Ensuring Brand Consistency with Christopher Hatfield Head of eBusiness Oceania at Nestle

Nestle is a Swiss multinational & the world’s largest food and beverage company. With more than 2000 brands and present in 187 countries worldwide Chris is responsible for the eCommerce, Digital technology delivery, innovation functions & building internal eBusiness capabilities across the Oceania region. Prior to this role,  Chris was based in Hong Kong with Estee Lauder Companies as Director of Digital Marketing Media and eCommerce across the Asia Pacific for Clinique. Launching more than 40 e-commerce sites across 8 markets. He has spent 18 years with Estee Lauder in various eCommerce, Marketing & Forecasting brand & corporate functions.

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Christopher Hatfield: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • [03:05] The difference between the market in the Asia Pacific and Oceania
  • [07:46] How e-commerce is different then circa 2006
  • [11:29] How digital platforms helped brands elevate their businesses
  • [24:03] Key advantages of Omnichannel
  • [36:29] FInding the balance between soft skills and hard skills

Show notes:

  • [01:13] Maybe we could start with a self-introduction of yourself so that our audience can get to know you as well.
  • [02:26] The last three years, I’ve been based in Australia, heading up a business for Nestle across Oceania driving the eCommerce, digital delivery, and technology functions to the region.
  • [02:46] Having spent 18 years leading the Asia Pacific for Estee Lauder and currently leading Oceania for Nestle, what are the biggest differences you see between these two markets in your point of view?
  • [03:05] The biggest difference between the two regions is the rapid speed of change and the digital adoption of consumers and businesses.
  • [05:46] What about consumer wise? How do consumers act within different regions?
  • [07:46] You mentioned earlier that you have been tasked to launch a new eCommerce division of Estee Lauder back in 2006. What was the thought process since e-commerce was still a very new thing to the market at that point in time? And what was the most interesting encounter you had at that time?
  • [08:54] The most interesting encounter I received personally and professionally was peer training because, at that time, there was no real learning or university learning to have around e-commerce.
  • [11:29] Mac was one of those brands that weren’t allowed to do traditional advertising and the digital platform enabled them to really build their customer loyalty base and do direct email marketing. And that really elevated their overall businesses.
  • [12:06] So in 2006, your.com is more an information site, or do you actually have a checkout function on the website itself?
  • [13:34] What do you think is the most important thing for an organization to look up when they are still at the early stage of the building phase?
  • [15:48] I truly believe that capabilities around data and digital commerce need to be adopted by all. However, when there are bigger priorities in the business and there is no dedicated team driving the agenda, it might not get the support needed.
  • [17:36] How do organizations choose their partners or even their channels to go online with? And should they adopt a more shoot and play kind of strategy?
  • [18:11] So first, identify what the footprint of the landscape is and have that view of what each role of the channel will play and define those because that will also guide your go-to-market plan.
  • [20:20] In your opinion, how should a brand be strategizing its eCommerce strategy to really have control over consumer experience and still get the best results out of it?
  • [22:45] Really ensure that you set brand standards and your consistency is being met across those channels that you play in.
  • [24:03] What do you think is the key advantage of Omnichannel, as well as, what is the most important thing to look out for when it comes to implementing a new channel strategy?
  • [25:40] Probably the area you need to look out for is brand consistency because it is extremely important to ensure that when consumers are going to the brand or retail website or in-store experience that the brand pillars and purpose are being reinforced. 
  • [27:14] What is the most common question you get asked about eCommerce strategy?
  • [28:20] We’re constantly looking at roles and responsibilities within the team and making sure that they are adding all the business value to business units or customers. 
  • [30:15] With the current economic downturn, what do you think is the most in-demand skillsets for eCommerce and technology professionals at this point in time? 
  • [34:03] Things that worked well in the past are certainly not going to be what guides success for the future. So having team members that are entrepreneurial in that respect and are able to translate those into business opportunities are really important.
  • [34:59] We heard from many hiring managers that they are not focusing on past working experience when they are hiring for the eCommerce team but actually focusing a little bit more on the soft skills and attitude of the person. So do you feel the same way when you hire as well? 
  • [36:29] Getting someone just with a great attitude without the understanding of the complexity across the channels and the different pillars when it comes to business or eCommerce would probably lead you to a bit of a business disadvantage versus other companies that did have that resource.
  • [36:58] For individuals who like to do a career change and move into the eCommerce space, what do you think is the first thing for them to do, and what is the best way to do it?
  • [39:28] I would suggest to reach out to those e-commerce team or HR and introduce yourself, ask to be involved in any side projects, let your ambitions be known because that’s what we as online leaders are looking for. 

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LEX GREENSILL​

Chief Executive Officer, Greensill​

Lex is the co-founder and CEO of Greensill, and a Senior Advisor and Crown Representative to Her Majesty’s Government on Supply Chain Finance. He was awarded the CBE for Services to the British Economy in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2017 Birthday Honours.

Lex previously established the global SCF business at Morgan Stanley, and led the EMEA SCF business at Citi.

Lex holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of England and Wales, and Queensland.