“ How do you manage the legal aspects of continuous market innovation?”

“How do you manage
the legal aspects of
continuous market innovation?”
“Know the business from top to bottom.”
Glacéau continues to achieve its success in the market for enhanced water with a cutting
edge, hip and sophisticated approach to brand positioning. In a very real sense, the role of
the legal function is to ensure that our brand managers are making good judgments about
the business as they advance our products into the marketplace. So how do we do this?
There is no substitute for in-house lawyers knowing the business from top to bottom. In our
industry, this means an implicit understanding of the activities, expectations and plans of
regulators, competitors and consumers. We mine this knowledge, and then we synthesize
and disseminate it in a way that helps to shape the company’s course of action.
I like to think of our legal function as the hub of a wheel with spokes projecting in a
variety of directions. Synthesis of information and data takes place at the hub, knowledge
is transmitted along the spokes and implemented on the front lines of our business by
our operations, sales and marketing teams. Our core legal knowledge is blended with
an understanding of regulatory requirements, consumer preferences and the competitive
landscape, and the result is sound advice for the company.
At our company, the general counsel’s office is one where everyone is welcome to—
and frequently does—stop by for consultation and advice. The question of the day may
present prospective issues, or it may be some pressing matter with which the client has
to deal immediately. In both cases, the legal function helps present the larger backdrop
of risks and benefits so the client can be deliberative about his or her options and derive
a sense of the context in which the final decision will play out.
Joe DiSalvo
Vice President & General Counsel
Whitestone, New York
At Glacéau, we understand that there is no contradiction between being hip and edgy,
and being on top of the fundamentals that are required for sound legal judgment.
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