How General Mills Is Trying To Be A Force For Good In The World: An Interview With Chief Brand Officer Brad Hiranaga

By Afdhel Aziz

SOURCE: General Mills


General Mills purpose is “to make food the world loves” with iconic billion-dollar brands like Haagen Dazs, Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Pillsbury, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Old El Paso and more.

I caught up with Brad Hiranaga, the Chief Brand Officer to find out more how their purpose is manifesting itself through their brands, and their attempts to be a force for good in the world with programs like Box Tops For Education which has donated a staggering $1 billion to schools throughout its lifetime.

Aziz: What are some of the brands you’re most proud of in terms of activating their purpose? 

Hiranaga: We’ve done some of our best marketing recently, because we're so focused on our consumers’ current challenges and creating relevant solutions for them. I love it when brands are useful – sometimes that usefulness works towards huge societal problems, but other times, brands can help with small, everyday problems.

As the pandemic hit, younger people and families didn't have all the skills to cook or bake at home. Betty Crocker, an expert in the kitchen, did an amazing job of making content more flexible, by creating recipes that catered to individual cooking experience levels. 

Then Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions, partnered with Serena Williams, one of the greatest champions of her generation, on an effort to address and help put an end to racial inequality. They launched the WE Champion campaign redefining the word champion from something you are to something you do.

The pandemic and racial injustice are challenging areas for brands to know how to show up in. But if you stay true to your purpose and do something that adds value to people’s lives, you’re on the right track.

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Tweet me: Learn how @GeneralMills is trying to be a force for good in the world in this interview with Chief Brand Officer Brad Hiranaga: via @Forbes

KEYWORDS: NYSE:GIS, General Mills, brand purpose, Brad Hiranaga

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