16 April, 2024

The consumer industry is a whirlwind of constant change. New trends emerge overnight, shopping habits evolve, and technology redefines the landscape. To navigate this dynamic environment, companies need high-performing teams equipped with the right skills and expertise.

That’s where AIMS International’s Consumer Global Practice comes in.  This team of diverse and experienced consultants leverages their deep industry knowledge and global reach to connect clients with the perfect leadership across the entire consumer value chain.

In this interview, we chat with Cristina Favero, the Global Head of the Consumer Practice, to gain valuable insights into the industry, explore the latest trends, and uncover the secrets to building winning teams in the ever-evolving consumer landscape.

Q. How does the Consumer Global Practice and its members add value to our clients?

Cristina: As an international headhunting organisation covering more than 50 countries across all continents, our Consumer Global Practice brings together a team of diverse and experienced consultants with deep knowledge of the consumer industry in their markets. 

Through our extensive organisation and global reach, we are able to tap into a diverse pool of talents from around the world, helping our clients identify and recruit top talent across the entire consumer value chain, ensuring them the same methodologies, processes, and quality. We come together on a regular basis, sharing with transparency our experiences and know-how, so that we are able to transfer this knowledge to the local AIMS companies in international projects.

In the Consumer GP, we understand that every client is unique, which is why we offer customised solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. And we do this with a long-term partnership approach: we strive to build trust, providing ongoing support and expertise to help our clients navigate the complex and rapidly changing consumer industry.


Q. What are the latest consumer industry insights and trends?


Cristina: The consumer industry is one of the most dynamic and everchanging ones and companies must be agile enough to evolve with these industry shifts by creating diverse strategies. Aside from real-time adjustments in response to the pandemic, companies also had to prepare for upcoming changes and new consumer behaviours that seem to be permanent. 


The most important ones are: the constant growth of e-commerce, the importance of omnichannel and of the shopping experience; even more personalization (as consumers want products and experiences that are tailored to their individual needs and preferences); a strong push for sustainability (as consumers are becoming more and more conscious about the impact of their purchases, the most successful brands are those expressing messages oriented towards solidarity and the environment and brands with a clear associated “purpose” are the ones that thrive); intense focus in health and wellbeing (with a lot of attention to organic and natural foods for example and to products and services that promote a healthy lifestyle); and last but not least digital technology (which is becoming more integrated into the consumer experience).


Q. What is the importance of ‘culture fit’ in the consumer industry and what does that mean when presenting top executives and leaders to our clients?


Cristina: The concept of “culture fit” refers to the alignment between an individual’s values, ideals and work style with the organisation’s. In the post-pandemic world, where many companies have shifted to remote work or hybrid models, culture fit has become even more important, because employees need to be able to work independently and make decisions without direct supervision and a strong culture fit can help ensure that they will thrive in this environment.

Therefore, when presenting candidates to our clients, it is important for us to assess not only their qualifications and experience but also their cultural fit. This means considering factors such as their leadership style, communication style and personal values, and comparing them to the company’s ones. By ensuring a strong cultural fit, the client can increase the likelihood of a successful hire and reduce the risk of turnover or conflicts.

The concept of “culture fit” is then very tightly connected to the one of “purpose”, which has become increasingly important for several reasons, that span from brand differentiation, and consumer loyalty, but also employee engagement and attraction. By having a strong purpose, companies can stand out from the competition and attract and retain top talent.


Q. What are the skills and qualities that are most in demand in the Consumer industry now?


Cristina: I would say that the consumer industry is looking for candidates who have a combination of technical skills, soft skills and a strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.

Digital literacy is definitely one of the most in-demand technical skills now: with the increasing importance of e-commerce and digital marketing, companies are looking for candidates with strong digital skills, including proficiency in social media, data analytics and e-commerce platforms.

Sustainability and social responsibility is becoming very important too, because as consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact of their purchases on the environment and society. Therefore, companies must have this sensitivity and need to be good at putting the customer at the centre, respecting his values and beliefs.

And then, of course, as the consumer industry is rapidly changing, with new trends and technologies emerging all the time, candidates who can demonstrate a willingness to learn and adapt to new situations are highly valued. So, having an agile and learning mindset and demonstrating flexibility is definitely crucial.

Ready to build a high-performing consumer leadership team?  AIMS International’s Consumer Global Practice can help you identify and recruit top leaders across the globe. Get in touch with us to discuss your specific needs and learn more about our customised solutions.