Pros: Big Consumer marketing firm with Huge Marketing Budget
Cons: Huge failure rate for new product introductions from the 60;s through the 70's
Meet sales Reps and make calls on many different classes of trade.
Management had a " Cavalier Attitude" to hiring Sales Reps. One was hired before I on-boarded with the firm in Wantaugh ,L.I.
Then he was assigned to Cover Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County outside NYC. It generally took him 2 hours in the morning before he reached his first call and 2 hours at the end of the day in the evening to get home. He burned out quickly.
Management had a " Cavalier Attitude" to attending meetings on time. Often meetings were scheduled at the office for 8;30 AM and the Manager would stroll in at 10 to 10:30 AM saying it was traffic.
We all faced the same traffic.
The hardest part of the job was competing with top brands like Crest from Proctor and Gamble and Colgate. These were well established brands and had consistent advertising and marketing support on TV . Lever did not support these brands and they died on the vine and were sold to Arm & Hammer. After many new product failures Lever learned that the best way to build a #1 brand name was to BUY it and they did a great purchase of Chesborough-Ponds after I left the firm.
Selling and maintaining placement of any product line in a grocery store/chain is like going to war every day. If your products are not supported by a strong marketing program as well as well trained and staffed sales force the products will not survive over the long term as viable inventory items in the trade.
The Sales Reps that I worked with at Unilever were all great and very hard working people. The Management on the other hand thought that the most important part of the day was lunch.
Need I say more..
Its been a long time since I was at Lever and the key items that I sold have all been sold to other companies. So things must be improving there.