Kat Cole was named President of Cinnabon Inc. in 2011 and was tasked with leading, evolving and building the chain into a multi-channel brand. She also serves as the chief strategy officer of Cinnabon's parent company Focus Brands Inc. In addition to building up Cinnabon's menu during her leadership, the bakery chain continues to maintain an aggressive focus on social media, public relations and word-of-mouth marketing.
Advertising Age reported that the Seattle-born bakery Cinnabon has grown into a global powerhouse with 1,200 retail locations driving more than $1 billion from retail product sales that include franchised locations, consumer packaged goods and foodservice-licensed products. A decade ago, the brand ventured into consumer packaged goods with partners like Pillsbury and Airwick. The licensed products helped Cinnabon reach beyond its traditional domain of malls and airports, and into grocery stores and homes.
Prior to her role with Focus Brands at Cinnabon, Inc., Ms. Cole was Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc., company which operates and franchises restaurants and manages the Hooters® brand entities. She has lead research, strategy and integration initiatives for non-traditional brand extensions, franchising, multi-channel brand building, and global business growth. She is widely known for legacy business model innovation, building brands, humanitarian work in the US and Eastern Africa and mentorship and development of emerging leaders.
Cinnabon has built its brand with minimal traditional advertising over the last three decades. In 2013, when Cinnabon opened 110 locations, Cinnabon sourced marketing ideas from consumers through a Facebook post: "Marketing ideas for Cinnabon? Go! #fansourcing." View full Advertising Age coverage here and learn more about how Cinnabon became a global brand and what lies ahead for the bakery chain.
See Kat Cole speak live and hear more about her approach in leading Cinnabon's domestic and international growth at Presidents Conference 2014, taking place Nov. 2-5 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, AZ.