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: 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.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2017

    Should Amazon buy Macy’s?

    I fail to see where Macy's and Amazon converge. If Amazon needs a brick & mortar location, there are other retail chains that can be purchased that can offer the physical functions that Amazon might need. Do they really need physical locations?
  • Posted on: 05/31/2017

    Is ‘Building the New Blue’ the right plan to complete Best Buy’s transformation?

    It appears Best Buy is on the right track and with technology evolving at the current rate, it needs to be a permanent mode.When consumers can hold most of your departments in one device (TV, music, movies, video games, and so forth) it is very impressive that Best Buy has succeeded. However, Best Buy can't become a phone company. They need to strengthen their role in the appliance category and other products not available on a smartphone.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2017

    Why is Target investing in a mattress direct seller?

    For all retailers, whether online or brick & mortar, it's evolve and differentiate or die. Different retailers have different challenges and there is not a one size fits all solution.A relationship between Casper and Target provides Target another category to feature and sell to its consumer base and provides Casper a showroom where folks can experience the tangible product and eliminate purchase barriers.As a consumer, I like the Target approach because it ultimately makes shopping more convenient. As a marketer, I think it helps Target retain consumers and get a bigger share of the consumer dollar.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2017

    Will retailers get cut out by consumers in the future economy?

    I believe retail "as we currently know it" will evolve and that includes direct-to-consumer. How can retailers avoid disappearing? Evolve.We are already seeing national retailers that failed to respond to consumer interactions and expectations fading into history and becoming cautionary tales.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2017

    How can small retailers avoid the seven reasons most fail?

    Marketing is critical. Most boutique retailers don't conduct pre and post launch marketing. They don't recognize if the location (the RTA) actually makes sense, if there is a large enough need to sustain a bricks & mortar location and which are the core products consumers seek.Once the doors are opened, some retailers expect customers to find them without any promotions, they expect traffic via serendipity.In contemporary times, it's not difficult, or expensive to communicate with target consumers -- especially if you are a niche product. Failure to know and communicate with your RTA consumers will only lead to your demise.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2017

    Should retailers take a public stance on social issues?

    Brands should have a position on social issues, but not in politics. I don't believe support for the environment, for children's well-being, or senior care will create legitimate controversy.The social issue has to be organic to the brand and it can't be lip service. Millennials and Zillennials do pay attention to a company's social conscience and will reward it for it.

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