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Principal Design Strategist - R&D


Chicago, IL, US


A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet.  What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated 

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.


Principal Design Strategist - Mars Wrigley R&D

The Principal Designer is a senior key role within the Mars Wrigley R&D Design Innovation organization. The role is responsible to lead design  innovation for the favorites, enhanced favorites and adjacency areas of growth.  This role is the design expert guiding the application of design thinking, which includes the design strategy development and facilitation of FEF (front-end framework). The incumbent will be responsible for leading the platform teams through the strategic framing of the consumer territories and problems to be solved, developing and conducting methods for building deep consumer empathy, the delivery of a range of low to high fidelity stimulus and prototypes for iterative consumer learning, and the translation of the consumer insights and learning into design principals and guidelines for execution of the solution space (including areas such as brand, product, pack and route to market).   


This position will be responsible for identifying the design needs and driving the design thinking approach in areas aligned against the business objectives.  The associate in this role will be expected to drive innovation that supports business goals around strategically important growth transformations.  As a Principal Designer, this role is a key design expert and can work on all categories and brands, based on the needs of the business. 


What are we looking for?

  • Bachelors Degree in industrial design, product design or related field, Masters preferred.
  • 7-10 years of experience with design, design strategy or innovation management, design thinking & execution with a deep understanding of front end innovation practices
  • Proven understanding of the value of design within a business context and will be expected to exploit this value within all innovation projects.
  • Experience within a corporate or consulting environment
  • Ability to effectively collaborate cross functionally and with external partners in design and innovation.
  • A high drive for results, excellent project management skills, highly creative with an entrepreneurial growth mindset, and the ability to create strong networks and relationships to create and deliver the innovation agenda.
  • Ability to work independently at all levels with minimal guidance and build effective cross functional working teams to drive projects to execution.


What would your key responsibilities be?

  • Lead the creation & development of innovation areas to deliver superior consumer experiences for all touch points through the application of signature tools, processes and design / design thinking best practices
  • Expert at working in and leading cross-functional teams through the application of design thinking (Front End Framework)
  • Identify consumer problems to be solved and key hypotheses for consumer learning
  • Ensure the delivery of required stimulus for consumer learning
  • Translate, develop and deliver consumer insights and leaning into design principals and guidelines for brand tone, look and feel across the full spectrum of consumer and channel touchpoints
  • Develop opportunity spaces and ideas, highly skilled at bringing these to life through the creation of stimulus and prototypes
  • External network is well understood with strong relationships
  • Management of external design agencies
  • Seek out external provocations and expansion of external network in order to strengthen and advance our internal design capabilities
  • Guide the Design Team in pursuit of the above. Role modeling design thinking,design leadership behaviors and proactively mentoring these associates and developing talent


What can you expect from Mars?

  • The opportunity to learn, develop and take charge of your own career.
  • An industry competitive salary and benefits package. 
  • To be respected and valued.
  • The Five Principles at the center of every decision
  • The opportunity to work cross functionally, add value and impact a better world for generations to come.




Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.


Nearest Major Market: Chicago

Job Segment: Consulting, Front End, Project Manager, Technology