Summary of the September 2016 ECR Ireland Leaders' Congress

The 3rd ECR Ireland Leaders Congress was commissioned by the ECR Ireland Steering Group. Drawing on real world experiences and global insight, the ECR Leaders' Congress have provide stories and insights to follow new consumer trends and improve the building of successful innovative teams.

Kingsley Aikins was on hand to welcome the event. Mr Aikins was a founding director of The Australian Ireland Fund and for two years served as Executive Director responsible for the growth of the Fund in Australia and setting up the Ireland Fund of New Zeeland. After 21 years he left The Ireland Funds and runs a consultancy company based in Dublin called Diaspora Matters which gives advice on diaspora issues to governments, corporates and individuals. He was the perfect Master of Ceremonies.

Ken Hughes, as one of the world's leading Consumer and Shopper Behaviouralist, has a vast expertise in consumer psychology , social anthropology, behavioural economics and neuromarketing to answer the question to which he has dedicated most of his career: Why do shoppers buy and how can we make them buy more? For this reason his presentation was focused on " The customer is your innovation engine". 

Click here to download the Ken Hughes's presentation for the Leaders Congress.

After this amazing welcome on the Event, started the session of "NEW CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR". Focused on understanding the key changes in consumer behaviour, the Irish firms must be intimate with global, European and UK shopper trends and anticipate their scale and rate of adoption in Ireland. Social trends driven by the digital revolution are changing consumer behaviour and demands. If the companies understand it, can transform its offering accordingly, it has the opportunity to outstrip both the existing competition and the new entrants.

In that way, Matt Clark, Commercial Director of Nielsen, leading the retail and media measurement team in Dublin, was the responsible to speak about " Global consumer trends and the impact on Ireland". His fabulous presentation of "Key trends impacting the Irish FMCG market", was focused on Health and Wellbeing, Brexit and FMCG in Ireland, and so on.

Click here to download the Mark Clark's presentation for the Leaders Congress. 

James Walton, Chief Economist of IGD, has the role to help businesses anticipate and cope with the economic, geo-political social and environmental factors they face. He regularly speaks at international conferences and gives media interviews on the issues and trends affecting the consumer goods industry.  The focal point of his presentation at the Leaders Congress was "Putting health at the centre of the store", concerning of the strategic issues for UK and Irish grocery businesses.

Click here to download the James Walton's presentation for the Leaders Congress. 

John Dillon, is a Partner in the PwC, audit practice and leads the firm's Retail and Consumer practice specialising in working with the companies operating in the consumer, industrial products and services sectors. His presentation at the Leaders Congress " Winning Hearts & Minds of changing consumers through innovation", was centred on the global megatrends that disrupting business, the strategy for the digital age, changing customer behaviour, the use of mobile device as shopping tool by millennials, and so on.

Click here to download the John Dillon's presentation for the Leaders Congress. 

Before finishing the New Consumer Behaviour session, It was a Panel Discussion  about "How Consumer Behaviour is Changing". The participants, well known in their sectors, made a really interesting and useful discussion about the topic. It could not be in another way with the following speakers:

  • Brian Lee, Co-founder and managing director of Chopped. Chopped was named Ireland's "Best Emerging Franchise" at the Irish Franchise Awards in April 2015 and Brian Lee Was also named as one of the "Best Emerging Entrepreneurs" at the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
  • Bobby Kerr, Chairman of Insomnia Coffee, entrepreneur and Dragon's Den Investor. Bobby is a presenter on "Down to Business" the popular Newstalk radio show on Saturday at 10am and was one of the original Dragons on Dragon's Den for the first 4 years of the series.
  • Aoife Kearney, Food Concepts Executive of The Maxol Group. Aoife's role is very much focused on widening Maxol's consumer offer through the development of the Moreish brand and bringing on board other leading branded food offers to elevate consumer experiences.
  • Etain Seymour, IBM Global Insight and Marketing Solutions Leader, with 20 years specialising in customer centric growth strategies for Retailers, CPG and tech-start up companies leveraging big data, insights and personalisation.

Immediately after, was the coffee & tea break, and delegates could share impressions and points of view. The perfect moment to make a feedback of the Ireland business landscape.

Declan Carolan, General Manager ECR Ireland, reopened the event talking about the "ECR- A flagship for collaboration", and introducing the next session: "Innovation for Growth", about predicting and understanding consumer behaviour forms the platform for innovation to flourish. Due to the art of building innovative teams requires skill, vision, perseverance and the right culture. 

David Higgins, Head of Innovation Commercialisation of Diageo, has held a number of roles across Category Development, Implementation Management, European Shopper Marketing Manager and then to Commercial Manager for Northern Ireland. His presentation " Why great insight is not enough to deliver amazing Innovation", was centred on "Focus on results you will never change, focus on change you will get results" & "Forget Insight and Execution, Nurture is Key", with a multiple samples about this theory.

Click here to download the David Higgins's presentation for the Leaders Congress. 

Eamon Howell, Trading Director of MRPI, has developed a robust trading platform that has played a significant role in the growth of the SuperValu and Centra businesses through fresh food leadership, product innovation and a strong value for money proposition for the consumer. In his presentation "Innovation & Food Academy at Musgrave", he explained how Musgrave supports greats projects and puts them available for the consumer, among others topics.

Click here to download the Eamon Howell's presentation for the Leaders Congress. 

Nicola Barrett, Global Marketing Manager Jameson Innovation, Irish Distiller Pernord Ricard, with remit for Innovation on the Jameson brand specifically. Her presentation of "Driving growth with Innovation: The Jameson Caskmates Story", was centred on Jameson's key elements of success, between others points.

Click here to download the Nicola Barrett's presentation for the Leaders Congress.

Afterwards, It was a Panel Discussion of "Innovation for Growth", in which the participants  were debating  about the subject, and the delegates could participate on it. Nicola Barret was also part of the Panel Discussion, and furthermore, the following speakers:

  • Stephen Dillon, Sales Revenue Planning Controller Ireland and Chocolate Lead, Mondelez, has 25 years' experience in the Cadbury, Kraft and Mondelez business covering filed sales management, national account management and sales planning.
  • Eoin Butler, Supply Chain Manager of MRPI, responsible for availability E2E supply chain network optimisation and Supplier collaboration.

Upon completing this event and fulfilling the objectives of each unit, the ECR Ireland Co-Chairs, Deidre O'Donoghue -Nestle Ireland Country Manager- and Brian Donaldson - Maxol Group CEO-, closed the event hoping that It had improved the delegates knowledge and they will return to their companies filled with new ideas, because that It was one of event objectives for ECR Ireland.

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BROCHURE.  Click here to download it.