Total Retail Talks
Total Retail Talks is for retail executives who crave the knowledge and insights needed to stay successful in today's fast-paced industry. Through engaging talks and focused interviews, listeners take away useful information and practical advice from a full roster of retail experts, influencers and leaders.

In episode 231 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Melanie Huet, chief marketing officer at Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB), the largest manufacturer and distributor of mattresses in North America. Listen in as Huet talks about her career background in both global brand and D-to-C marketing, as well as where she hopes to lead SSB's future growth. Huet discusses the company's transformation and its new focus on growing its D-to-C business, and why last year's merger with Tuft & Needle was critical to that initiative.

SSB has faced challenges in repositioning itself from being just a wholesaler into being both a distributor and a direct seller, and Huet explains how the brand is addressing these challenges and turning them into opportunities. Huet describes how the mattress retailer is working to become a more customer-centric organization, and why it has created an internal consumer insights team to conduct research and give direction on new products and offerings. Now selling directly to consumers, SSB has gained essential first-party customer data, and Huet shares how this data has improved the brand's marketing efforts. Lastly, she touches on the various marketing channels her team is tracking, and how she plans omnichannel campaigns to both build the brand and drive sales.

Melanie Huet joined Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB) in January 2019 as chief marketing officer. Melanie leads SSB’s evolution to becoming a more customer-centric company and directs the marketing and innovation functions, strengthening all brands and growing portfolio revenue. Melanie has extensive marketing experience across multiple categories and disciplines within consumer packaged goods. She has a track record for building high-performing teams, developing long-term strategies, and consistently architecting and executing turnarounds on declining mature businesses.

Most recently, Melanie was vice president of marketing, beverages and snack nuts at Kraft Heinz Corporation, where she was responsible for a $4B portfolio including iconic brands like Planters, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid and Maxwell House. Prior to Kraft Heinz, Melanie progressed through brand management roles at Kimberly-Clark and Unilever. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and German from the University of St. Thomas and a Master of Business Administration from the William E. Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

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