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Five minutes with Sam Borgfeldt

We caught up with Frucor Suntory’s Consumer Product Manager, Sam Borgfeldt to get the lowdown on his top priorities for the next 12 months. Here’s what Sam had to say… 

Connecting and understanding consumers

This will seem obvious to most, but it’s much easier to create a successful beverage when you know what consumers want. Our focus at the moment is to work smarter and more closely with our consumer teams to not only understand who our customers are, but the trends or external factors that may influence them when it comes to purchasing a beverage. We’ve also dialled up our personal interactions with our consumers to find out what they really think about our drinks, and what they would like to see next from us – helping us get clearer on direction in how we can best satisfy tomorrow’s thirst.

Striking the right balance

Striking the perfect balance between creativity and practicality can be difficult when it comes to making drinks better. They’re both equally important and one can’t exist without the other. It can also be difficult to switch your mind-set between the two. So our focus here is to stay in control of both by working with the team to clearly define the spaces when we can let our creativity shine through, and when we need to focus on the practicality of the beverage we’re creating.

For instance, the Product Development team needs to be creative when it comes to designing, sourcing ingredients and creating flavour profiles – and most importantly, problem solving. However, we also need to be practical and detail focused when it comes to scaling up our creations into prototypes that can be manufactured and sold to our consumers. 

Working as one team

A huge focus area for the Product Development Team is to work more efficiently as one high performing team. Don’t get me wrong, we have a great workplace culture and we have been performing well and delivering for the business. However, no one in the team could really say, hands on hearts that we were a high performing team. So… the team has co-created a number of focus areas to take us to that high performing space.

One of the ways we’re striving to have a high performing culture is by having a shared goal and objective. We did this as we found that we were becoming siloed in our projects. For instance, when a project went well all the praise would go to one particular person, when in fact there had been many members of the team supporting behind the scenes. And vice-versa, so if a project went wrong, people felt they were bearing a lot of the responsibility. So…we wanted to take on the shared mentality that we win and learn as one team.  By taking on a high performing mind-set, we also wanted to empower ourselves to say yes to the right things and say no to others – enabling us to breathe and focus, as well as challenge each other to examine an idea from another perspective.