Wolverine’s CEO Shares a Roadmap to Success That Any Company Can Use

For the past few years, Wolverine World Wide Inc. has taken drastic steps to position its global business to continue to win. And what does success look like for the firm? “Winning is profitable growth,” chairman, president and CEO Blake Krueger told attendees today at the FN CEO Summit in Miami.

As part of that process of self-evaluation, Krueger and his executive team identified a path that could help all types of businesses prosper. “The roadmap might look a little different for different brands, but there are some aspects that are universal,” he said.

Here are three key parts of the path to success:

1. Consumer First

Krueger emphasized that the consumers have a lot of brands competing for their time and money, so brands need to think carefully about how they are interacting and control their path to the consumer. “In addition, they expect to be in constant contact with you,” he said. “They want to connect with you anywhere that they want.”

2. Speed

It’s no secret that the speed of business has increased tremendously, and Krueger stressed that companies need to continue to press forward despite the pains it causes. “It’s uncomfortable to shift into fourth or fifth gear, but it’s absolutely necessary,” he said. “You’ve got to act with urgency.”

3. Innovation

Krueger encouraged brands to not only develop good ideas but improve their execution because a good idea done well can make a big impact. “The level of chatter around consumers has gone up, so when you talk about innovation, you have to break through the clutter,” he said. As an example, he cited Saucony’s recent collaboration with Dunkin’ Donuts, which sold out quickly and created significant buzz.

Ultimately, Krueger said, the industry needs to be ready for the future and everything that comes next. “The pace of change is not going to lessen,” he said. “It will be driven by technology, and it will accelerate. In a few years, we’re going to look back, and this time will be thought of as the good ol’ days.”

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