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IGA Acquires Management Consulting Service, What Brands Want

Michael La Kier

The Independent Grocers Alliance has entered into an agreement to acquire the management consulting service, What Brands Want. As part of that acquisition, owner Michael La Kier will lead IGA’s Red Oval partner relationships as VP of brand development.

“After building What Brands Want for the past 10 years, I’m excited for the next phase of growth as part of the IGA Family, bringing new, expanded resources to our…partners,” La Kier said.

“I am thrilled to join IGA on their mission to aid independent grocers as they work tirelessly to nourish families in their local communities, and I look forward to partner with manufacturers and other partners to highlight the business value of working with independent retailers in the grocery channel.” 

The IGA Red Oval program offers strategic support for manufacturers, helping them market to independent retailers and their shoppers. “Nearly every major brand in the grocery industry is a member of the IGA Red Oval program,” said John Ross, IGA CEO. “The program provides analytics, marketing strategy, co-marketing opportunities and more.”

What Brands Want is a management consultancy, working with clients in and out of the grocery/CPG space. La Kier uses marketing and data analyst tools to help brands identify opportunities and build strategies to win. 

What Brands Want has helped a diverse set of brands, including Gannett/USA Today Network, General Mills, Walmart, Meat & Livestock Australia, Barilla, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Food Channel, The Salvation Army, Sandwich America, TOP Chops Beef Jerky, Johnson & Johnson, Cardtronics, SellCheck and Spyderlynk. These efforts include strategy, branding, go-to-market plans and development of omnichannel marketing plans to engage audiences through content, media and partnerships. 

“Michael’s work building What Brand Want puts him in the perfect position to take our Red Oval partnership to the next level,” Ross said. “With Michael on board, IGA can continue to do what we do best – serve independent grocers – while growing our value for CPGs and manufacturing partners, which in turn allows us to provide even more value and resources to our retailers.”

La Kier has had a variety of roles in shopper marketing, loyalty, digital marketing and brand management during a more than 15-year career at The Coca-Cola Company. He also served as an on-loan executive to the grocery chain Wakefern, helping to manage its marketing programs. 

For more information, visit iga.com.

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