During this 180th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Kim Feil, chief marketing and strategy officer at Aspire Healthy Energy Drinks. She spent a number of years as a manufacturer, retailer and consultant in the industry. Most notably, before turning to board service and fast growth start-ups, Feil served as CMO at OfficeMax, Walgreens and Sara Lee.  

Feil discusses the importance of key mentors in her life, specifically the influence her Dad had on her. She also addresses the impact of the Network of Executive Women, an organization focused on empowering women executives and inclusion in the workplace. On the hard road to inclusion and diversity in the workplace, Feil shares, “it’s 2019 and the last Fortune 500 company not to have a woman, finally, put a woman on its board.”

Feil gives insight into the startup world through the story of Aspire, a healthy energy drink company that is quickly gaining traction in the industry. Their consumer passion is exceptionally high, and they have been able to move into major markets quickly. Aspire is on track to more than triple again this year and is currently in 4,600 stores. Feil shares more about their growth plans and “endgame” options.

  • Kim’s background in journalism and path into marketing. (02:19)
  • Mentors and their importance in your career. (03:28)
  • The Network of Executive Women, “More of a group that’s been mentors to me.” (03:50)
  • How to get to the CMO level and stay there. (05:12)
  • Combating Imposter Syndrome: “It comes down to how, especially for marketers, it’s such a combination of art and science.” (06:57)
  • Kim’s career shift into board service, startup and entrepreneurship. (08:04)
  • The story of Aspire. (10:40)
  • What’s the “endgame” for Aspire? (14:58)
  • The difference in marketing at a large corporation vs. a startup. (15:45)
  • The importance of Sampling: “Our number 1 marketing strategy.” (16:09)
  • The biggest challenges and opportunities for big brands and fast-growth companies. (17:58)
  • Discussing the goal of Naturally Network. “Their intent was to create an ecosystem of natural and healthier food products.” (19:50)
  • An experience from Kim’s past that defines who she is today. (22:21)
  • What three things fuel Kim day-to-day? (25:05)
  • Brands, companies or organizations to take note of. (26:44)
  • The future of marketing. (29:13)

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.