What qualified Deborah von Kutzleben to join the reputed franchise brand Tropical Smoothie Cafe as its CMO is not easy to come by. Deborah, who has won many recognitions throughout her long career, started with the Gold Effie in 2005, 2007, 2012, & 2014, the Silver Effie in 2010 and Gold Cannes Lion in 2008 and a Silver Cannes Lion in 2013. CMO Deborah von Kutzleben of the renowned brand Tropical Smoothie Cafe is, in a nutshell, an industry veteran with exceptional market penetration and professional success spanning over 20 years.
Deborah is a strategic thinker with operational experience leading multi-disciplinary teams to develop fully integrated marketing campaigns and new product development, including data-driven planning, media strategy, creative development, execution, and impact analysis. A nurturing leader with strength in talent development and the ability to inspire teams, Deborah specializes in using data to drive media and message strategies, new product development and innovation, brand stewardship, integrated communications, digital and social content, measurement frameworks, building a successful team, and building strong client relationships.
With a BA in Journalism and Advertisement from the University of Georgia, Deborah started small at W. Ayer & Son Advertising company as an account manager managed day-to-day advertising development for the AT&T brand, including launching the first-ever banner ad with Wired Magazine. From there, she joined BBDO Worldwide, where she spent 22 years and five months. There, she started as an account manager and was later promoted as the SVP Sr. Group Account Director and consecutively the EVP Sr. Director. For a significant time, she also worked with Arby’s before joining Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is known for its fresh food and smoothies. In 1993, they served fresh fruit smoothies from a stand on a Florida beach. After four years, in 1977, they opened their first franchise in Tallahassee, Florida. By 1999, they added a wide range of wholesome food options to their menu that perfectly complemented the smoothies. In 2000, they officially came to be known as the Tropical Smoothie Cafe. In 2007, celebrating their tenth anniversary, they started their holiday, the National Flip Flop Day, known for generating funds to support children with life-threatening illnesses. Today, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has over 1,000 franchise locations in more than 45 states.
The work of a marketing leader in a franchise business is very demanding. Besides the regular duties, a franchise business needs to claim significant social recognition. And, as the CMO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the responsibility is no mean feat. The chosen leader is responsible for her people skills and a fair understanding of the market’s ebb and tide given the recent past’s dreadful pandemic. So, for Tropical Smoothie Cafe to have found an industry veteran in Deborah von Kutzleben is a lot of work to be accomplished to transform the brand into a household name, said the CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, LLC., Charles Watson.
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