This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

Bookmark Email Print page

Fully connected and empowered: Today’s consumer poses a new challenge to brands


23 June 2014: Technologies that were once new are now established, and are converging in ways that empower consumers as never before. Whether it is wearable devices or smartphones that enable location based incentives, or simply the ability to shop the globe for the best product at the best price from the palm of your hand, the disruption is forcing consumer products companies and their brands to re-examine their business strategies.

To help clients respond to this challenge, Deloitte Australia, has appointed Katie McNamara previously of Foster’s Group as consumer products lead partner. Katie is joined by Damien Ballesty a director recruited from Deloitte’s UK firm, prior to which he was Group IT Director for the Selfridges Group – a leading luxury department store group with operations in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada.

Commenting Katie said, “Whether Australian consumer products companies are selling domestically or trying to expand into Asian markets, their consumers are already truly global. They want and expect more for less, they shop across channels, around the clock and expect their chosen brands to be where they are whenever they want.”

“As well as an evolved consumer, the Australian retail and consumer products sectors are responding to the connected workforce of internal consumers. Meeting the needs of internal and external digital consumers often requires a change to the operating model and structures of a business. Creating new internal digital teams and capabilities is hard to do successfully as talent is scarce, the pace of innovation is rapid and performance metrics are hard to define.”

“We only expect this trend to intensify in coming years and the onus is definitely on consumer businesses to step up to the challenge and ensure they are agile enough to respond.”

“New approaches that must be embraced include end-to-end global supply chains, virtual market entry, direct-to-consumer channels, and more investment in consumer insights,” said Katie.

Welcoming Katie and Damien to the firm, Deloitte Consumer Business national leader Simon Cook said: “While it is clear that other markets have higher penetration of online and multichannel sales, Australia has some particular characteristics that make the market unique – geography, weather, labour costs, population densities and existing real estate.  In bringing Katie and Damien on board we are demonstrating that we are committed to helping our clients develop a path to success and pick the right changes to invest in.”

Further background on Katie McNamara

Previously the director of strategy and business development at Fosters Group and Treasury Wine Estates leading up to, during and post demerger, Katie has been widely recognised for her excellence in strategy and general management. She was named the Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the year in 1999, inducted into the Australian Businesswoman's Hall of Fame in 2000 and was named the Young Australian Career Achiever of the Year in 2000. A trained pharmacist, Katie also owns two Tasmanian retail stores.

Further background on Damien Ballesty

Before joining the Australian firm, Damien was the retail technology advisory lead for Deloitte in the UK and is the former Group IT Director of the Selfridges Group.  He brings 20 years information technology experience with particular depth in working with leading global fast moving consumer goods and retail organisations. He specialises in IT strategy development and delivery, operating models and cost reduction as well as transforming multi-channel operations. He brings a balanced perspective having been a consultant as well as being part of the management team of a leading retailer.

NB: See our media releases and research at

Follow us – @DeloitteNewsAU

Last Updated: 


Katie McNamara
Job Title:
Lead partner, Consumer Products
Tel: +61 3 9671 6073
Johnny Sollitt-Davis
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: +61 3 9671 6177, Mobile: 0431 134 850




Follow us


Talk to us