Food & Consumer Goods
Retail & Apparel

Food & Consumer Goods

Five Year Strategic Plan and Interim Senior Vice President Marketing

Illuminate Consulting worked with the CEO and senior officers of a food company created by Lufthansa to identify $700M in sales by extending their food business beyond the airline industry.

We led the development of the 5-year plan to expand 7 acquired, refrigerated food and bakery manufacturers across the retail and food service markets, including acquisition recommendations, in-depth financials and marketing plan. As the interim SVP Marketing, Joanne Bethlahmy restructured the Marketing Department, and in only five months, the team hired nine employees, set up financial tracking and monitoring systems, established three agency relationships, introduced a new corporate brand (including new name, design identity and trade marketing campaign) and prepared the launch of two new products.

Brand Repositioning and Board of Directors Service

Galaxy Nutritional Foods, maker of Veggie Slices, the #1 cheese alternative, needed to reposition itself within the growing and changing healthy foods market.

As a member of the Board of Directors and interim head of marketing, Joanne Bethlahmy helped reposition the brand from medicinally-oriented to a broader, female health orientation, streamlined the brand portfolio, reformulated the product for better taste and launched new advertising. Sales increased in targeted geographies by 18-142% as a result of this marketing strategy. She also served on the Audit Committee and worked with Goldman Sachs on the overall positioning of the company in the marketplace.

Hard-to-Find Research

Forensic Accounting Services needed to produce a report on a particular aspect of the food industry in the Middle East.

In the absence of reliable public accounting information about the company or the industry, a great deal of detailed information was needed to construct an industry financial model. We conducted research into food prices and industry economics in the Middle East and developed P&L models used in the investigation.


Annual Marketing Plan Development

Illuminate Consulting worked with the leadership of this leading apparel manufacturer/retailer to support a 9% lift in sales by creating a comprehensive 2007 marketing plan. The plan included strategies for brand positioning, targeted advertising, public relations, direct mail and online marketing.

The assignment included foundational work such as segmentation modeling, analyzing geographic sales and fielding buyer value research.

New Product Development Process

Illuminate Consulting helped senior management of this apparel technology company in the creation of a new product development process.

We created eight distinct stages, each with clear objectives, business requirements, forms and resource lists. The process has allowed the company to allocate its R&D resources more effectively, streamline development and introduce new products with a greater probability of success.


Internet Software Market Identification and Buyer Needs

Jeeves Solutions is a natural language search solution that allows companies to track and analyze user queries. The client wanted to target its sales force against specific industry verticals.

Illuminate Consulting was able to focus client attention against industries and products which require more research by consumers. We then were able to help Jeeves Solutions expand its sales in the automotive and retail industries by conducting in-depth research of industry web-software trends. We clarified the appropriate buyers and their buyer needs, including features, price sensitivity and ROI requirements as well as the selling process and possible value propositions.

Wireless Market Assessment

July Systems is a leading edge developer of mobile retailing solutions. In order to make their annual revenue target, senior management needed to know how to best enter the market.

By speaking with buyers at all the major U.S. wireless carriers and MVNO’s, we were able to recommend specific product features and product positionings as well as inform Sales on buyer approval requirements and selling processes. We also helped create a quantitative model that demonstrated the economic consequences of various entry strategies. The company now works with leading operators and content providers to sell entertainment and products via cellular and raised an additional $10M in funding.

Hard Goods Channel Strategy

Pionetics has developed and patented a new technology for water purification, water treatment and ion extraction that provides electrical regeneration of ion exchange membranes.

As a technology start-up, Pionetics needed to understand the consumer market for its products. Illuminate Consulting provided insight into consumer attitudes and price targets in the dealer and retail channels as well as the markups taken in the selling chain. We also oversaw a consumer web survey on pricing. All this information effected immediate changes in product development, costing and channel strategy.



“Joanne showed the organization what can be done at light speed. She has a really good grasp of strategic issues and their financial and organizational impact.”
Tom Burrows, SVP Marketing, Chef Solutions, Inc.




“Joanne served on the corporate Audit Committee, which I chaired. Although she was not a finance person, she easily mastered the specific requirements and responsibilities of this critical function. Her expertise as a marketing consultant was of substantial value to the CEO and to the firm as it navigated the process of developing a new corporate strategy. I would welcome the opportunity to serve with her in the future.”
Thomas Dyckman, Galaxy Nutritional Foods and Ann Whitney Olin Professorship in Accounting, Cornell University


“Given Illuminate Consulting’s wide experience in the food industry, together with its excellent research capabilities, it was a natural progression for us to seek their help. They provided us with a large amount of incredibly detailed information, reports and observations about the sector in which the Middle Eastern business was involved. They were able to uncover precisely the information we needed.”
Barry Draper, CEO, Forensic Accounting Services







"Joanne was able to facilitate a senior management workshop on Nano-Tex’s new product development process and then, in only a week, produce a comprehensive process tailor made for our organization’s needs. This new process has helped galvanize the organization around a clear set of evaluative criteria allowing us to better prioritize our activities, allocate our limited resources, and streamline our go-to-market approach.
Mark Brutten VP Marketing, Nanotex

“Illuminate Consulting produced some of the best research ever done for this company. They were able to uncover precisely the information we were looking for and have already made our sales force more effective.”
Jessica Hoffman, VP Marketing, Jeeves Solutions










“Joanne hit the ground running, learning about our product and marketplace at lightning speed! The results of her research exceeded our expectations and helped us modify our channel strategy immediately.”
Beverly Sidders, VP Operations, Pionetics

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