Salman Amin, senior vice president and global chief marketing officer for PepsiCo, was honored on Jan. 14 on the opening day of Fordham’s second annual conference on positive marketing.
Dawn Lerman, Ph.D., executive director of the Fordham Schools of Business’ Center for Positive Marketing, presented Amin with the center’s Cura Personalis in Positive Marketing award in recognition of his role in PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose campaign, which has focused the firm’s goals on sustainability and healthier food choices.
“Performance with purpose is about building brands that help sustain us as individuals, and as a society. It’s also about reducing the burden put on society by modern ways of production and consumption, through investment in things like biodegradable packaging technology, or reduction of carbon emissions in the production process. And it’s about doing all of this without compromising on taste,” Lerman said.
In his keynote address, “Performance with Purpose: Creating a Sustainable Business in a Changing World,” Amin detailed three core aspects of PepsiCo’s engagement efforts with customers around the world who buy brands like Quaker Oats, Lays, and Tropicana.
Engagement needs to be direct, digital and authentic, he said. The last aspect is particularly important.
“You better say what you mean and you better mean what you say,” he said. “You have to deliver against the brand’s promise. Our challenge, as well as our opportunity, lies in our ability to make our campaigns hyperlocal and enormously relevant.”
He pointed to Gatorade as an example of a brand that had briefly lost its focus but has been revived in recent years. While it had once been mislabeled as a soft drink, it is now known as an integral part of exercise regimens. Part of the brand’s success is due to a cutting-edge social media operation that Amin said monitors online conversations related to exercise and hydration.
Above all, Amin touted change as an opportunity. Shifting global demographics will, for the first time, see people 17 and younger outnumbered by those 50 and older, he said, and an estimated 1 billion people will soon join the ranks of the middle class in Asia.
“To be part of an era in which global communication is being completely revolutionized is an opportunity that previous generations could only dream of,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a more exciting time to be in the business or in the marketing field.”