Strategy Profile – Pierre Ranger

This feature, consisting of a brief biography, short Q&A and compilation of quotations from industry peers, is part of a regular series profiling leading personalities in the Canadian marketing community.- Spearheaded the recent revamping of Humpty Dumpty's corporate logo, and the...

This feature, consisting of a brief biography, short Q&A and compilation of quotations from industry peers, is part of a regular series profiling leading personalities in the Canadian marketing community.

- Spearheaded the recent revamping of Humpty Dumpty’s corporate logo, and the introduction of new packaging.

- Developed Humpty Dumpty’s current promotion in which miniature hockey cards are inserted in single-serve chip bags.pierre

ranger

Pierre Ranger

vice-president

of marketing,

Humpty Dumpty,

Montreal

Pierre Ranger’s introduction to marketing came in 1977, when his then employer, Canada Packers, Chemicals Division, named him product manager on its industrial food additives business in Toronto.

Before the appointment, Ranger, 42, spent four years as a Chemicals Division sales representative in Montreal.

In 1981, he accepted a position as group products manager with packaged meats company Highgrade La Belle Fermiere of Montreal.

Two years later, he moved on to become North American business manager for Teisseire France. Teisseire, which is based in France and at that time maintained an office in Montreal, produces fruit syrups for commercial and consumer use.

In 1988, Humpty Dumpty of Montreal hired Ranger as its director of marketing.

In 1991, he was promoted to vice-president of marketing, the post he continues to hold today.

We asked:

Q. Are you a believer in marketing by science or intuition?

A. ‘Intuition must be an integral part of marketing, and it is acquired over many years of experience. Blended with the scientific part of marketing, it enables you to deal with almost any situation.’

Q. Was there a significant turning point in your career?

A. ‘Yes. Starting and heading up an organization [Teisseire France] from scratch in North America, including the development of products, brand campaigns, distribution, sales networks, etc.’

Q. Who or what influenced you the most in your marketing career?

A. ‘Nobody and nothing in particular except the acquisition of experience from various marketing jobs that I have had in my career.’

Q. What is your favorite marketing campaign (not including campaigns with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘Labatt’s Dry launch, positioning and ads.’

Q. What is your favorite ad (not including ads with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘Labatt’s Dry `La Bamba.”

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. ‘Play golf, tennis, drive a sports car, and collect antique prints.’

Q. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

A. ‘Powershift by Alvin Toffler.’

Q. What do you love most about the marketing business?

A. ‘The continuous evolution and change of the consumer and trade offers marketers a non-routine challenge in a highly competitive environment.

Creative/strategic sense

‘Pierre is very detail-oriented, very good with facts and figures.’

‘He has a real intellectual curiosity. He really loves a puzzle, and he has an ability to follow a thread and to keep following it until it comes to a conclusion.

‘He’s on top of the market. Pierre knows what will work in terms of promotions and what won’t. He knows how to motivate consumers to buy Humpty Dumpty products.’

Management skills

‘People are willing to work for Pierre because he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He’s not an ivory tower marketer.’

Pierre is very much into what Humpty Dumpty’s products represent and where the company is going. He can be very animated and dynamic and he draws you into it.’

‘Pierre will fight for his ideas with management. I’ve seen him go back over and over again until he changes management’s mind.’

Business sense

‘He’s a very entrepreneurial guy. You have to be to make it in the packaged meat business, and it has served him well at Humpty Dumpty as well.

‘He has been successful at getting the convenience store retailers to co-operate with our promotions. Remember, if you can’t do that, the promotion just is not going be effective.’

‘Pierre struck me as more of a brand builder than a wheeler dealer. So he was sort of out of place at Highgrade, since the packaged meat business, then anyway, was so desperately price- and deal-driven.’

‘He tried to bring marketing to Highgrade by developing more effective packaging and graphics. As well, rather than simply engaging in price-cutting activity, he tried to exert some control over the market with consumer promotions.

Corporate outlook

‘I think Pierre used to believe in the power of advertising. Now I don’t know. Humpty Dumpty does no consumer advertising at all.’

‘Pierre understood the need to shift the business culture at Humpty Dumpty from one where marketing stood more or less apart to one where marketing was directly linked to sales and sales results. He was very helpful when it came to making that shift.’

Next issue: Mary Ann Lanyon, director of tourism marketing branch, Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation.