My short bio:

I worked for PepsiCo for a bit and bought (the previous URL was

I launched 15 new products, ran digital advertising for Quaker Oats, led the design of the Rice-A-Roni boxes, and finally, was 'the guy' in charge of Aunt Jemima.

Doing the AMA in case there's interest with the article on the front page.

Ask Me (Almost) Anything

My Proof: I'll send proof separately to the mods of the URL purchase if desired, but here's an article about me that mentions my role:

Comments: 151 • Responses: 57  • Date: 

darksurfer82 karma


were you sacked for not knowing the difference between a domain name and a url :p ?

jmj877810 karma

Maybe I was sacked for making the mistake of buying a URL instead of a domain name?

darksurfer1 karma

eh? do you still not appreciate the difference?

jmj87783 karma

It's a joke bud.

Zygomycosis56 karma

Is this just an ad for your new website?

jmj877814 karma

Ha, sure :) Glad I was super subtle about it.

ShockandSlaw24 karma


jmj87785 karma

You know, I'm really not an expert on it. At the time (5 years ago) I remember hearing something about high fructose corn syrup really not actually being a health issue, and I have no idea how true that was. I just haven't looked into it and removing it from the product was never really considered while I was in that role.

EDIT: I do think it's worth researching though, and an important topic (anything that affects our health in mass-produced foods, I don't know enough about HFCS to say for sure if it is in this category or not). At the time I was in charge of Aunt Jemima, it wasn't nearly as on-the-radar as it is today. I was also working on some other potential health-related formula improvements that unfortunately didn't come to fruition.

bcain20419 karma

What does a $1 million deal look like on the backend? In other words, is it just a bunch of people in suits signing papers, or was there literally a mil in a brief case slid across a conference table. ( I know that the brief case is highly unlikely, but one could only hope) Thanks

jmj877815 karma

I really wish it could have been the briefcase. I actually used to ask my finance team for permission to do things like that all the time. They got pretty sick of it.

Well there was never any meetings at all about this... in our world it wasn't that big of deal, and I paid invoices many, many times that size for other things. Once we reached an agreement, I paid the invoice using our internal software that I paid all other invoices with, and that was that. The software prints and mails a check that goes to them.

I'm sure I signed something, but I don't really remember that. The company we used to negotiate for it probably provided their stock contract for us and both parties were likely fine with it.

Cyori14 karma

What would happen if you brought a Coke product into the office?

jmj877821 karma

It's not done. It's just not done. No McDonald's cups, even if they just have water in them (because it's a coke company), etc.

Someone would immediately tell you to throw it away before someone saw it if you accidentally did, or maybe assume you were doing some sort of competitor research.

Nexusmaxis2 karma

Is corporate espionage a legitimate fear there or something?

jmj877812 karma

Something that doesn't matter to most of you, or even most of us before working there, becomes a big deal when you and your coworkers are spending 40+ hours a week, every week, ensuring that people choose your brand. To see someone you work with consuming a competitor would be insulting after all that hard work.

It sounds a bit ridiculous, but it really starts to matter a lot to you.

platinum_peter2 karma

I work in the auto industry and it really grinds my gears when an employee purchases a competitor's vehicle.

Why not give the business to the company who essentially puts a roof over your head and food on the table?

Its mind boggling.

jmj87781 karma

I'm surprised it happens at all.

LesBonTempsNOLA14 karma

Why spend all that money to purchase when works just fine?

jmj877810 karma

It's not an easy decision.

One of the biggest reasons is it is more memorable and likely for someone to type in him or herself.

Another is that it's just more pithy when put in a television commercial. You can leave it on the screen for a shorter time when it just says This helps a bit with Twitter as well.

Part of it is prevention. It was fine when it was nothing, but we wouldn't want another Quaker-named company taking it and thus diluting the powerful image of the brand. Even worse would be if someone bought it and used it for porn or something like that.

judgemebymyusername5 karma

Commercials seem to have gotten away from needing to put their website or any contact information on them anymore. I like it, it's cleaner.

jmj87782 karma

Agreed. I think it showed that advertisers didn't really know how to approach digital.

NorbitGorbit7 karma

what was the weirdest story about dealing with aunt jemima?

jmj87785 karma


I'm not sure if I have that weird a story. Probably getting called Mr. Jemima or Uncle Jemima all the time.

Trying syrup on lots of weird things too, just to see how versatile it was.

Or doing lots and lots of taste tests, a few times blindfolded, just to prove to my manager that I could distinguish our syrup and our pancakes from all the competitors consistently.

BrokelynNYC4 karma

What distinct characteristic does Aunt Jemima have that allowed you to discern in a blind taste tasting that it was indeed aunt Jemima?

jmj87783 karma

I actually have a particularly sensitive (or to use the common phrase 'discerning') palate. I was able to distinguish lots of things reliably that others couldn't.

In particular, one time my lead food scientist brought me a formula change that would allow us to switch to a better supplier. He said the taste difference was well below detectable levels. I tasted a difference, and then reliably picked out the new batch over multiple trials.

So for Aunt Jemima, it wasn't any one quality. I just knew what it tasted like, and what our competitors tasted like.

DrunkleDick2 karma


jmj87783 karma

I've definitely noticed differences. I'm not much of a vodka drinker either though, so I haven't paid that much attention to it. My grandfather (who was a chef w/ 10+ restaurants... so I assume I inherited this in part from him) was a big vodka drinker and had very strong preferences. We went to a Russian restaurant that had a large vodka list once, and he asked the owner to bring him their very best one. After one taste he spit it out, and they then got in a screaming match over whether or not the vodka tasted good.

So, yeah, I'd say you have a taste for it, although tasting differences in other things people don't notice differences in (or being able to tell ingredients in something that they can't) would be a better indicator than just vodka.

Unfortunately, I don't think having particularly discerning palates helps us out much. Maybe we're a bit more predisposed to be chefs, but while it was nice in my role w/ Pepsi, it didn't exactly help me out in my job.

TheUsher1 karma

You knew in your heart that Log Cabin is better though, right?

jmj87782 karma

Maybe :)

GepettoZHog5 karma

What are your thoughts on the syrup itself? Can you still eat the products?

jmj87788 karma

Sure! I still can, although I don't eat Aunt Jemima (or pancakes/syrup at all) for health reasons. I do sometimes eat the other products that I worked on, especially oatmeal, or Aunt Jemima's corn bread (so good!).

I liked the syrup. Personally, it was my second favorite of all of them (and yes, I have tried every syrup known to mankind), but one of its biggest competitors is the one I grew up with and like most. Unfortunately, on the rare occasion I do eat pancakes, everyone assumes I want and will only eat Aunt Jemima and so they go out and buy it for me. I'm cursed to never enjoy my favorite syrup again!

wang2chung3 karma

It's Log Cabin, isn't it?

jmj87783 karma

Maybe :)

Rethread2 karma

It's Log Cabin Buttered syrup. As far as I can find, it is no longer made and was, without a doubt, the best.

jmj87782 karma

Personally I wasn't a fan of the buttered syrups. If you like them though, I thought Log Cabin's and Aunt Jemima's tasted very similar. Aunt Jemima's can be found, particularly at Walmart.

The1337jesus1 karma

It's Mrs Butterworth, isn't it?

jmj87783 karma

Sorry, /u/wang2chung wins this round.

lintropy5 karma

I'd love to know how you wrapped your head around working with larger scale budgets. Did you go straight into a role where you were throwing around millions, or did you work your way up to it? What was your background? What was the trajectory that got you to these moments?

jmj877811 karma

Love this question. I remember the first time I paid an invoice that was $13 million dollars... my mind was blown. Later on, I didn't even register the amounts and just wanted to get it done (when paying invoices).

I guess for me it came down to quickly understanding the context. I worked on the whole P&L (profit and loss statement) so I knew exactly how much money was coming in revenue and how much was being spent on every single thing (cost of goods, delivery to market, wages, etc.). When I knew the entire budget, that gave it a good amount of context. Knowing the total marketing budget... basically how much we had to play around with, was super helpful for providing a context as well.

There were a few other helpful things. One was there were strict rules for amounts on who could give the final approval. For spends up to a certain amount I didn't need to even tell anyone, for spends to a larger amount my manager had to sign off, even larger his manager, etc. There are some amounts so large only the PepsiCo CEO can sign off on them.

Probably the one other helpful thing was knowing what amounts they actually cared about. Just because I couldn't sign off on a certain amount didn't mean they actually cared about it. I quickly learned when bringing up a spend to them whether or not they were paying attention and caring, and if so how much they cared, and that was pretty helpful.

In my first role I was working with budgets of just a couple million, then I worked with one of about $5 million, and then I actually took over the budgeting planning and process for all of Quaker marketing for a single year, which had a budget more than 50 times the previous amounts. So I guess I did work up to it, although I don't know that that was necessary... it was likely just more coincidental.

I was a Government major w/ honors at Dartmouth and had interned in Homeland Security for a US Congressman. I had also won a major national award, a national competition, and had some very unique leadership/public speaking experience. At that point I was selected as the first PepsiCo undergraduate intern in brand management. I was then offered a full-time position, accepted it, and worked my way up while there.

lintropy3 karma

That's really interesting about the undergraduate intern aspect of the whole thing. Have you found that companies are generally willing to take risks on younger managers these days on or do you think it just varies from culture-to-culture? It's hilarious watching marketers trying to figure out "the millennial mindset" -- like such a a thing could actually exist.

jmj87783 karma

Oh I agree. As the youngest marketer by 8 years in my division, it was amazing.

My very first day I sat in on a high-level meeting on Facebook strategy (at this point none of the brands had Facebook accounts). I was definitely just supposed to be silent and listen, but I couldn't help it... they just did not understand how people used the platform at all. I ended up basically teaching all of them, including the agency that was supposed to be the expert, on how to use Facebook, and our head of PR came up afterward and thanked me profusely, saying she was so glad that they'd hired me to represent my age group and teach them all about everything.

I do think companies are more willing to experiment when it comes to age and experience, but I think it goes in both directions. Established companies that only hired MBAs are definitely getting more into the undergraduate space, and at the same time digital companies that used to hire exclusively from undergrad, are now paying more in order to have access to the top MBAs.

demandingsmudge4 karma

what was the best part of all your work what did enjoy and what sucked?

jmj877813 karma

There were two things I loved about my time at PepsiCo:

1: The people. I made such good friends there and had so much fun spending time with a number of them. I really miss them.

2: The power. It was really amazing to have so much control and ability to change/influence things. Really felt like I had a very important role to play.

What sucked:

1: I ultimately left the company because I wasn't delivered promised promotions.

2: There was a lot of turnover at the top while I was there... Quaker (my division) went through 4 presidents in just 2.5 years at one point. That meant lots of abandoned projects and changing priorities.

judgemebymyusername3 karma

I think it's crazy that they let you make million dollar decisions yet could't deliver on promotions.

mrm9731 karma

So how much could an entry level marketing analyst approve to spend from the marketing budget?

jmj87781 karma

I don't think that I'm really allowed to say.

jumpup4 karma

how do you feel about 14 characters being worth that much?

jmj87783 karma

I assume you're referring to/including the www.?

I have mixed feelings. I made the decision to do the purchase, so I did feel as though it was worth it. I'd say so far things have proven me to be correct, but we'll see. I'd say it depends on a couple things:

  • How much advertising Quaker does and continues to do. More advertising means more people going to the URL.
  • Whether or not URLs and .coms remain as they are today. I could see services that allow you to customize URLs becoming popular, or .com becoming even with other website endings sometime in the future.

BrokelynNYC3 karma

Regarding Nissan, why didn't he just sell it to Nissan? He's not really capitalizing on the name.

jmj87783 karma

There doesn't seem to be reliable details about the situation. I read in one place that they'd offered a significant amount for it, and in another that they had just sued instead. I also wonder when the court case began.

From his perspective, I have no idea. I assume he's mostly trying to get a better offer, or doesn't need the money. IMHO if he's actually spend anywhere near the $3M he claims in attorney's fees (I feel this is highly unlikely) then he's out of his mind. I'd say sell it, feel fortunate that they want it so much, and be done with it.

BrokelynNYC2 karma

3M and that is what his site looks like and he sells desktop computers from there?

jmj87781 karma

Right??? I'm calling bullshit.

bobcat-11 karma

Dude, you think he got lawyers to defend his site against Nissan for free?

You're talking from ignorance.

jmj87788 karma

No, I just don't think he paid anywhere near $3M in legal fees.

JustKillinTimeAgain3 karma

I am a little suprised you haven't gotten this one yet:

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

jmj87781 karma

I'll go with the horse sized duck. I don't think it could do anything to me.

cj953633 karma

Do you know what Dogecoin is? And if so, what do you think about it?

jmj87784 karma

I've heard of it, but I've actually made an intentional decision to not get involved with digital currency.

FuckOff_ImFunny3 karma

What does you're educational history look like? Do you feel your educational choices had any effect on the path you took?

jmj87787 karma

I went to Dartmouth college and majored in Government. I've since had some more education, but that's what I had when hired.

I definitely think they did, for example, PepsiCo only recruited at 4 schools for my specific internship that led to the job, so I had to be at one of those in order to get it. I think being at a top school was pretty necessary.

SmoothPrimal2 karma

Did you purchase it for 1 million because its a very important url or did you purchase it because purchasing the url is nothing in comparison to the rest of the expenditures in releasing this website?

jmj87782 karma

$1M definitely matters to Quaker Oats. It's not an overwhelming amount, but it factors in for them for sure.

I bought it because the trade-off made sense to me. I liked the math of the one-time expense for something that could pay off for years.

I give some more of the logic here:

doopercooper2 karma

How much did you know about the domain owner? Was it an individual or a company? Why did they originally buy it and what year was this when you guys bought it?

jmj87783 karma

It was a professional squatting company. They had bought up a very large number of domains early on and the company existed just for the sale of those domains. From what I understood, they had been very successful doing so.

The company I hired to help manage the purchase was very familiar with them from the outset.

It looks like they bought it in 1998. Quaker Oats bought it from them in 2011.

odnish2 karma

What was on the domain before you bought it?

jmj87783 karma

The typical squatted URL splash page. Something like 'this domain is for sale' and then random links.

LesBonTempsNOLA2 karma

How does Quaker State feel about your purchase of for Quaker Oats?

jmj87783 karma

Haha, no idea! I bet they don't really care, and if they thought about it, probably expected it.

I really don't know though. There's a chance they were even negotiating against us, though I doubt it.

JayStarr10822 karma

Being a guy so high up on the corporate ladder, do you have any (non-generic) advice about how to make it to your level?

jmj87784 karma

I actually really wasn't very high up. Brand management is a really unique position where you can have a lot of influence and do things that it would normally take decades to achieve very early on in your career.

I'm sure I could think of some advice if you'd still like, but knowing that I wasn't high up I think negates your question most likely.

JayStarr10820 karma

I think you're being too modest. I mean, you have $1 million to purchase a website with, I'd call you a success in the business world.

Yes, I would still very much like advice.

Edit: ooohh, I just understood what you meant... Heh. Okay.

jmj877814 karma

OK, I'm flattered. I tried hard to think of things that really made a difference for me or I had to learn the hard way.

  1. The first is that I recommend you try to learn about the culture of a place before interviewing. I went through a very intense and highly visible interview process, as I was a trial employee... the first they'd hired at my age/inexperience for this type of position. If I was successful they'd start a whole new hiring program company-wide, if I wasn't, it would look very bad for a number of people. The CEO of PepsiCo was actually involved in it.

    I was originally hired for an internship that led to the job. I was being interviewed my junior year of college.

