Panel: How Consumer Brands Can Innovate and Thrive

From Crisis to Opportunity | A Mindgrub Speaker Series Event

It’s no secret that this year has been a challenging one for those in business-to-consumer (B2C) industries. Faced with rapidly-shifting customer expectations and increased demand for all things digital and contactless, retail and consumer services companies have had to adapt and innovate at record speeds.

Mindgrub Chief Business Officer and Executive Vice President Vincent Sharps sat down with three innovative B2C experts to discuss changing consumer behavior, the future of the in-store experience, and the challenges, triumphs, and surprising new opportunities that have come with operating a business during a pandemic.

Our panel included:

  • Ashley Conger, Chief of Staff at Neighborhood Goods
  • Brad Jewell, Senior Product Designer, Purchasing & In-Store Experience at Kroger
  • Fasika Melaku, Vice President of Learning and Development at Denny's
  • Moderator: Vincent Sharps, Chief Business Officer & EVP at Mindgrub
  • Q&A Host: Laura Scruggs, Director of Marketing at Mindgrub
Check out the full recording here, or watch the highlights listed below.



  • 2:38 | How priorities have changed from the beginning of 2020
  • 4:48 | Creating two kinds of brand disciples
  • 6:15 | Adapting to the increased demand for e-commerce grocery solutions 
  • 8:57 | Switching focus to customer health and safety, and crafting innovative solutions to meet heightened concerns 
  • 11:45 | How communication strategy has changed throughout the pandemic, and how in-store experiences can be recreated digitally
  • 14:35 | The importance of hiring the right talent, and the rise of the reskilling revolution
  • 18:12 | Why functional is more important than futuristic
  • 20:21 | On adopting new technologies at top-speed, and teaching both consumers and employees to use new tech
  • 27:29 | How online engagement has fluctuated and the importance of meeting customers where they are: online
  • 31:45 | Being a good neighbor by finding unique ways to help the local community
  • 38:27 | On surprising successes
  • 40:25 | Keeping your customer and mission at the center of everything, even when making rapid decisions
  • 45:15 | Digital community building as an emerging priority for B2C
  • 48:46 | The challenges of training hourly associates with limited resources
  • 55:19 | The importance of creativity and understanding that good ideas can come from anywhere

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