Carlos Arambula

Strategist, Co-founder of MarcasUSA

Carlos brings over two decades in the domestic, U.S. Hispanic, and international marketing arenas on both sides of the brand – client and agency.

Carlos began his career in public relations working on crisis management and political campaigns. In the early 90’s, he made a move to work on the emerging U.S. Hispanic market where he was disappointed at the lack of research resources and data available for strategic development. More alarming to him was the decade old axioms being utilized as doctrine on Hispanic market approaches that failed to properly recognize the characteristics of the fluid and growing segment.

After some years in which he dramatically improved the marketing efforts and returns of clients, Carlos returned to work in the mainstream consumer market with global network agencies that eventually lead him to international work on category and brand development in developing markets.

He returned to domestic marketing efforts after he joined a CPG client with a regional brand to national presence and winner of national recognitions for new product development.  He also began applying emerging market techniques to the growing and now well-researched domestic Hispanic consumer market, where he launched OTC pharmaceutical products targeting Hispanic consumers to national distribution and sustained growth.

Currently Carlos is VP of Hispanic Consumer Marketing for R&R Partners, the agency better known for the “What happens here, stays here” Las Vegas campaign, where he is responsible for domestic Hispanic and Latin American consumer markets.

Carlos is very well versed in brand-building based on years of developing regional, national and international brands across cultural, language, and geographic boundaries while maintaining brand integrity. He has led the work on several well known brands, including Toyota Motors, M&M/Mars, Kia Motors, Burger King, Gruma’s Maseca, Unilever’s Ragu, Pepsi Cola’s soft drinks, Texaco’s Havoline, the family of InterContinental Hotels, and the Fluid Milk Board’s “Got Milk?” campaign.

Carlos is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in History with a Psychology emphasis, while his left-brain also indulged in the W. Edward Deming’s philosophies taught by the Industrial & Systems Engineering department.

  • Posted on: 12/13/2017

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Home Depot vs. Lowe’s

    The Home Depot ad is a generic season message, it could be MasterCard, Sears, any financial organizations, in short, any category celebrating the holidays. For that reason alone it's not a good connection to Home Depot's core customers. As far as reaching out to new customers, I think the seasonal message will get lost in a clutter of similar ads.The Lowe's commercial does a better job talking to core consumers. It's specific as to its function and provides solutions for relatable situations for any consumer. Additionally, the commercial is part of the Lowe's campaign. The same platform ("the moment you realize...") has been used by the brand throughout the year, so core consumers will now immediately it's a Lowe's message.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2017

    Why are so many brand categories woefully bad at word-of-mouth?

    It's a lack of evolution from decades old marketing practices. Technology companies by nature have to constantly evolve and that permeates the company mentality -- especially marketing.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2017

    Penney gets fashionable with its Jacques Penné pop-up

    It's a good effort due to the strategy but execution will be critical. It can come across as a classic brand re-discovered by a younger generation or as a last-ditch effort by a dying brand.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2017

    Will breakfast at Tiffany’s attract Millennials in search of ‘Instagrammable’ experiences?

    Appropriate? It took them long enough to capitalize on a brand asset. However the consumer target has to be broader than Millennials. Millennials eschew material goods in favor of experiences, they also follow fads and are are quick to move to the next experience.Not all retail brands have that organic tie-in to a restaurant and for most of them the restaurant might be a part of customer service as opposed to the main destination.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2017

    Walmart’s online prices drive customers to its supercenters

    Walmart's brand promise and core consumers are both about low price. I'm not certain if Walmart needs to differentiate beyond low price. While Amazon and Walmart share customers, the two businesses are in different retail spaces.Two sets of prices will help consumers decide whether or not they want to venture out to the store for one or two items and it will reduce the logistical factors and overhead costs of home delivery for the retailer.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Lowe’s and Macy’s join rivals chasing smart home opportunity

    Smart home technology is still in its nascent stage for most consumers -- the technology is way ahead of the consumer comprehension. And yes, brick-and-mortar stores have the tactile and tangible demonstration advantage to capitalize on the smart home trend.I'm not certain if they are primed for a break-out performance this holiday season, but they will be primed for a break-out 2018. All the new entertainment and kitchen appliances coupled with new smartphones and apps will offer functions to the consumers that will compel them to consider smart home technology.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2017

    Will Amazon become a dominant force in grocery after acquiring Whole Foods?

