GfK Realigns US Brand, Customer Experience, Innovation Teams to Provide Deeper Consultative Expertise Across Engagements

  GfK Realigns US Brand, Customer Experience, Innovation Teams to Provide
  Deeper Consultative Expertise Across Engagements

    Villain joins as head of Brand and Customer Experience; Rosen, Simons,
                       Schanzer take on expanded roles

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- January 29, 2013

At a time when US and global marketers are striving to “connect the dots”
across a growing variety of efforts, GfK has reconfigured its US brand,
customer experience, and innovation teams to give clients greater access to a
broad range of the company’s expertise. Eric Villain has joined GfK as
Managing Director of the US Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE) division,
which now incorporates Customer Loyalty and Brand & Communications; and three
other GfK leaders – Audrey Rosen, Gary Schanzer, and Don Simons – have assumed
expanded roles.

“Marketers and researchers need a one-stop source of expertise on their key
business issues, supported by solutions that can ‘go global’ on demand,” said
David Krajicek, CEO of GfK Consumer Experiences North America. “We have
reconfigured our organization to deliver both depth of insight and greater
simplicity in addressing a broad range of marketing challenges. Our new
leadership is committed to helping clients take a holistic view of their
marketing efforts, and our solutions are fully aligned with GfK’s unmatched
global resources.”

Villain comes to GfK with over 25 years of experience in business leadership,
brand consulting, and marketing insight; most recently, he was President,
Media and Technology, at Ipsos Media CT. Villain’s expertise spans a wide
array of brand management disciplines, including innovation, positioning,
communication development, tracking, brand equity, market segmentation and
customer satisfaction. His previous roles also include leading positions at
Added Value and Millward Brown.

“Eric has deep experience in the issues facing brand and consumer marketers
today, as well as proven leadership skills,” said Holly Jarrell, Chief Client
Services Officer for GfK Consumer Experiences North America. “He and our other
division leaders will bring exceptional focus to our efforts as we strive to
deliver the research excellence and integrated insights that marketers need

“Understanding the extent to which people define themselves by the brands they
are loyal to or discard, as well as the content they view and the technologies
they adopt, is incredibly rich and complex territory,” said Villain. “I look
forward to contributing to GfK’s disciplined innovation in addressing these
topics, as we help clients grow their brands and increase their market share.”

In addition, as part of the realignment, three key GfK leaders are assuming
new, expanded roles:

Audrey Rosen becomes Managing Director of Market Opportunities and Innovation,
which now incorporates our Strategic Innovation, Consumer Trends and
Multicultural teams. Rosen, who most recently led GfK’s Shopper and Retail
Strategy group, brings over 25 years of client management and market research
experience to her new role. She has extensive experience with brand analysis
(product optimization), consumer analysis (segmentation and A&U), and shopper

Gary Schanzer is the new Managing Director of Shopper and Retail Strategy. As
a founder of Interscope – a shopper insights consultancy acquired by GfK in
2010 – and a leader in GfK Shopper and Retail Strategy, he has spearheaded
insights and analytics incorporating shopper research, category management,
and in-store ROI. Schanzer has run a wide range of analytically driven
engagements across diverse industries, including food, healthcare, beauty,
office, and appliances.

Don Simons is Managing Director of Consumer Goods and Consumer Healthcare.
Simons joined GfK in 1995 and has been responsible for managing some of GfK’s
largest studies, specializing in customer satisfaction and loyalty and in
custom research. He has worked with clients in retail, automotive,
transportation, package delivery, petroleum, energy, wireless communications,
financial, convenience, and fast food.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000
experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and
shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using
the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the
clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their
customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion.

To find out more, visit or follow GfK on Twitter:


GfK Marketing and Communications, Consumer Experiences North America
David Stanton, 908-875-9844
Vice President
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.