The Yorke effect: Susan Yorke, marketing director, Swiss Herbal Remedies

After 15 years of launching and re-launching brands for CPG firms, Susan Yorke has developed a reputation as 'the turn-around agent.' Her next mission: Toronto-based vitamin manufacturer Swiss Herbal Remedies.

After 15 years of launching and re-launching brands for CPG firms, Susan Yorke has developed a reputation as ‘the turn-around agent.’ Her next mission: Toronto-based vitamin manufacturer Swiss Herbal Remedies.

In the new marketing director post, Yorke will try to increase brand presence and consumer programs.

With Swiss number three, Yorke says she’s looking forward to leading a ‘major transformation’ for the brand.

‘The consumer is begging the market to simplify the shopping equation,’ she says. In hiring her, senior folks at Swiss ‘wanted to significantly grow the brand using the CPG model,’ she adds.

To help, Yorke recently hired two marketers with strong experience: Amy Lam, formerly with P&G and Carolyn Wolkowich, who spent 10 years at pharma company Novartis, both as marketing managers.

The sheer potential of the category ($1 billion industry, over 12% growth last year, according to industry stats) excites Yorke, but it’s also one she truly believes in, especially after years of marketing chips and ketchup.

‘Now I get to market products that make a difference in people’s lives,’ she says referring to the growing number of studies that suggest vitamins can help ward off cancers and heart disease.

Yorke spent six years at P&G as a brand manager on diapers and facial tissue, as well as Frito-Lay as senior marketing manager, where she was responsible

for launching Tostitos in Canada as well as re-launching Doritos.

But her career highlight was as director of marketing at Heinz where, during a four-year stint, she turned around a brand that had been faltering for 10 years.

Yorke introduced green and purple ketchup and the spot with the little boy and the duck. ‘The brand started growing again and profit was up significantly,’ she says.

Most recently, she was at ConAgra Foods as director of marketing.