Senior Footwear Product Line Manager
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2024
Who We Are:
At Brooks, we believe a run can change a day, a life, the world. Everyone who works here is a key part of our obsession to make the best running gear on the planet. We want our business — which also happens to be our passion — to be a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable being themselves. Our company culture defines us, bonds us together, and drives our success. We live this culture daily through our brand values: Runner First, Word is Bond, Champion Heart, There is no “I” in Run, and Keep Moving. This means we always solve for the runner, do what we say we will, give it our all, are generous with our humanity, and find a way to keep moving every day, because joy is kinetic.
Are you ready to help create something extraordinary?
At Brooks, product is central to all that we do. Our mission is to create the best running shoes in the marketplace in fit, feel, and ride so runners enjoy their run more. Innovative thinking, a keen eye on the consumer and marketplace, and the ability to inspire a diverse team of designers, developers, engineers, merchandisers, and other product creation shareholders is paramount in this role.
As the Senior Footwear Product Line Manager, you are responsible for the seasonal direction and execution of owned Brooks global footwear products. You will provide leadership for the Triad teams as the consumer, market, and business expert during the footwear creation process. From brief to commercialization, you will provide product, consumer, business, and market expertise with a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape, trends, and innovation while ensuring key product creation calendar milestones are met. You will be asked to think, communicate, and present on all things footwear. You will have a collaborative working relationship with Sales, Marketing, and other key internal stakeholders.
- Strategic Planning and Execution
- Be an expert on Cushion, our largest category carrying the most financial weight and visibility in the industry.
- Work closely with the Manager of PLM, to determine the execution of technology from innovation workstreams into the inline briefs maintaining distinction both across categories and price points.
- Manage and own the 5-year category roadmap incorporating input from the PLM team and individual category experts.
- Consumer Knowledge/Interaction/Analysis
- The PLM is the ‘expert’ on consumer mindsets, motivations, behaviors, and preferences. Stay ahead of consumer wants and needs by connecting to the consumer both in the physical and digital world.
- Partner with Run-Sights Lab to mine consumer insights, uncover latent and expressed needs, and sharpen understanding of consumer groups. This includes curating time in the market with key footwear team members, analyzing and interpreting data, and interacting directly with consumers including but not limited to leading focus groups, consumer one-on-one interviews, and rapid prototyping.
- Maintain regular interactions with retailers as well as internal and external sales and marketing teams to identify additional insights and opportunities and anticipate future trends.
- Product Line Planning/Briefing
- Create comprehensive consumer-centric product briefs that initiate the product creation process. This includes setting KPI’s to quantitatively ensure product will meet the needs of the runner.
- Brief both inline and key business critical innovation projects on a seasonal basis.
- Begin with the Why: Combine consumer insights, biomechanics POV, and new or future innovation capabilities to articulate a crafted story to execute a product brief.
- Stay ahead of the competition by identifying what will delight the consumer in the future and set the products within your category for both short and long-term success.
- Identify future innovation and advanced concepts that are instrumental to future consumer and cross-category growth.
- Lead, brief, and execute select innovation workstreams that are critical to category success.
- Create a mindset of exploration, innovation, and risk-taking within your team when working within innovation workstreams.
- Story Crafting, Presentations and Cross-Functional Support
- Craft, and weave stories into innovation workstreams that feed into Inline, BlueLine, and Athlete products that are brought to market.
- Be an exceptional story crafter by building stories that are informed by consumer insights. Work with marketing, merchandising, and sales to bring the product story to life.
- Participate in high-level cross-functional project teams with the ability to uncover strategic opportunities that grow the business incrementally.
- Provide product expertise to PR, Sales, and Marketing for product presentations and videos.
- Present product lines to major accounts, media, regional and corporate management, and the Brooks sales force and internal partners at seasonal pre-lines, sales meetings, etc.
- Process Leader/Product Confirmation
- Provide Design and Development teams with visual and factual consumer insights and competitor and marketplace cues to inform the direction the triad takes to make decisive and accurate decisions in the product creation process.