    Anyway, after the last round of internship interviews there was a dinner for the final four candidates. One of the others ordered a root beer, but the waiter misheard him and thought that he'd ordered a beer. At college juniors, we were all 20, so not of drinking age.

    When the waiter brought the beer and quickly walked away, he stammered and looked a bit scared. He quickly said, "I didn't order this" and tried to give it to one of the employees who was hosting the dinner. That employee said he didn't want it and that it was fine, the guy should just drink it. He insisted that he would send it back since he was only 20 years old, and I immediately said, "Well I'll have it!" and reached out and grabbed it.

    I was later told that it was when I did that that they knew they were going to hire me. Why'd I do it? My first round interviewer had mentioned that they had a social atmosphere and would go out after work together... so I knew they liked to have fun. Never underestimate the airplane test (the idea that people hire (often intentionally) the person that they'd least mind getting stuck traveling with for hours on end).

  2. The second piece of advice would be to make friends with everyone in the office. I always had friends there, but originally they were people who I naturally gravitated to. I didn't put in a particular effort to befriend people who I didn't have that initial click with.

    My manager recommended I make sure I become friends with everyone on my team, and it made such a world of difference. My projects suddenly were higher priority, got done quicker, and meetings were much more fun. I ended up really liking so many of these people who I hadn't gotten to know initially. And it helped me out quite a bit when it came to yearly review time as well. People who I didn't think could ever help me out professionally ended up doing so multiple times, which was in large part because were friends already.

  3. The other big piece of advice would just be to adjust quickly. Every office and situation is so different, and it really helps to adjust as quick and as much as you can. My first week I realized there was an unofficial uniform for how all the men dressed (it was not a formal office) and I went out and bought all new clothes. It seems obvious, but there were many new employees who didn't do things like that (sometimes dressing more formal, not more casual for example) and it never really felt like they fit in. It also made them feel like they were new for longer than they really were, and it probably slowed that progression.

    Adapting quickly applies to lots of things professionally though (such as what software to use, when to schedule meetings, how to manage your team, etc.) not just dumb things like dress.

TL;DR: Learn about the interpersonal culture of a place before interviewing, become friends with everyone, and adapt very quickly when in a new job or new role.

JustKillinTimeAgain2 karma

Do you live in NYC now? How old are you? What is your favorite flavor of Rice-A-Roni?

jmj87781 karma

Yep, I live in Manhattan. I'm 28.

Pasta Roni Shells and White Cheddar is amazing. I could eat that every day.

On the rice side of things, I liked alternating. A lot of them were pretty even in my mind so I was more into variety/having the chef put them in awesome recipes.

JustKillinTimeAgain1 karma

Do you cook? I just started with the Blue Apron company. I really like the concept.

Are you single? ;)

jmj87781 karma

I like the concept of companies like Blue Apron a lot. It's a perfect fit for the same customers that were often Rice-A-Roni's. I think those type of companies are going to continue to grow.

HelloMyNameIsDr1 karma

Given your extensive experience, would you say that as an entrepreneur you would prefer to build your own brand over selling your product under an already existing brand that you dont own? i guess what I am trying to get to is when you are in the early life cycle of building a product would you want to pickaback on pepsi's name even if your product is unrelated or would you build your own?

jmj87782 karma

Having an established, well-known brand is an enormous asset. That said, if your product has nothing to do with it, then using the brand won't be helpful, as people will be quite confused, and maybe even think it's a mistake.

So I don't quite know a situation in which this is applicable, but if someone has access to an established brand that makes sense with their product, I would definitely recommend that they take advantage of that.

zidanetribal1 karma

Did you save up to purchase the url or with a loan? How do negotiations work for purchasing a url for a million dollars? Do you hand over a check and they hand over a piece of paper with the password on it?

jmj87782 karma

Well it was a corporate purchase. I believe we decided to purchase it during our budgeting process anyway (although I'm not certain about that, don't really remember), so the money was just built into the budget from the get go if I'm correct.

There are professional companies that just do this. So I asked our digital buyer (an agency that we employed) if they knew any of them, and they had one that another client had worked with before and recommended.

