leverage external Innovation experts to design and development products that meet the target
  • Define and Implement Innovation processes for PD activities that is consistent across categories

Required Skills and Experience 

  •  Degree in relevant R&D space.
  • Minimum of 6 years of related experience or consulting experience
  • Experience with process analysis, and process design within product innovation/open innovation
  • Strong communication and facilitating skills
  • Strong personal drive and ability to influence teams and individuals/high level of energy
  • Persisting in defining and reaching goals
  • Proven experience in project management and implementation
  • Strong networking and relationship building skills
  • Organized and analytical

Preferred Skills and Experience (preferred but not required)

  • BS or advanced degree.
  • Minimum of 8 years of related experience or consulting experiene
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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.