Walgreens Sturdevant Named 2013 Brand Innovator

Laura SturdevantThis month the trade magazine Brand Packaging celebrates its annual Brand Innovators issue. The 2013 edition includes three honorees: Terry T. Schwartz, Director, Global Design, Campbell Soup Company; Laura Sturdevant, Director Of Product Development, Private Brands, Walgreens and Peter Borowski, Head Of Design, Kraft Foods. Its always exciting to see a Private Brand leader recognized. Congratulations Laura.

Brand Packaging innovator13Laura Sturdevant
Director Of Product Development, Private Brands, Walgreens

Laura Sturdevant has been working at Walgreens as director of private brands since August of 2009. Prior to Walgreens, she was at Topco for a year working on strategic sourcing and non-food grocery. She also spent 19 years at Aldi, where her work led her though four positions, with the last one being group director of corporate purchasing

Her background has honed her talents and led to the most recent and largest accomplishment: the development and building of the Nice! private brand.

“I have always enjoyed private brands,” Sturdevant says, “and Walgreens has given me the opportunity to work on the strategy and development of private brands influencing sales, branding and merchandising. Launching new brands and products has driven, and continues to drive, my passion. Seeing a new brand such as Nice! take off and be so successful and recognized is rewarding.”

Nice! is the number two brand at Walgreens and one Sturdevant and her team are quite proud of. Nice! was introduced to replace the numerous brands in the company portfolio that had been developed over the years, taking the company in a different direction than other large retailers who hold their products under many names.

“By consolidating to one large brand, we moved from building products to building brands — brands that we can spend marketing dollars against that will build customer loyalty,” she says. “We believe it is better to build around a few great brands so that we can better use our marketing dollars. Walgreens has less than five key brands, but we do have some smaller brands for specific product categories.

“I am most excited about the development of the Delish brand that we acquired through the Duane Reade acquisition. We continue to build the brand and products and have recently launched 30 new Delish Premium Chocolates that are quite tasty.”

Sturdevant and her team at Walgreens work to make sure what they offer consumers will meet their needs and expectations a key aspect in brand building.

“We’ve developed each brand to have its own unique look. The look and feel fits the brand promise, builds customer loyalty and has a style that is uniquely Walgreens.”

Read about all the Brand Innovators


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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.