With Aligned just over a week away, we invite you to get to know one of the conference’s featured brand speakers: Kim Hoey, Sr. Marketing Director – Running Division at Mizuno USA.
Mizuno is a global corporation that specializes in a wide variety of sports equipment and sportswear, from golf and baseball to skiing and running. Founded in Osaka, Japan in 1906, Mizuno has since continued to expand internationally, rooted in the belief that there is potential in everyone to transform their life through dedication to sport.
Kim joined Mizuno’s Running division in 2013, coming from an impressive background in brand management and marketing. In her role, Kim is happily able to combine her passion for running with her dedication to influencing product purchases that have the power to positively transform lives, in ways both big and small.
She’ll be joining us at the Aligned Conference this year as a part of the State of the Industry Panel.
Can you speak to the importance of aligning specialty retailers to the national brand messaging?
Aligning specialty retailers to the national message is critical in ensuring a consistent brand presence across social platforms and mitigating possible consumer confusion.
While certainly messages may be tailored to be most applicable to the specialty channel and its local shoppers, they should ladder to a consistent expression of the brand, its vision, tone, and personality.
At Mizuno, it’s important that we’re providing the same premium brand experience for our consumers, regardless of the touchpoint with the brand. By providing our specialty retail partners with photography, copy, and other marketing assets directly from us via Promoboxx, we can not only save them time but also deliver on a consistent, premium brand experience.
How does Mizuno USA empower its specialty retailers?
Promoboxx is certainly one way we empower our specialty retailers. By providing turn-key, time-efficient marketing solutions, our hope is that this frees up some time and gives them the opportunity to focus on other parts of their multi-faceted retail jobs.
The run specialty channel is our number one priority. With this comes a focus on our specialty retailers to provide input and feedback to our product development team, allowing them be a voice at the table in helping to shape our future product portfolio while empowering them to best meet their shoppers’ needs.
While an indirect way of empowering specialty retailers, we also keep our distribution “clean,” ensuring that run specialty is the one place you can always count on to find Mizuno running gear, staying away from over-proliferating other channels of distribution with our latest product news.
Lastly, we’re trying to leverage the eCommerce trend and online product research to benefit our retail partners. MizunoUSA.com has a new tool where consumers can search for a product and see where it is available near them to try on and hopefully purchase!
Related content: Apparel Magazine Names Mizuno Top Marketing Innovator >
Best career advice you were given or personal motto you live by?
Always be learning, growing, and staying up with the latest trends. Don’t be stagnant!
With the pace of innovation and technology advancements in today’s business world and, specifically, the marketing ecosystem, this holds truer than ever before! Just because something worked last year doesn’t mean it will be as effective this year. Keeping to the status quo means you’re not advancing.
From a personal motto standpoint, I love this quote. Unfortunately, I don’t have a name to give it credit to! “The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” In today’s hyper-competitive world, it’s easy to compare yourself to others. While we can’t all win the race, we can all continually improve ourselves.
What are you most excited for at this year’s Aligned Conference?
Definitely meeting others who will be at the conference and learning how they’ve leveraged the Promoboxx platform to improve their local business performance.
It’s always interesting to hear perspectives from other industries that can spur a new idea or thought that may not have come to you otherwise, as we are immersed in the day-to-day of our respective industry silos.
Of course, I’m also looking forward to having a little fun as well!
Who is your favorite local retailer?
Well, I think it would be cheating to name a run specialty store here in the Atlanta area, so right now, it would probably be my local hair salon. They do a great job with electronic reminders for your appointment and the actual experience while you are there is definitely pampering and enjoyable – a very high level of customer service. As a mom, I especially appreciate this as it’s one of the only times I have to myself!