- Work cross-functionally within footwear team to drive results, be accountable for deliverables at key milestones (e.g., briefs, triad scorecard presentations, sale meetings, etc.), and ensure product market readiness each season.
- Hold expert knowledge of materials, constructions, midsole technology, and biomechanics.
- Maintain a level of understanding in Biomechanics to facilitate in-depth dialogue with Engineering while translating technical verbiage into stories that resonate with the laymen.
- Act as a technical expert within the Brooks Academy teaching capsule on areas specific to the PLM function.
- Business Acumen
- Manage your category across GIM (Go-In-Margin), PLM forecasts, and SRP (suggested retail price) to meet seasonal business goals.
- Ensure, along with the triad, that your responsible products hit target go-in-margin. Think in the context of your entire category and identify products to invest in while still achieving the overall go-in weighted target margin of the entire category.
- Work closely with Footwear Operations and Demand/Supply Planning to stay on track in reconciling PLM forecasts with in-market sales forecasts.
- Team Leadership
- May manage up to 1 direct report.
- Mentor PLM-Is and PLM-IIs on using market intelligence, product briefing, and story crafting.
- Acts as role model across triads and cross-functional footwear teams, to create a culture of collaboration and camaraderie.
- See beyond the footwear team, understand the impact across functions within the company, and connect the dots to create alignment and ensure efficiencies.
- Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- 7+ years of experience in a relevant product management role.
- Effective presentation abilities and interpersonal communication skills.
- Demonstrated ability to conceive/create new ideas pertaining to product and process.
- Strong functional and biomechanical skills and a thorough understanding of the product process.
- Strong business orientation, analytical aptitude, and computer skills.
- Creativity and passion for product.
- Proficiency in Microsoft applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint.
- Proven leadership capability, including the ability to motivate and mentor others.
- Ability to travel up to 30% , including internationally.
- Demonstrate effective listening through concise, clear verbal and written communication.
- Excellent interpersonal skills that inspire and build trust resulting in effective working relationships across the company.
- Keen attention to detail in planning, organization, and execution of tasks, while still seeing the big picture and understanding how all the pieces fit together and affect one another.
- Ability to anticipate how a decision made can affect our customers, our partners, our products, or other departments’ operations and/or morale; “connecting the dots.”
- Demonstration of innovation and initiative – always looking at improving our products and processes while also displaying a willingness to dive into the details and help wherever necessary.
- Passionate participation in Brooks’ sports activities a plus, overridden by the ability to understand and empathize with the runner in order to develop loyal, engaging relationships with our customers and the Brooks community.
- Embraces and lives the Brooks values!
The pay range for this position, based out of the Brooks Seattle HQ, is $121,798 - $182,749 per year. Base pay offered will vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.
Brooks is proud to offer a robust benefits package to our employees and their families!
Benefits- including medical, dental, vision, life and AD&D insurance, disability insurance, HSA and employer contribution, FSA, family & fertility assistance, 401K Savings Plan and match, employee assistance program, and transportation assistance.
Paid Time Off- Brooks offers generous time off including three to five weeks of paid time off, eleven paid holidays, paid sick and parental leave.
Bonus- in addition to base pay, Brooks employees may also be offered an annual bonus based on company performance.
Perks- including product discounts, employee recognition, fitness discounts, volunteer and donation benefits.
Location- You will spend 3 to 4 days per week in our Seattle offices, depending on your role, as we believe our organization flourishes when connections, collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, and celebrations happen in person.
At Brooks, we celebrate diversity & equity. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment, and encourage people of all backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and skills to apply. Brooks is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, two-spirit identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, sensory, physical, or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), honorable discharge or military status, protected citizen status, actual or perceived victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, HIV or Hepatitis C infection, political ideology, use of a trained guide dog by a person with a disability, or on any other basis protected by federal, state or local law, or any other non-merit based factors.