I reached out to them and hired them. They provided an estimate for what we'd acquire the URL for, and they also recommended an initial bid. One of their selling points is that they help keep the buyer anonymous, although they also told me I'd made my first mistake by going to the URL from the workplace... the site could track my IP, see that people from Quaker's offices were going to it, and possibly jack up the price knowing who the purchaser is.

So the negotiation was pretty simple. We made an initial offer, they countered, etc. I would hear from the company I hired once every couple days with the latest offer. We acquired it in about two weeks over maybe 4 or 5 rounds of offers, with each side conceding on the price a bit each round. (Although we didn't just 'meet in the middle', $1M was their lowest price, and they were sticking to it.) We would include reasons why we felt the website wasn't as valuable as they were pricing it at during each offer, and they'd include reasons why it was super valuable with each of their counters.

The transfer was pretty simple I believe, although I wasn't actually involved in that, I just told IT and our web agency to handle it. I assume we had our own domain host and just had them transfer the URL to our account there.

TL;DR: You go back and forth on offers until you match, giving reasons for the URL's value each time. Web guys take care of the transfer details.

[deleted]1 karma


jmj87786 karma

That's correct, I bought it for PepsiCo, so I do not own it.

I founded and run, which is like an online dating site, but for friendship instead of romance. People use it when they move or to find someone for a specific activity (a sport or concert for example).

I'm the CEO, so I do a ton of different stuff... pretty much everything that's involved in a company.

realcarshave3pedals2 karma

That's an awesome idea man! You know you totally ought to aim for the college crowd with that. Especially for those new to town kids, and then after graduation people tend to move for work, creating a similar situation.

jmj87783 karma

Thanks! Yep moving after graduating college is exactly why I created it.

Swazniack1 karma

Do you still work at Quaker oats?

What other URL's do you manage?

What's your favorite color?

jmj87784 karma

I don't, I now have a web startup and I do some freelance marketing and programming.

I don't manage any real/sizable URLs. I have a blog, the startup website, and a freelance website. I manage some URLs for freelance clients but those come and go.

I'm colorblind actually, which really led to some interesting times at the office. But I guess I'd say blue.

JustKillinTimeAgain1 karma

How would they allow you to design things like Rice A Roni boxes when you are colorblind?

jmj87781 karma

Well it's a management process. Basically I'm making decisions and having the final call on things, but there are experts doing the work.

Our internal packaging specialist, a packaging agency, and a photographer were all involved. Much of the time there was consensus on colors so my decision wasn't too needed. I mostly made decisions on overall layout/design.

There was only one time that it really played a role. For one of the shots of the product, our photographer and our internal specialist were split on which photo to use, and it was because of a disagreement on color. I showed it to ~6 people in the office and they were equally split as well. So I just made the final call, even though it was a call on color, because I figured if nothing else colorblind people would like that photo more (and it was close enough already).

She hid it, but I could tell my internal packaging specialist was not happy, knowing I was colorblind.

kam_mam_ist1 karma

How can I sell you my domain name?

jmj87781 karma

Unless it's a single English word, and you want to sell it for under $1000, I'm personally not interested.

BishopEvan1 karma

What was your mindset going into college? What habits did you start young that helped you get to where you are?

jmj87783 karma

What got me where I am?

  • I've never been afraid of what many people consider to be major risks. I can move to a foreign country, change careers, etc. without thinking twice.
  • I've always made sure I did enough to have a strong resume and background that would do well for me. I've always had my eye on the prize rather than getting too caught up in the moment.

The one habit I really wish I'd developed earlier was a love of learning, and that's the one that I'd say is most important. I didn't develop that until after college, and I really wish I had.

Squid18701 karma


jmj87783 karma

Thanks! I didn't expect to get any questions about ItsPlatonic since I didn't really mention it, but thanks.

To be honest, it happened over months of time. A lot of it was proving to him that the market existed and that people wanted it. For a long time he was very interested but not willing to quit his job and make the leap.

