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Cara Pratt is an award-winning Vice President at 84.51°

Cara Pratt is an award-winning Vice President at 84.51°

 February 25, 2019

Cara Pratt, Vice President of Customer Communications, Product Strategy & Innovation at 84.51°, is a winner of Progressive Grocer's inaugural GenNext Awards program, which recognizes emerging grocery leaders under the age of 40 who have demonstrated a commitment to a career in either the grocery or consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.

Bringing a fresh perspective

Cara was honoured for her innovation through her career; her leadership, which includes inspiring and leading others, and a commitment to learn from others; an involvement in and support of the industry; and supporting charities or the community.

“The 2018 GenNext Award winners are a diverse and exciting group that points to the evolution we’re currently seeing in grocery,” says Jim Dudlicek, Editorial Director of Progressive Grocer. “As the industry moves into a new age, these next-generation leaders are bringing a fresh perspective and innovative thought to their companies and influencing the industry at large.” 

An exciting career in retail

Cara helps Kroger and consumer packaged goods companies create and deliver strategies while providing innovative personalized communications to better customer experiences with brands and establish loyalty to Kroger.

She is a trailblazer in the quest for providing customers and CPGs the tools needed to deliver the best possible shopping experience. She led the rollout of Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), which harnesses best-in-class data and analytics from 84.51° that transforms customer data into personalized communication and experiences with CPG brands. Under her leadership, the early results of KPM outrank any and all previous industry standards both on and off Kroger digital properties.

Before joining 84.51°, Cara led retail client solutions for the Kroger partnership at IRI, and spent 12 years at dunnhumby USA working across many different commercial leadership roles aimed at driving business value with CPGs across category management, strategy, new product development and media activation. Cara's last couple years at dunnhumby saw her in the role of Senior Vice President of Specialty Retail and Sector Expansion, where she was involved in loyalty design, price and promotion optimization and direct-to-consumer activation in both retail and new sectors like healthcare.

The importance of innovation

Cara understands the importance of a culture of innovation so that new ideas have room to grow in an organisation like 84.51°.

"It really starts with two things: one, accountability and enabling people feel to feel accountable for driving innovation for the organisation, but also giving them the freedom to do so," says Cara.

"The three values that we live by at 84.51° are limitless minds, fearless hearts and relentless delivery. Those are the core of who we are because we want people to have the ability to innovate, potentially fail, but fail fast and learn from it. We don't want failure to be perceived as a bad thing, as long as people are learning from it and sharing with others and then moving onto the next." 

"If we're not innovating and creating experiences for our customers, then they get bored. We're all consumers, we want new, we want exciting, we want it to deliver. So we need to ensure that brands continue to bring innovation to our stores and that we're offering at the right place and the right time to connect with our customers," adds Cara.

Data at the core

As well as innovation, data is also at the core of 84.51°, and Cara explains how she applies data and analytics in executable ways to connect brands and people.

"It's really inherent in everything that we do and we learn about what our customers' wants and needs are beyond just what they buy but talking to them to understand motivations. It's a nice blend of behavioral and attitudinal insights so that we can connect brands to our customers," says Cara.

Connecting brands and customers

With data comes technology, and Cara is involved in making sure 84.51° harness the best in emerging technology to connect brands and customers.

"It's in everything we do. Without technology, we can't create that overarching connection. People are a major asset for us but we want to take some of the work off our people and let machines do it for us. So emerging technologies are really an enabler for us," adds Cara.

A changing landscape

Finally, retail is a constantly changing landscape, but Cara believes 84.51° is prepared for this shift.

"It's a really exciting time to be in retail. Retail has changed so much more in the last couple of years than it has in decades. It's a very different dynamic and area right now and retailers that aren't moving at that fast pace are going to fall even further and further behind," says Cara.

"Some of the biggest changes on the way are to do with e-commerce and m-commerce influencing traditional patterns within grocery buying behaviour. It's really changed how people connect with and perceive their brands and their retailers. People are more willing to go online so we need to be able to catch that and engage and of course deliver. It's a really exciting space."

Join talented women like Cara at 84.51°

84.51° is made up of many disciplines and functions working together on missions to solve the needs of customers and clients. 84.51° is always on the look for naturally curious people to make them better. They're always after people who are a few steps ahead and want to collaborate and stimulate their brains. Search and apply for one of the very exciting jobs at 84.51° today.


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