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Sheila Rosen – Building An Enduring Brand During the Pandemic And Beyond

November 29, 2021

Sheila Rosen – Building An Enduring Brand During the Pandemic And Beyond

Sheila Rosen – Building An Enduring Brand During the Pandemic And Beyond



Marketing through the Pandemic, igniting sales and building enduring brand value are big challenges for marketers globally. They use various tips, tricks, and tactics to keep the business growing during the Pandemic, while also keeping their eye on the long game to ensure the brand continues to thrive.  


In this week’s Rediscover Marketing, we bring you words of wisdom from one marketer on how to remain nimble and fearless as you build your brands in ways that authentically connect with consumers in today’s modern world.


Meet Sheila Rosen, the Director of Marketing at Rowdy Mermaid, a fast-growing modern functional beverage company making Kombucha and Adaptonics, a new line of sparkling immunity tonics made with adaptogenic Reishi mushrooms.  All  their beverages are crafted with functional botanicals, herbs, fruits, mushrooms and sustainably- sourced plants in a range of flavors that address contemporary consumer health needs in a refreshingly modern way.

Sheila Rosen is an alumnus of the University of Kansas where she received a degree in Journalism. While studying abroad in London her Junior year, she fell in love with the fast-paced, highly creative environment of the advertising world.   Her first job was as an Account Coordinator at TBWA Chiat Day in St. Louis. She then moved to Chicago where she worked for 8 years at two global agencies, Tatham Euro RSCG and DDB Chicago.  


There, she worked on blue-chip accounts such as Unilever, P&G, and Nestle on a diverse set of CPG brands in Beauty and Food. This Midwesterner then decided to move West to live in Colorado, where she spent nearly two decades at Sterling-Rice Group (a brand consultancy and advertising firm) as Managing Director & Partner. During her long tenure, she led cross-disciplinary teams helping large, muliti-national CPG companies and smaller, emerging brands identify growth and positioning strategies, uncover consumer insights, create innovation platforms, and develop communication strategies, campaign activations and brand design. Sone of her favorite engagements were Dave’s Killer Bread, Horizon Organic and SO Delicious Dairy Free.


Sheila now works as the Director of Marketing at Rowdy Mermaid where the vibrant culture, stellar-tasting products, beautiful branding and mission to bring sustainable, functional plant medicine to the world deeply resonated with her own personal journey toward well-being.

Print Media v/s Digital Media:


Sheila believes print media has lost a bit of  its luster. For brands who need to build awareness quickly and understand its impact in real-time, print doesn’t have the immediacy needed in today’s mobile world.  

She believes for high-growth emerging brands, other platforms such as Sampling (“get more sips in mouths” is what we like to say at Rowdy Mermaid), Events during “moments that matter” to your audience, in-store tasting demos, Shopper marketing, combined with Influencer, PR and, importantly, Video Storytelling across digital platforms are more effective modern marketing tools.    

Sheila’s Take on Keeping Ahead of Her Goals:


Sheila believes in “test, learn, optimize and roll” .  As marketing platforms and technologies  constantly evolve, this philosophy allows you to build a “What Works Toolkit” for your brand as you test and try new levers. As we learn, we then create a “red light, green light, yellow light” framework for activities that have proven performance (green light), mixed results (yellow light) and did not perform well (red light) to help inform our optimal marketing mix. Staying flexible, nimble and keeping your consumer at the center is key to building a brand that can optimally navigate through the marketplace headwinds. She is constantly on the lookout for new and novel approaches to marketing, such as a sampling program with restaurant delivery services in major metro markets where a free can of Rowdy Mermaid will be inserted in consumers’ meal orders as a ‘surprise and delight’ right in their homes.


Since Rowdy Mermaid consumers enjoy the journey of learning and exploring, partnering with PopUp Grocer is a great way to drive brand visibility in a more experiential way. Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha and Adaptonic products will be available in PopUp Grocers’ new flagship store opening in Spring 2022 in NYC.  Alternative channels such as hotels, airports, restaurants, boutique food corner stores, college campuses, mom & pop markets, art/music/ film festivals are all unexpected ways to discover Rowdy Mermaid where consumers are living, studying, working and playing.


Finally, sharing the human side of the brand is paramount to building an enduring brand. Organic Social is one of the best ways to share the humanity of the brand by answering: “What do you care most about in the world? What’s important to you? “What do you value at your deeper core?” By sharing these fundamental human values across your social channels, you can connect to the hearts and minds of your consumers.  

Sheila and Her Advice to the Other Marketing Leaders:


Brands are dynamic experiences. They’re alive, living. The best ones have a soul. They know why they exist in the world. They have depth and complexity.They’re rooted in meaningful relationships.  Their values are lived - not just talked about. Brands don’t find consumers today. Consumers find brands.  Purpose, participation, collaboration and co-creation with consumers are now central marketing must-haves in this new world.


The brands that are quick to innovate and operate with a sense of transparency and vulnerability are the ones that will win. They have a nimble, responsive culture. They know their company’s “why” and proudly amplify it.  They have a deep empathy for their consumer “tribe” and they are authentic, focused and consistent in how they communicate to their audience. 


They are also in the business for the greater good.  Sheila believes that businesses are the ones that can help future generations. They need to have a broader view on the world.  At Rowdy Mermaid, she says they are all curious, lifelong learners (just like our consumers) who strive to live their values of Environmentalism and Community.  That means they must support the plants, processes and people all along their supply chain. Their ambition is to pave the way for how other companies are crafting foods & beverages in more holistic ways for the well-being of all.


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