The final straw was me just looking him in the eye and telling him I needed him, and that he needed to do it. I just sat him down and said something like, "It's time. We've always wanted to start a company, I have everything ready for us to hit the ground running (already had designed the whole site, bought the URL, etc.), and you'll regret it if you don't join me. Quit your job, the time is now and I don't want to find another cofounder."

Squid18701 karma


jmj87781 karma


tculpepper1 karma

What's one thing you wish you did financially when you were younger?

jmj87781 karma

I don't think I have any financial regrets in particular. If anything, I just wish I'd gotten into credit card churning (signing up for credit cards in order to fly for free) earlier.

[deleted]1 karma


jmj87781 karma

I'm actually not sure who this is, but I think it's the best dancer I know. I may not have you to thank for all my awesomeness, but those moves come in handy.

rugyg1 karma

What do you prefer Coca-cola or Pepsi?

jmj87782 karma

By taste? Pepsi just slightly.

By habit, Pepsi by a mile.

[deleted]1 karma


zuilserip1 karma

Can you (or someone else) help me understand the rationale that is used for paying $1M for such a domain? I imagine PepsiCo must have an internal rate of return ´hurdle´ for all of its investments and I´m going to guess it is at the very least 5% (probably more), so that means you have to believe that by having the domain you will earn $50K more in profit every year from now till eternity. And if I guess that your margins are 10%, that would require that you sell half a million bucks more per year. What am I missing here? Do you really expect to sell $500K more per year because you have vs.!?! I am a Quaker costumer, but I confess that I´ve never been to either site, nor do I know of anyone who has.

jmj87782 karma

Well, that may be how things work in the business development department, but I made this purchase with the marketing budget. We don't apply a numeric rate of return rationale like you describe to purchases.

Marketing is about many things. At its core it is about driving more purchases, now and in the future. But to do so with a brand that established, it is also about building and protecting your brand and its image, making the brand feel relevant and modern, etc.

Buying the URL was important for protection, relevancy, and yes, we did think it would help people locate us online, possibly driving sales.

More of the rationale is here:

... but hopeful that helps you understand why.

luckycharms79991 karma

How did you get into your business? Is your group of peers (people who have a similar position in the industry) tight knit? Is it one of those "tough to break into" communities?

jmj87782 karma

Brand management is insulated. Everyone I know in it entered brand management out of school and has been in it ever since.

It usually involves attending a top MBA program. If you do that, you should be able to enter brand management if you can interview well.

surfpick1 karma

I have some domain names. Do you think they have any potential?

3DThrills Welcomesite YKids Thrilltone

jmj87781 karma

Personally I don't see an obvious use/need for them.

sgodar0 karma


jmj8778-2 karma! Should have mentioned that, I'll edit it above. Now that you know the URL, I'm sure it goes without saying that it was for the company.

leafgate0 karma

What's it like to create brands that are attributed to endorsing unhealthy food/beverages? Do you have guilt or does the salary justify...

jmj87781 karma

Well I worked on the whole gamut of things.

Oats are among the healthiest grains, while whole-grain oatmeal in particular has some additional health benefits v. what many people are consuming as well. Health and wellness was important to people there.

Of course Aunt Jemima falls on the other side of the spectrum.

There's a few things I think:

  • Ultimately, I feel the majority of the responsibility lies with the consumer, as they're free to not purchase those products.
  • That said, awareness of health and wellness issues is relatively new within food and beverage, and most of these products were made at a time that these issues were far off the radar. I think it's unreasonable to expect companies to discontinue products just because they're not extremely good for you. Instead, I think the best move is to help make these products have improved health profiles, even if they're never going to be the very best choices. PepsiCo has done, and continues to do, a whole lot toward that goal.
  • And finally, I think it's important that these companies use their expertise to innovate in the healthy products space. There's been some of that at PepsiCo with their various juices and low/0 calories beverage offerings (the ones with limited artificial sweetener). They've also gotten into the dairy space, and maybe even produce (not totally sure). That said, they definitely could do more. In my opinion they, and all the companies like them, should do more.