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June 11th, 2020
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

DTC Triggers for Legacy Brands to Create Intense Loyalty


DTC and digitally native disrupters have emerged in nearly every vertical over the last few years, from mattresses to shoes to kitchen cabinets. Often it is attributed to their ability to cut out the middle man, making the sale easy and direct, but that is just one piece of a big puzzle made up of customer-centric moments.

In this session, Kyle Bottoms of Critical Mass, in conversation with Kimberley Gardiner of Mitsubishi, will explore a playbook of empathetic triggers that direct-to-consumer and digitally native vertical brands pull in order to create intense customer loyalty without the need to shift entire business models. The discussion will study how applying this playbook to an industry steeped in legacy—automotive, looking toward and planning for a near future of necessary change.

The Speakers

Kimberley Gardiner

Kimberley Gardiner is the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA). In this role, she is responsible for overseeing all marketing communications activities for MMNA in the United States, including brand strategy, digital, social and broadcast advertising, creative development and deployment, strategic short- and long-range planning, retail marketing, CRM, data analytics and integration of global marketing messages for the brand’s critical U.S. market.

Prior to this role, Gardiner served as Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President Operations at 5th Kind LLC, and held various roles for the Toyota, Lexus and Scion divisions of Toyota Motor Sales, USA. During this time, Gardiner oversaw the development, planning, and execution of innovative digital experiences, interactive marketing campaigns, and trade shows and events that supported new vehicle launches.

Kyle Bottoms

A creative strategist, brand steward and challenger of convention, Kyle is a member of the Critical Mass Strategy team. Having guided and represented brands across automotive, consumer products and entertainment for over a decade, he lives to blow up conventional thinking and explore the “what if.”

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The RIW program has been developed to provide inspiration and direction to executives working in retail, at brands and their partner companies.

The Future of Retail festival has been produced by the team at Retail Innovation Week(R), a spin-off division from research and strategy think-tank PSFK.