Person of the Year
Kevin Klock, CEO, Talking Rain
There’s a time to innovate and a time to execute, and there’s also a time when you can combine the two. In the midst of Sparkling ICE’s third year of enormous year-over-year growth, Talking Rain CEO Kevin Klock, BevNET’s Person of the Year for 2013, has managed to do both. On the execution side, his sales team pushed the brand to realize its full potential in the supermarket channel, creating a set of focused goals that allowed the company to grow without creating extra distraction. In the meantime, the focused sales effort at the front allowed the brand to strategize on the back end, not just shipping product to its energized distributors, but bringing those into the discussion of how Sparkling ICE can be positioned to maintain its growth in new channels. The temptation with a fast-growing brand can be to get cocky, but Klock has been humble about the company’s past mistakes and has let the brand realize its potential without overthrowing its coverage. Rather than focus on the philosophical and psychographic reasons consumers want the brand, he’s been working hard at making sure it’s easily within reach, with a new set of flavors to try when they grab for it.