Claire Harper is an experienced and dynamic marketeer and was the founder of award winning kids' clothing brand, IndiaCoco. She has been Marketing Director of nursery and fashion retailer Mamas & Papas and has held positions such as Head of Marketing at Ocado and Head of Online Marketing at Sainsburys. Claire now works as a retail consultant and regularly shares her expertise and know-how as an energetic and passionate keynote speaker.
Claire Harper is a leading business figure who has unparalleled experience in marketing, change management, branding and enterprise. With the success of some of the UK’s leading brands to her name, including Argos, Ocado, Sainsburys and Mamas & Papas, and having run her own award-winning kids’ clothing brand IndiaCoco, Claire delivers an inspirational keynote full of valuable messages gleaned from working at the very heart of business.
Joining Argos at the time of a hostile takeover, Claire’s first foray into the psychology of shopping landed her in the deep end. Faced with the challenge of a brand struggling with the necessity to change, her learning curve in people management, understanding the customer and innovative technological change was steep, and with it her passion for taking brands to the next level grew.
At the age of 26 she joined the newly-launched Ocado as its first Head of Customer Acquisition and PR and was soon promoted to Head of Marketing. At the heart of the proposition from the beginning and Head of Marketing, when online grocery shopping was clunky and ineffective, Claire led the extraordinarily visionary business into the thrilling, unexplored territory that has now become the way customers across the world shop every day.
Four years later she was headhunted to join Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King’s new leadership team entrusted with the brief to ‘Make Sainsbury’s Great Again’. Forward-thinking in her role of Head of Online Marketing, and by now proficient at adapting business plans to reflect the ever-changing future, Claire successfully launched the supermarket giant’s multi-channel experience, and consolidated the brand with its customer communications.
It was at this juncture of her career that Claire and her husband welcomed their first daughter Coco into the family, and Claire faced the challenge of balancing a successful and demanding job with taking care of a newborn. Honest and frank about her decisions, including some mistakes, Claire’s endearing interpretation of how women can try to have it all is inspirational and resounding.
When second child India was born in 2011, she proved to be the change catalyst that empowered the entrepreneurial spirit inside Claire to burst forth, in the form of IndiaCoco, a best of British kids’ clothing brand. In the face of appealing job offers from major retail businesses, Claire made the brave and determined decision to start her own business - which grew to become an award-winning organisation.
In 2018, Claire stepped away from IndiaCoco and is currently acting as a consultant within the retail sector. This includes the high profile Non-Executive Director role working for Blue Diamond Garden Centres where a robust ‘customer centric’ business model continues to perform very well in a challenging retail environment.
Stepping into the world of sport, Claire is leading all commercial and marketing activity for London Pulse Netball Club, who are now in their third season and are the rising stars of the Vitality Netball Superleague Championship. Claire’s role overseas the acquisition of new sponsors & partners, increasing commercial revenue, reach and fan engagement.
Claire’s passion and energy are a feature of her keynote speeches. Added to her vast knowledge of the retail market and understanding of business growth and change, Claire is well placed to convey her wisdom, know-how and strategies.