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: 06/29/2018

    Will Amazon’s PillPack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business?

    Amazon will definitively be a disruptor. The proof of a similar concept already exists in Express Scripts and Amazon appears to have significantly improved on the brand promise and presents reasons for consumers to buy. Unlike Express Scripts, Amazon presents benefits to the patient instead of the insurance company. There are millions of patients with chronic illnesses who see their doctors often, or have quick access to medical expertise, that they will not miss the pharmacist (or the pharmacy clerk who is usually the main contact at brick and mortar pharmacies). In regards to the benefits managers, it will not affect the consumers since it will be behind the scenes for the patient and if Amazon manages it smoothly, it will remain mostly behind the scenes.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2018

    Toy City pop-ups look to fill the gap left by Toys ‘R’ Us

    I understand Party City expanding into additional offerings with a business model that works for them, but I question the move into the space of an outdated concept abandoned by Toys "R" Us.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2018

    Former CEO wants to bring Toys ‘R’ Us back from the dead

    The space has been left empty, so it's possible for Toys "R" Us to fill it again. However, aside from the debt burden, the brand has to redefine itself. The toy category, purchasing behavior and "playtime" has quickly evolved while the TRU concept remained relatively stagnant. Jerry Storch needs to define the brand from the bottom up -- start with a blank page, with a target-consumer centric perspective.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2018

    Analyst: Prime perk could eventually double customers at Whole Foods

    I do see the cross promotion between Amazon Prime and Whole foods to increase traffice to the store. Prime users are bargain hunters and a substantial discount at the grocer will encourage exploration, especially from Millennials. I don't see impediments, only challenges in appealing to two distinct consumer segments wtih the same brand and how to evolve without loosing the core Whole Foods consumer. Ultimately, the two consumer segments do share some characteristics, some threads that can be utilized benefit both Amazon and Whole Foods.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Brands win with TV 2.0 and the new direct mail

    It all depends on the category and your consumer target. Not all categories/consumers behave the same and using the TV 2.0 strategy for other products might yield dissappointing results -- im certain a bit of sleuthing will find the same TV 2.0 approach disastrous for other products. My advice to all is to learn everything possible about your category and consumer target and design a media strategy that will yield resutls. There are many examples of media mixes that produced success, but the only commonality between of all of them is thorough strategic planning.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Target’s new Instagrammable collaboration is a sweet deal

    Target has build a brand platform that allows it to positively participate in pop culture trends with its customers. Target does not need to find balance, it simple needs to continue to integrate, or blur the lines, between experience and commerce.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    Walmart associates check out customers on the floor in pilot program

    I've experienced the mobile checkout at the high-end retailer and when the personnel is well trained, it's a convenient and appealing payment method for the credit card or debit purchases. When the personnel is not properly trained, it stops being convenient, the checkout process is more laborious, and customers will avoid it. It is a very good program when done properly, but I anticipate other factors at large box retailers (poor training, inventory control, theft prevention, and cash-only customers who also want the convenience of mobile checkout) that will prevent proper implementation under its current iteration.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2018

    Has Victoria’s Secret become a casualty of the #MeToo movement?

    The Victoria's Secret brand needs to evolve, it's that simple. The brand personality is stuck in a decades-old positioning that has lost relevance to the younger generation.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2018

    Will shoppers go to Walmart to buy a car?

    It's an enhancement. Currently, Sam's Club and Costco offer car buying services for their members and if you ask anyone who has used the services they will recommend it. The caveat is that those are membership consumers who are early adopters and more likely to modify purchasing behavior for their benefit. That's a good sign for CarSaver and Walmart because the rest of consumers will follow and adopt the behavior. It's not going to enhance dwell time or increase visits to the retailer. However, it will enhance the brand relationship with loyal consumers and it can be combined with additional services (current and future) to capture the dollars associated with car ownership.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2018

    Kellogg’s advises CPGs to differentiate online

    Consumers' purchasing behavior has evolved. Shopping begins with consumers researching a category, or with a well-placed ad in a social media site. CPG brands can begin to differentiate from competition online and avoid being another no-name product being discounted at the grocer. CPG companies cannot expect retailers to create a brand, and merchandising activities at the retail level are designed to push product through, not to develop brand loyalty. Establishing a brand relationship with consumers begins outside the retailer location. Any introductory offer, any retail level discount, is stronger if it is done in conjunction with a well-crafted social and digital push to consumers before they arrive at the retailers.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2018

    Will Prime members give Amazon the key to their cars?

    Access to cars seems less about convenience and more about theft prevention. So in order to prevent package theft, Amazon suggests consumers amplify their risk by increasing the chances of vandalism to their vehicles? I do think there is a need to reduce the risk associated with theft and home deliveries, and not just for Amazon but all similar commerce. However, this feels like using a band-aid to treat a serious flesh wound; it will technically stop some of the bleeding, but it's ineffective. Amazon and all retailers in the categoy need to address theft prevention as an industry, it should be a price of entry to the category not a merchandising tool.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2018

    Can MoviePass help revive America’s malls?

    I do think MoviePass can drive traffic to malls when the theaters offers multiple highly popular products consistently -- which is never the case. There are too many variables in the movie industry that make a movie successful, or a highly popular product. MoviePass is one step removed from decisions that affect the movie industry, and completely removed from the decisions of the very aggressive and innovative streaming services that have eroded the movie theaters. It's a concept that might have arrived decades late.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2018

    What would an acquisition of Humana mean for Walmart and its rivals?

    A retailer must evolve and keep attracting new customers to the franchise. If inexpensive clothing and other consumer goods are not bringing in new customers and you are in dire need of an image makeover, evolution is necessary. I'm not certain if it makes sense, rollback prices and quality healthcare do not seem like an attractive proposition, but then I'm assuming the models that have been tried by pharmacies. The positive aspect of the acquisition is an evolution of Walmart's offerings, the major negative would be consumers' reception of the concept.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    Is AI the key to finding the right location, location, location?

    Other than the acquisition of existing locations -- true and tried locations -- AI might be the best tool available for determining locations. In California, we saw examples of bad store locations from Japan's "Famima" convenience stores and England's Tesco "Fresh and Easy" grocery stores. The locations appeared to be determined by affordable real estate locations, and while they were built in the right communities, some of these locations were not in the traffic flow, the appropriate households vs industrial distribution, or income levels. I don't know what the final criteria were for the aforementioned locations, but AI could help validate or question the potential of a location and mitigate failures.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2018

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond find gold in a treasure hunt strategy?

    It's evolution, which can only bring back life to a staid brand. I feel this is a very clever way to drive additional traffic to the store from current loyal customers and steal share from other "treasure hunt" retailers. Shrinking the chain's core inventory, aside from what should be an improved control issue for the store, should not impact consumer perceptions, traffic or average ticket. Consumers have moved and will continue to move to online retailers for BB&B's core inventory.

Contact Carlos

  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.