CARLISLE, Pa. — Joanna Crishock has been at the center of the GIANT Co.’s drive to refresh the brand in the run-up to its centennial.
Crishock, who joined the food retailer in 2010, was promoted last summer to vice president of marketing and commercial planning, a role that she says unites functions that work best when they’re “customer obsessed with what is relevant today and [have] the ability to execute more seamlessly and quickly.”
Prior to her promotion, Crishock was serving as director of strategy and chief of staff to then-president Nicholas Bertram, who left the company in August. Accomplishments credited to Bertram and his leadership team include a name change [from Giant Food Stores]; updated logos; store expansion across its home market of Pennsylvania [particularly in Philadelphia]; introduction of the smaller-format GIANT Heirloom Market concept; an accelerated omnichannel push; and the rollouts of the Choice Rewards loyalty program and the For Today’s Table brand tagline.
“There are many moments that I am proud of throughout my career, but the most memorable and proudest moments that I have experienced have been when I’ve had the privilege to work with other key team members and leaders on driving change,” Crishock says. “One of the most notable memories is at our annual business meeting when we launched our refreshed brand, inclusive of our strategy, purpose, visual identity and brand platform. There was an immense amount of work that went into the creation of who we are today and that could only have been done by bringing diverse minds and skill sets together. The strength of that new strategy has played out beautifully over the last few years, as our customers and our industry faced some of the tough challenges — COVID, supply chain constraints, inflation and civil unrest. But, in light of all of that, our strategy and commitments have remained consistent and true.”
Crishock says she strives to be a leader who welcomes change.
“Some of the lessons that have shaped my approach as a leader and human being include taking a chance and stretching yourself,” she says. “If I said no or didn’t pursue the opportunities that scared me the most, those that I didn’t feel well prepared for, I would not have grown. I encourage my team to be curious, ask questions and don’t be afraid to fail.”
GIANT’s recent refresh has strengthened the bond between shoppers and the brand, Crishock says.
“Customers want a brand that understands them, a brand that they trust and a brand that helps provide solutions, not just products. I think that the celebration of our 100th anniversary this year is a testament of our commitment to our communities and customers to do just this. I’m proud to work for a company that has had the customer at the center of what they do for so long. Customers have put their trust in the GIANT Co. to deliver, and I believe they see us as reliable and the much-needed constant that helps them solve whatever is facing them today — quick meals, affordable products, convenient solutions, available pick-up times, well-being, etc. We help with the decision overload that many customers are faced with.
“When we talk about what really differentiates us, though, I believe that it’s our people. Our people have passion: passion at the stores; passion in the support office; and an insatiable passion for service, growth, innovation and winning. And winning happens when we deliver what the customer needs, when we can help families to be stronger, communities to be stronger, and ultimately make a broader impact for the world we live in.”