Carlos Arambula

VP Marketing & Business Development, Estrella Brands

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 working on the cpg, automotive, entertainment and retail categories. With a marketing philosophy refined in developing emerging markets, Carlos applies the techniques to the fast-evolving U.S. consumer environment where the consumer is reached through a myriad of methods, has become more discerning of their choices and often mimics emerging market behavior.

Currently Carlos works with Estrella Brands, an OTC pharma company he co-founded.

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

  • Posted on: 12/13/2018

    Retailing success doesn’t depend on silver bullets

    Technology has changed consumer behavior and expectations. "Always on" consumers and tech savvy companies can build enduring relationships, but all it takes is one poorly trained employee to ruin that relationship. All consumer facing employees, and especially managers, need to be beyond familiar with the company's apps, e-commerce site, and store policies. Also it is critical that customer-service take a bigger role in the training of retail employees or they become a nuisance to educated consumers instead of a positive aspect of the experience. It takes a lot of lead bullets to fix things, but one negative consumer experience can easily become the silver bullet that destroys the consumer-retailer relationship.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2018

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: vs. Petco

    Both commercials do a good job of connecting with their core customers. They do a great job in bringing in new customers to the category, but not necessarily to their brand. Ultimately you could switch the branded end-frames in the commercials and nothing will be lost, or gained. All pet product retailers will benefit from these two spots. Both commercials clearly understand pet lovers, but they fail to connect the emotions of the season to their particular brand. The Petco commercial resorts to using their logo on the bottom right corner, but again, simply replacing it with a bullseye makes it a Target commercial. Likewise with simply replacing the box with Amazon's iconic box. A good test would be to show the commercial to consumers once and then ask them later if it was an ad for Target, PetSmart, Amazon, Chewy, or Petco.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    Aldi gets creative for Christmas

    It appears the commercials are a function of the status of the brand development in the three countries. Aldi is unknown to U.S. audiences, so a similar spot to the Australian commercial would be esoteric. The U.K. spot is beautifully produced and it has a bizarre charm to it, but when you are a well known brand, you can push the envelope. I believe Aldi is still introducing their brand in the U.S., so it has to be more didactic. The spot has charming Christmas details and the more consumers see it, the more they will pick up on them and become curious about the brand. One critique is that it is an old-fashioned stand-alone TV spot without legs in social media -- I checked, and it could have easily been extended to their website and social media accounts. Eventually, Aldi's brand might be able to do more ambitious advertising, but for now they need to ensure their advertising works in the consumer environment of the U.S., and extending their message from TV to other mediums would be a good start.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Enjoy Life connects with consumers ‘one-to-one’

    First, I would ask them to make sure their core-consumer is not affected by traditional marketing. Not all brands benefit from digital first. However, if the brand's core consumer are effectively reached via non-traditional advertising then consider a digital first approach. Also, keep in mind digital first is not digital only.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Best Buy

    Although they are both Holiday themed spots, they are very different in function. Amazon is talking to its core customers, reminding them of the holiday, the anticipation, and how they play a role in it. Best Buy's spots are traffic driven, designed to drive current and new customers looking for a gift solution and unaware, or forgetful, of how the retailer can help. Both of the spots effectively communicate to consumers. I do have an issue with the promise of the Best Buy spots. Holiday's are busy and if customers expect a similar experience as depicted in the ads, they will be disappointed -- perhaps my experience of walking into Best Buy last Holiday season colors my opinion.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    Will displaying produce by season set a new grocery concept apart from rivals?

    I think one has to see Natoora within the context of the location. Similar concepts already exist in most large affluent US cities, and the Natoora concept will lack the exploration or discovery factors that exist in the communities' farmer market.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2018

    Why do Millennials love private label groceries so much?

    Millennials like to explore and find hidden gems all the time, including shopping. The private label category lends itself to exploration and moreover to a social media post. There's no need to promote private label outside of the grocery store or online. That would eliminate the attraction to Millennials.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2018

    Is 7-Eleven using ICE to get rid of troublesome franchisees?

    If the report is correct, yes 7-Eleven has gone too far. At this stage it appears to be a strained relationship, and the only way to gain trust and fix the problem will be to remove Mr. DePinto from 7-Eleven. It appears that in the eyes of the franchisees, Mr. DePinto personifies all that is wrong. Without franchise buy-in, there are no corporate mandates, and this type of disfunction will only be solved by removing the head. The issue is not that the corporation is demanding, that's usually more the norm than the exception, the issue is leadership style and enforcement methods.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    LabCorp deal brings blood testing to Walgreens’ pharmacies

    Definitively. Come in for the ancillary services of flu-shot or lab work (conveniently called-in by your physician) and stay for the HBC, OTC medicine and more importantly the prescription drugs. Mail order prescription drug companies are crowding the category. Retail pharmacies have to adapt or die.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Will J.C. Penney’s new private brand connect with Instagram-savvy moms?

    This reminds me of folks planning viral campaigns when the nature of a viral campaign is that it can't be planned. It's like adding after-market spoilers to an economy car and expecting it to be faster. It doesn't matter how good the spoilers are if the car lacks the horsepower.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2018

    Nike expects sales to take off with launch on

    While the trade is extremely conscious of Amazon and being a "different" distribution channel, to the millions of online shoppers it's simply another retail option. To Nike it's a low risk, high benefit proposal. With the neighborhood sports specialty store disappearing Nike is controlling its product distribution to brand loyal consumers. A visit any of the large chain sports stores offers multiple brands but limited choices on the models available. Amazon and allows Nike to offer wider selection of the brand's models and more feasible than opening more brick & mortar brand stores.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2018

    Tuft & Needle and Native knew their first products fell short

    I'm surprised anyone launched with a less-than-optimum product in the direct-to-consumer distribution channel. DTC consumers have different expectations than brick-and-mortar consumers -- a higher quality product at a better price, and they are also more willing to provide feedback to the manufacturer. The immediate communications with consumers allowed them to address deficiencies in products that would not have been possible in brick-and-mortar channels and communicate the improvements to their consumers. The immediate interaction with DTC channel consumers saved their brands, created brand ambassadors and saved the company considerable money and time.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Will competition force all grocers to offer free store pickup?

    When the consumer demand free in-store pick up it will happen. However, the concept has to become widely accepted and practiced -- and consumers are not there yet. There are other competitive and more visible pressure points that will precede free in-store pick up. At this early stage, it's quite possible that a small fee for pick-up becomes the norm instead.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Walmart expands test of giant automated grocery kiosk

    It's a complement to the consumer's retail experience. The need for convenience will always be a significant factor in the consumer's decision of retailer and Walmart's kiosk concept appears to further address that need with the grocery kiosk. I don't believe it will compete with home delivery since it satisfies a different consumer need and appeal beyond home delivery.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Having little luck with Millennials, J.C. Penney refocuses on middle-age women

    I think losing sight of their core consumer was one of many of the factors that hurt its business. The company failed to evolve for decades and when it began to react to changes in the consumer marketplace the slightest error was amplified and it just compounded to the list of errors. J.C. Penney needs to carefully look at their "emerging consumer." Is it really emerging or is it a remaining consumer base? Is it enough to sustain the business? There was a reason why it chose to amplify its consumer target. Retreating to the base consumer that wasn't responding to them anymore is not a smart move.

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