Saul Rivkind has been appointed as the National Customer & Category Development Head for ACDOCO South Africa ("ACDOCOSA"). The appointment complements the company's existing leadership team and focused strategic positioning as the first shopper-centric Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brand-custodian distributor on the African continent.
Rivkind has over a decade of experience in CPG and was previously Senior Operations & Channel Manager for a R500 million portfolio, including well known global brands Canderel, Equal, Duracell, Old Spice, Tampax and Clearblue. Rivkind will lead ACDOCOSA's portfolios which include sexual wellbeing, premium oral care and personal care.
With a shopper-centric approach, Rivkind's position is distinctive and in line with ACDOCOSA's new operating strategy - customer/category development and shopper marketing lead the front-end of the company versus traditional sales and marketing structures.
Rivkind states: "I have been fortunate to work with pioneers in the shopper marketing space in South Africa, leaders who have had an overarching influence on channel and customers. This experience has shaped my approach to serving both retailers and their shoppers, thereby driving sustainable value to all stakeholders. The cookie cutter and one-size-fits-all approach no longer holds water. Success is now dependant on partnering with customers, using bespoke approaches, while amplifying multiple channels within and across retail banners. Key to driving category growth and shopper delight is the surgical focus of resources for the best behaviour-changing opportunities along the path to purchase and re-purchase."
Rivkind adds that consumer, trade and shopper cohesion is paramount in driving return for both brands and retailers in the challenged CPG sector. "As investment budgets become tighter, seamless internal congruence and prioritisation, alongside allocation of spend that is appropriately weighted against changing shopper behaviour, means that consumer, trade and shopper functions have to work as one to maximise return for every Rand spent".
Brandon Pilling, Chairman of ACDOCOSA's holding company in the United Kingdom, Astley Dye & Chemical Co. Ltd, says: "The bulk of shopper influence happens at shelf or at close proximity to store - this calls for a new breed of customer manager, one that looks beyond trading terms and operating margins and deeply understands shoppers, their channels, specific category dynamics within these channels and the retailers they frequent for medium to long-term gains. We believe Rivkind is the right person to manage this process in South Africa and look forward to his contribution."