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Authority Magazine

Erick Dickens: “Don’t compromise an opportunity just because it may be bigger than the brand itself.”

I don’t compromise an opportunity just because it may be bigger than the brand itself. When I was working for what was a regional food brand and charged with turning it into a national powerhouse, I found myself in a situation where I had the chance to pursue marketing options that would not typically take on a smaller brand. While having a discussion with one of my marketing partners, baseball legend Steve Garvey, he asked me what my home run activation would be. I replied that I wanted to create a restaurant for the brand inside the ballpark, but that based on my previous discussions with the team, that it seemed out of reach. Garvey smiled and said that we were not going to give up that easily. He arranged for a new set of conversations and helped the marketing team develop an approach that would make the ballpark more receptive to the idea. When opening day arrived, our brand had a restaurant inside the stadium. I learned once again that not giving up, leveraging the strength of your team and being open to creative solutions achieves success.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Erick Dickens, Co-Founder and CEO of Kadenwood, LLC. Erick started his career in marketing after serving over eight years as a U.S. Army pilot and commander. He has over 20 years of experience leading teams and driving growth for category-leading brands in fast-growing start-ups and global Fortune 500 companies. Erick was recently selected to the inaugural Forbes CMO Next list of 50 top marketers redefining the role of CMO for his work driving brand and business growth at King’s Hawaiian. Erick has managed household brands such as Post Cereals, Renuzit, Soft Scrub, and Right Guard at Kraft Foods and Henkel. Erick led LifeLock’s branding and product development effort resulting in a doubling of sales over three years and a successful IPO. At King’s Hawaiian, Erick built the marketing function and strategy from scratch — doubling the 68-year-old bread company’s revenue during his five years. In addition to traditional marketing mediums such as TV, print, radio, and digital, Erick successfully leveraged both branded entertainment and sponsorship to drive category-leading, new product launches.

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