People to Watch 2021: Bridget Nordlund

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05/04/2021

Bridget Nordlund

Company: General Mills

Title: Senior Planner – Brand Experience, E-Commerce

Age: 35

Education: College of Saint Benedict (bachelor’s, environmental studies, political science); Gonzaga University (masters, communication and leadership studies)

a woman smiling for the camera
Bridget Nordlund

Bridget Nordlund believes that lasting solutions to our greatest environmental issues are found through collaborating purposefully, asking questions and not being afraid to test new approaches. While her degree in environmental studies from the College of Saint Benedict didn’t lead her into the field of corporate sustainability like she had at once planned, she’s found that the same mindset holds true for finding solutions to the largest business issues. “The best answers are found when you’re not afraid to strip the problem down to hundreds of questions, admit you alone don’t have the single key, and then work as a team with full humility to build something that’s never been built before,” she says.

Nordlund started her career as a business analyst at Target, focusing on the retailer’s private-label sleepwear lines. She was promoted to senior business analyst in the shoe department and then became a sourcing manager responsible for negotiating costs and building the retailer’s vendor matrix.

Just a few years into her career, she decided to switch paths into marketing by joining the admission team at her alma mater, Saint Benedict’s and Saint John’s University. “That’s when I decided marketing was my future,” she says.

Wanting to be back on the brand side, Nordlund moved to startup City Girl Coffee Co. as head of brand development. She stayed there for two years before taking an opportunity on the e-commerce team at General Mills. She has served as senior planner – brand experience, e-commerce, since March 2020.

As part of the e-commerce pure-play unit mainly focusing on the company’s Instacart business, Nordlund partners closely with other planners on the e-commerce shopper team while collaborating with their sales counterparts. “Together we ask tough questions and set the bar high for what we want to achieve,” she says. “The weight that e-commerce has on the growth of General Mills as a whole has evolved and more eyes are on e-commerce,” she explains. “So we’ve had to navigate new waters almost daily and ensure that methods and processes ... are best in class so our efforts meet the needs of the company and what we believe the future holds.”

Nordlund points to several individuals who have helped her in her career thus far. While in her last position at Saint Benedict’s and Saint John’s, she reported to Tammy Moore, the CMO, who “has this unprecedented ability to immediately see to the core of complicated issues, and she made them instantly uncomplicated,” she says. “More than that, her superpower was bringing teams together to solve those issues.”

While at General Mills, her mentor Christine Wicker has made a significant impact as well. “Her trust, the challenges she tasked me with, and her guidance allowed me to own the business at a far quicker pace than I thought possible,” she says.

Nordlund has effectively built relationships with her team and the broader cross-functional team. “It’s been a wild and crazy year for all of us with the pandemic and the growth of e-commerce,” she says. “But if anything, it’s accelerated us.” She’s also capitalized on opportunities to drive efficiency and consistency.

“If I find what I believe to be an answer to an issue on my particular business and projects, I don’t let it stop there,” says Nordlund. Instead, she works to share her learnings with the team and understand if the tool or process she has adopted can fit broader needs outside of her immediate business. “By doing so, it allows for strategic conversation and is a welcome reminder that we’re climbing the same mountain. I try to be that bridge that thinks through how the process and tools can allow us to break down unnecessary barriers to be a larger force together.”

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