Claiborne is an experienced corporate and brand strategist with a demonstrated history of creating and implementing growth and change within medium and Fortune 500 companies. His experience includes corporate strategy, brand positioning, product and experience development, customer insights, market research and franchising. As SVP of Corporate Strategy, he leads the company’s Insights and Strategy team to leverage data analytics and guest feedback to generate value and loyalty among customers while improving business performance for franchisees and investors. The Focus Brands portfolio comprises seven iconic brands, including Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, Schlotzsky’s, with more than 6,400 locations around the globe.
Claiborne came to Focus Brands in 2020 from the Crew Research Group where he worked with both major and independent hotel chains, as well as other hospitality clients to better understand their customers, optimize their competitive positioning and deliver engaging branded experiences. Previously, he spent seven years at Hilton Worldwide leading global brand and portfolio strategy for all 16 brands as well as the guest feedback and insight program for over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. Additional positions include brand strategy for Ralph Lauren and acquisitions, divestitures, and corporate strategy at Capital One.
He earned his master’s in Creative Brand Management from the VCU Brandcenter and bachelor’s degrees in Math and Economics from Washington & Lee University.