As the Director of Multicultural Marketing for Walmart Stores, Sharonda Britton plays a vital role in the consumer marketing strategies at the world’s largest retailer. With a great deal of its focus aimed at multicultural markets, Britton is an essential part of the leadership charged with building brand loyalty amongst Hispanic, African-American and Asian consumers. The Florida native and graduate of Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry, brings a wealth of creative ideas and earnest hard work to her job. Robertson Treatment recently spoke with her to find out what she does to keep the giant merchant on top.
The It Factor
Previously leading all of AA and Asian strategy at Wal-Mart, Britton now works creatively to expand the brand’s media presence which includes working across a multitude of business brands and consumer goods. “I work closely with our media agencies to create multicultural partnerships that amplify the potential of all multicultural segments,” she says. “I’m always looking for opportunities to better understand our customers, so that we can bring them the things that they want. I have a great job that allows me to work within my passions and learn new segments of the business.”
The Retail Advantage
In retail it’s all about knowing the customer and providing them with a positive shopping experience. Sharonda is always looking for such opportunities and travels constantly to meet with Wal-Mart partners and customers to gain insights that give the retailer a competitive advantage. “We already know that our customers expect quality, variety and low prices,” she says. “But they are also looking for something more when they visit our stores. Wal-Mart has stores in so many communities all across the country, which makes it important for me to travel to connect with our team members and gain an appreciation of the interests and needs of our various consumer segments. Our customers are everyone from single moms taking care of her children to parents who are supporting their kids in college. They live in rural and suburban communities and in urban and college markets. It’s a big priority for us to understand their impulses so that we can develop strategies that will give drive their overall consumer experience.”
Making Diversity a Priority
In terms of diversity, Wal-Mart is an industry leader with a number of African Americans in key roles across the company and is looking to attract more talent. “From corporate to retail, the company makes a real effort to have a workforce that reflects the multitude of ethnicities and population segments that live in the United States,”Sharonda says. “At Wal-Mart we understand the value of having members of every community as a part of our team. Having that makes us strong and helps us respond to the needs of our customer.”
AUTOMOTIVE SPIN – 2014
You can always count on Subaru for interesting rides that combine tasteful styling with solid performance. The latest edition of the Subaru Outback continues that tradition with the latest edition of this ride exceeding expectations. As I began my week long test drive, I knew that I was in for an exciting driving experience.
Wow Factor: With its new sleek and integrated exterior, the Outback moves higher in the best look department. During my week cruising throughout the busy streets of Atlanta, I was surprised by the number of hard looks and inquiries that I received about this ride. Leaving the post office one day I found a lady literally staring at the car admiring its exterior styling and while idling at stop lights, I received numerous thumbs up. All of the attention made me feel like the big man on campus.
Ride: Behind the wheel the Outback performs well in both city and off-road conditions. My ride was powered by a six-cylinder engine that provided me with the ability to handle most road demands. The Outback also benefits from a good steering system that was responsive to my maneuvering, which added to my driver confidence.
Comfort: The Outback’s interior cabin offers easy accessibility to all of its controls. The driver’s seat was comfortable, with great back support and offered great leg and head space for someone my size (I’m 6’4). The rear of the cabin was equally well-appointed and provides enough space to accommodate the demands of most daily driving.
Spin Control: With an overall driving experience that is competitive with other vehicles in its class, Subaru’s Outback has the goods to come out on top. With an MSRP starting in the mid-20s, plus a fuel economy rated at over 25 miles for city driving and a great 30+ on the highway, the Subaru Outback is a ride that I am confident that you will see a lot more of in the very near future.
Gil Robertson IV is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author and president of the African-American Film Critics Association.