The Marketing Genius of Kenneth Goodgame

The growth of True Value may have drawn curiosity about the people behind it. Kenneth Goodgame has made his mark in merchandising and advertising. His achievements cannot be summarized in one paragraph. He has lead different retail companies to success throughout his career. Between 2013 and 2015, he was the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at True Value. True Value is a retail hardware company. It is one of the world’s largest member-owned cooperatives.

Kenneth studied marketing and finance at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He first worked as a product merchant at Hardlines D28 in 1995. During his tenure, Hardlines achieved YOY growth of 20 percent. In 2001, he moved on to John Deere where he worked as a senior global product merchant. The company generated $375 million in sales. Kenneth held positions at Bernzomatic, Rubbermaid Cleaning, and Irwin PTA & Shur-Line Painting Products between 2002 and 2007. Under his leadership, as the president and general manager, Bernzomatic achieved 94 percent growth in two years.

His achievements do not end there. Kenneth was appointed the president of Baja Motorsports, a subsidiary of Techtronic Industries. He managed to turn the companies $2.5 million annual loss to $5 million profit. To achieve this, he restructured all the company’s major departments. Within two years, Baja Motorsports had opened 30 new branches nationwide. His stint as the general merchandising manager at Ace Hardware Corporation between 2010 and 2013 was also successful. In that period, Ace achieved 4.5 percent growth in annual sales. Kenneth Goodgame moved on to True Value in 2013. He is credited with initiating the “pay for play” vendor-supported advertising. True Value appeared on national television for the first time in 10 years as a result of the program. This lead to eight percent growth in customer count. His other programs such as 250 SKU EDLP and 4 SKU end cap are still doing well today.

Kenneth’s Goodgame success is mainly due to his ability to take ideas, and turn them into a vision that everyone has confidence in. He believes in involving all employees and partners in decision making.

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