    For all its popularity, Whole Foods remains a non-essential niche grocer and the noise regarding the merger appears to be influenced by political posturing. At a glance, It appears that the current process for determining anticompetitive activity doesn't apply to an Amazon-Whole Foods merger and the FTC "okay" appears to confirm it.Technology aside, I believe the merger will help expand the Whole Foods franchise to Amazon's consumers who don't have the geographical proximity or are intimidated by the brand.I don't see Amazon becoming a dominant force in the grocery business. Whole Foods's 1.4% of the grocery business does not position them to be disruptor in the grocery category and since they own their sub-category (or niche), all they can do is evolve it. And evolution takes time.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Will TJX’s Homesense repeat the success of HomeGoods?

    The retailer creates excitement because of the "explorative" nature of the shopping experience. The customer might find what they are looking for or what grabbed them as they strolled the aisles, ultimately, they are entertained.If Homesense is able to get into the consumer entertainment-shopping experience space, they will be able to coexist and complement each other.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2017

    Can a Japanese app drive adoption in America with a toy store?

    A Times Square location is expensive, but it will be a worthwhile investment. It is the app of choice for Zillennials and will only continue to grow to other consumer segments.There are other ways for an app to generate interest, on the surface some better some worse, but Line has a distinct personality that might benefit from a Times Square location.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2017

    Where did Applebee’s go wrong with Millennials?

    Millennials are a state-of-being, a behavior and attitude. Millennials are not parameters, or decor, or menu items. Applebee's was wrong in deviating from their brand, it was wrong in attempting to become a different -- and most likely already existing concept, to attract Millennials.It is well known Millennials are attracted to authenticity, even kitsch. The minute you begin to re-brand to attract Millennials, the cohort can see right through the pandering and will not patronize. Millennials want to explore what's already there, they want to discover, so if Applebee's wants to attract the cohort, it needs to improve its brand and invite consumers to experience it.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2017

    Will ‘doubling down’ on tech help McD’s disrupt the fast food business?

    McDonald's is the fast food industry, it's not in a position to disrupt the category. It is in the position to evolve consumer interaction and convenience, and I'm certain that if any of the technological introductions help with the restaurant's bottom line, they will be adopted by all QSR.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2017

    Do consumers want to be recognized across channels?

    I believe this is an issue with comfort with the technology and myriad of stories regarding i.d. theft, scams and the now very popular warnings about the dark web dangers.Remember that folks used to be afraid of cell phones because "someone" could eavesdrop, afraid of credit cards usage because someone can steal my card number, and loyalty cards because it would detail their purchase history. New technology is always accompanied by the bogeyman.Consumers will adopt all technology that makes their life easier, they just have to learn how it works and recognize the benefits ... it will take a bit of time, but it will eventually happen.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2017

    Will Sears get traction with its new appliance and mattress store concept?

    I believe Sears can be successful with a standalone appliance and mattress store. With a national presence, they can beat any of the regional players in consumer offers. With a brand image that is strongest in appliances, they don't have to build their franchise with consumers -- maybe they need to specifically reach out to Millennials. Additionally, focusing on their strongest category allows them to develop a winning omnichannel strategy that can be a point of differentiation.There are caveats. Sears has an image problem -- from morose employees to press coverage of impending implosion -- that needs to be addressed. All consumer touchpoints will be critical, especially employee training and customer service which needs to be better than the innovators in the market.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2017

    Will virtual reality become the ultimate retail training tool?

    If it's good enough to train the military on more complicated issues, it should be good enough for retailers.If consumers interact with a new sales associate and get a similar level of experience as an experienced sales associate it will pay dividends in satisfaction and retention of consumers and employers.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2017

    Does store operations have a seat at the digital transformation table?

    Customers need to see, hear and feel one singular perspective from retail brands. Anytime contact with the retailer appears disjointed between online and brick & mortar to a consumer, you risk appearing dated, tired, and out-of-touch with consumer demands.Physical stores should be able to move fast enough, or at the same speed as online retail functions if they are included in planning. At this stage, if operations is not part of the digital commerce discussion, the retailer is at a disadvantage.

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