With a vision to be world-class in everything – especially chocolate-making – Whittaker’s is helping nurture some world-class marketing talent. So, it’s no surprise that mould-breaking Brand Manager, Liv Glazebrook, is this year’s TVNZ-NZ Marketing Young Marketer of the Year.
Liv Glazebrook has always had a combined passion for food and marketing. Her impressive career working with iconic Kiwi brands like Heinz Watties, Lewis Road Creamery and Whittaker’s has seen her produce incredible campaigns. It is her current role at Whittaker’s – leading several major campaigns as well as managing the brand’s entrance into the Canadian and Middle Eastern market – that has won her this accolade.
Following her degree in Food Innovation and Marketing at the University of Otago, Glazebrook chose to apply her skills in product development roles. During her summer internship at Heinz Watties and then two years with Lewis Road Creamery, her passion for food creativity started to be replaced with a desire for marketing.
“I found myself looking over at the marketing team with a bit of envy.”
After relocating to Wellington and joining Whittaker’s as Brand Manager in 2018, Glazebrook knew she had found her calling. Although joining the renowned chocolate brand with no practical marketing experience, she was lucky enough to leverage wisdom from the Whittaker’s team and applied her creativity skills to every task.
“There’s a lot to love about being a modern-day marketer. I particularly enjoy being at the forefront of digital innovation and uncovering new insights. The diversification of media really fascinates me.”
Glazebrook was lucky enough to grow up on a farm in Hawkes Bay, so eating fresh produce and hanging around the kitchen was a daily occurrence. While studying in Dunedin, she decided to take her passion for baking to Instagram and created kitchenoftreats, a page used to document her creations. From there, Glazebrook used the platform to raise money for the NZ Cancer Society as part of the London Marathon.
“It’s just grown organically from there. I’ve been lucky enough to cross pollinate my passion for baking with my day job, helping to pioneer Whittaker’s recipe strand.
Glazebrook’s contribution to the brand over the past 21 months has helped Whittaker’s win New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brand (2019 and 2020) and New Zealand’s Most Loved Brand (2019). The chocolate company also reached market leadership in Total Moulded and Enrobed chocolate in NZ Grocery.
“I still have to pinch myself that I work for New Zealand’s Most Loved and Most Trusted brand. When a brand maintains the unwavering support of a whole nation for over 100 years, it clearly has something pretty special.”
This Young Marketer has successfully project led NPD and marketing campaigns such as Honey Bubble Crunch, Kiwis for Kiwi, Dark Ghana Fruit & Nut and Whittaker’s move to Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. She has also been intimately involved in Beans to Bar Nigella Masterbrand campaign where she led the digital strategy.
As if this wasn’t reason enough for her win, Glazebrook also leads the BAU creative strategy across the brand’s digital platforms in New Zealand and abroad. And, she has created and shot over 50 unique recipes, all of which have resulted in exceptional performances.
Being a successful young marketer in such a busy industry, like many roles, comes with a bundle of challenges. Glazebrook says working with such a dynamic digital landscape and keeping up with the change of pace in conusumers’ behaviour is a constant challenge, yet a great motivator.
Marketing for a brand like Whittaker’s, with major competitors in a highly-contested market can also be a big challenge. Glazebrook says the team are up against multinationals with much deeper pockets and much greater resources, so it is crucial to challenge their thinking, and every decision they make has to be prioritisation.
“Having the confidence to champion your views in a corporate environment. Representing a vision is one thing, standing up to scrutiny on financial and technical matters is just as crucial.”
Being nominated for the Young Marketer award came as a bit of a surprise for Glazebrook as she felt incredibly fortunate to be recognised within such a heavily talented industry. Winning the award, she says, has been her most significant career achievement. To be an award-winning marketer, Glazebrook says one needs to be ambitious, intuitive and curious.
Lending advice to other young aspiring marketers, Glzebrook says it’s important to know that very few people land their dream job straight out of studying, so don’t be afraid to ‘fill the gap’ with other roles in unrelated industries.
“Work ethic is key, most other things can be picked up along the way. Networking with authenticity and integrity is also key, it’s how I’ve managed to land both my roles at Lewis Road Creamery and Whittaker’s.”
Looking forward, Glazebrook aims to grow with Whittaker’s both within her career and personally. “Whittaker’s has an amazing pipeline of opportunities and I’d like to keep learning and working towards more leadership roles and responsibility.”
With her entrepreneurial curiosity, she has always also hoped to develop her own business from the ground up in the future.
Category: Young Marketer of the Year
Winner: Liv Glazebrook (J H Whittaker & Sons)
Judge’s Comments: “Liv is very a passionate marketer who is able to clearly articulate across marketing performance from creative and NPD to sales and financials. Liv brings innovation and is prepared to bring new thinking to the table. She is a strong brand ambassador and a good fit for Whittaker’s. This award is borne out by Liv mixing her passions of marketing and baking. She will be a marketer to watch for future success.”
Finalists: Izis Weatherhead (Burger King), Michael McRae (Monteith’s Brewing Co.), Olivia Robins (Frucor Suntory Limited)