Associate Brand Manager
Dean Foods

Chicago, Illinois

Job Title: Associate Brand Manager

Location: Home office and Chicago office


Dairy Farmers of America is a global organization and the largest dairy cooperative in the United States, employing approximately 18,000 people, around the world. Our mission is to deliver top-quality products and excellent service to our customers and consumers, and value back to the farmer families who own the cooperative. DFA manufactures ingredients and products for DFA-owned brands and for other companies, partnering with some of the largest retailers and CPG companies in the U.S. The DFA brand portfolio includes 32 consumer brands across more than ten dairy categories and sub-categories, with 26 of those brands celebrating 75 years or more in-market. We are proud of our past and the heritage of our brands, which have been part of family meals across many generations. Today, we continue to work hard as a team to gain new customers and consumers, and are investing behind our brands to ensure future growth and success.

We are looking for a focused, passionate marketer who is ready to take what he/she has learned, so far, and apply his/her skills to help us take on larger/national brands, while continuing to be challenged and mentored for professional growth. We are a small team, which means that the best type of person for the job is someone who is willing to sometimes take on tasks that are outside the norm for brand managers at larger companies where there are many more subject matter experts upon which you can rely. For example, we don't have a PMO team, so the ABM will be required to be his/her own project manager for commercializing products, launching campaigns into market, etc. If you are seeking an environment where the day-to-day is more about project leadership, problem solving, driving sales, learning, teamwork and work-life balance, as opposed to working to meet Wall Street expectations, then DFA is the place for you.

The future is bright in Chicago at Dairy Farmers of America. We have exciting strategic plans that position our brands for continued success through strong growth and expanded distribution. Come join us on our quest to grow them into regional powerhouses and national contenders.


In this role, the ABM will be integral to leading marketing strategy and tactical execution, performing business analyses and making business recommendations, as well as helping to fuel growth, while partnering with cross-functional leaders. The Associate Brand Manager will be equally involved in helping to manage some of our cheese and cultured brands - leading and implementing key initiatives, and ultimately driving business performance. The specific brands that the ABM will support are as follows:

  • Cheese brands:
  • Distribution: regional brand with strong distribution in the Northeast, down the East coast and some distribution back West to Texas, with sporadic distribution in the Midwest and Upper Plains states
  • Annual retail sales: over $145MM
  • A&P budget: over $5MM

Cache Valley Creamery:
  • Distribution: #1 brand in Utah and growing into adjacent markets (ex. Las Vegas)
  • Annual retail sales: over $20MM
  • A&P budget: over $1MM
Cultured brands:

Meadow Gold and Mayfield (and a few smaller brands)
  • Distribution: Meadow Gold (West/Mountain West) and Mayfield (Mid-Atlantic and Southeast)
  • Combined annual retail sales: $100MM
  • A&P budget: $2.5MM

Duties and Responsibilities:

Project Management
  • Provide leadership to a cross-functional team with ability to lead multiple and diverse team members toward successful completion of common objectives
  • Develop and manage multi-faceted projects including operational, sales, and marketing components from concept to completion with a high level of attention to detail and timeline
  • Interface with, provide input to, and establish strong working relationships with agencies and vendors
Brand Strategy
  • Participate in the definition and development of Dairy Brands brand strategies
  • Develop agency briefs and project timelines to execute projects in support of brand strategies
  • Lead creation and execution of digital and social marketing strategy for key brands
  • Manage product development from start to finish, including concept development, consumer research, product development, and commercialization
Packaging Development
  • Own and lead packaging review and approval process, including management of internal and external participants and agencies
  • Initiate and manage branded packaging projects including graphics and structure
Deliver Business Results
  • Manage project budgets including tracking of estimates and invoices and reconciling actual expenses
  • Maximize the portfolio and initiatives to achieve short-term and long-term sales, shares, and profit objectives
  • Collaborate with business unit general manager to plan, benchmark, and deliver annual objectives
  • Utilize syndicated and other sources of data to develop expertise on the product, category, consumer, customer and competitive set
  • Identify consumer trends to be leveraged in new products and line extensions
  • Participate in building methodology and evaluating results from key research projects
  • Maintain general awareness of key financial measures and business performance

  • Experience in FMCG CPG brand/product management, marketing and/or new product development
  • B.S. in marketing or related field; MBA preferred
  • 2+ years of experience as an assistant brand manager or associate brand manager
  • Ability to work effectively and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills in a cross-functional environment, with internal and external team members
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work, and manage multiple and varied projects simultaneously
  • Ability to clearly communicate ideas, both verbally and in writing, in a fashion that is appropriate to various levels of the organization
  • High level of comfort analyzing and synthesizing quantitative information
  • Prior experience with syndicated data - IRI experience is ideal
  • Willingness to provide insight to business challenges and initiate solutions, as well as to seek own development opportunities
  • Ability to come into the office and travel, as needed
    • As of now, most of us work from home 80% or more of the time. This flexibility is different office to office and based upon each employee's job responsibilities. It is also subject to change in the future.

About DFA

At Dairy Farmers of America, our approximately 18,000 employees work with one goal in mind - to bring value to our members. As a farmer-owned cooperative, DFA offers rewarding jobs across the nation in a variety of fields, including manufacturing, accounting, communications, marketing, economics, on-farm field services, and more.

We value our employees and reward them with competitive benefits, a supportive working environment, and opportunities for growth. We capitalize on the strengths of each individual and ensure that each employee is challenged in their role. Through Dairy University, employees receive online training and job enhancement, classes. Employees also have the opportunity to grow within DFA, with opportunities for advancement, across the cooperative.

We also want our employees to live a healthy lifestyle and offer a health and wellness program that provides access to online classes and materials tailored to help our employees make healthier choices, as well as an Employee Assistance Program that helps employees with legal and health issues, such as advice on parenting or stress management, and free counseling sessions.

At DFA, we understand that our employees provide value within our organization and in our community. We cultivate a culture of openness, transparency, and integrity where employees are encouraged to voice their opinions and share their ideas. We also believe we have a responsibility to give back the communities in which we operate and work to do so through the DFA Cares Foundation. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. is an equal employment employer and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, females, veterans, and disabled individuals.

About the Chicago DFA Office

We are a small, diverse team in Chicago, covering trade spending, innovation, insights, brand management, operations, supply chain, product information management and more. Out of the Chicago office, we manage consumer brands with product lines that encompass butter, cheese and cultured products. Those brands and product lines include:
  • Plugra butters,
  • Borden cheeses,
  • Cache Valley cheeses,
  • LaVaquita cheeses, creams, drinkable yogurt and butters, and
  • Mayfield and Meadow Gold (and several other smaller brands) cottage cheeses, sour cream and dips

An Equal Opportunity Employer

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