VP Brand Strategy and Services, Mary Ellen Muckerman joins us from Mozilla, and here talks responsibility and how her background informs her current role in one of the most recognizably fair companies in the world.
Tell us about your company. What do we need to know about Mozilla?
Mozilla is the non-profit technology organization, best known for making Firefox, the only independent browser. Everything we do is in service of our mission to keep the Internet open and accessible, because we believe it’s one of the world’s most important public resources. In addition to building products like Firefox, we also support emerging technologies like A-Frame, a framework for building VR experiences on the web, as well as policy and advocacy programs all over the world that protect and promote a healthy Internet and empower people to be in control of their online lives.
What’s your background? How does it influence your current role?
Earlier in my career, I spent 15 years in a variety of brand and marketing strategy roles at big retailers like McDonald’s and Target. That experience taught me that no matter how good a strategy sounds when you dream it up at “headquarters,” the true test is how well it works on the ground, in the market, for your customers, and by your team members. And just prior to Mozilla, I spent almost 10 years in brand strategy consulting, working with a variety of organizations, from cultural icons like the Smithsonian Institution to technology innovators like Google. In those projects, I learned the mechanics of identifying the essence of what the world needs from a particular category and how a brand can uniquely address those needs, and turning those insights into a story that is clear and compelling to both internal and external audiences. I draw on this background every day in my current role, where my team’s responsibility is to figure out how we can create better understanding of Mozilla’s mission, develop a differentiated position for Firefox, and get more people to care about the health of the Internet.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
My dad always said “you vote with your feet.” This philosophy has been a constant reminder that I am responsible for my decisions, my actions, and my future. It has also given me the courage to stand up for my beliefs and values and take action accordingly.
What will you speak about at Vizions by Zalando? And what are you looking forward to about the conference?
I’m really looking forward to spending a day getting inspired and challenged by global business innovators. I’ll be talking about marketing to Mozilla’s key audience, Conscious Choosers, who we think might also be important to other organizations. Conscious Choosers are a psychographic profile exemplified by savvy “citizen” consumers who have a clear set of values, work hard to match their behaviors with their values, are aware of the impact their actions have on the bigger picture, and are loyal to brands who do the same.