What I Do.
Innovate. Progress. Envision. Lead.
I bring the future to today. I strive to develop unique products while simultaneously grooming culturally strong teams that revolutionize how we experience and, equally important, how we influence our world.
Areas of expertise.
I’ll always be a product design guy. I’m also deeply focused on developing diverse strategies – local and international – that will penetrate and ingrain themselves within the hearts and minds of our audiences.
People and culture drive my passion for creating unique products and experiences that possess a deep sense of value and meaning.
Design Leadership & Cross-Functional Team Management, International Market Strategy, Multi Generational Product Planning, Product Innovation, Category Management, Trend Identification & Analysis, Merchandising, Budgeting & Cost Reduction, Product & Marketing Positioning and Communications, Creative Storytelling, Client & Vendor Relations.
I’m constantly evolving and pushing forward. Yet, I am someone who enjoys the journey, taking each day as it comes. I’m eager to learn and make a difference and I gravitate to those organizations and accept positions in which I can consistently experience these two things.
My professional goals involve leading teams and directing business and design initiatives in innovation oriented environments on the international scale, where technology and culture converge to create new products that therefore enhance human experiences.
How I Work.
I believe in being unique and creating emotions and to be in coherence with the company’s brand image and overall strategy.
There are two scenarios: 1. Look at the market and I see a gap or something missing, or I see a way to create something really different from the others. 2. Sometimes, I have an idea or a concept in my mind that can come from any inspirations like automotive, architecture, and I just create it.
Usually, I don’t do it alone. Depending on the complexity of the problem, I try to assemble a team to brainstorm to find different alternatives whether in design, materials, etc.
Clean, one strong message so that it’s easy to understand, and something that could be complex, but looks simple and effortless. I’m into making small details that only the consumer will delight to notice after buying the product.
What are your beliefs when it comes to following trends (giving people what they want) versus creating them (telling them what’s important now)?
For a company, it has to be balanced. I don’t like the phrase “following trends”. These products are not revolutionary; they’re commercial. They allow you to create volume and help you to tweak the “on trend” products so that you can make them unique with your own reinterpretation. When you’ve developed volume, you can also have fun and create something different and that could spark a trend that nobody else has anticipated.
How do you balance the different needs of the product component model (from core components like design features, functional features - to trademark, branding, styling - to deliveries, spare parts, repairs and maintenance)?
When I design – I always have that in mind from the beginning. You’re creating a product for a specific company, so that product has to have a certain “DNA” that fits within the brand body. The product has to match that expected quality and it will have good consumer satisfaction.
Before designing any product, you’ve got to do some groundwork to look at price range, what has been done, to understand that what you’re trying to create is unique and that you don’t follow someone else’s path. Data helps to define the features that others don’t have that will allow you to shine and be attractive in terms of price point. I do feel that it’s up to you to really go for it, develop the best product in mind (with the team), and it’s not necessary to do focus groups at the early stage. Once the final prototype comes around, then you can get some real feedback to get some answers that may not be about product improvement, but how to communicate the story. Minor details can help refine the design or refine the story.
I don’t control too much of sales, but emerging markets usually buy into existing franchise models that are safe bets to build brand exposure on products that already work. For those markets in which we are already established, there are different needs – and sometimes you manage to create one strong product that can fit all in terms of product appeal and it’s just a tweak in colors that will make sure clients in Asia, Europe, or in the US that the people are into. The other factor in each continent, sometimes you have very different trends. So, at this stage, you have to design product with that specific consumer in mind without polluting the process with the idea of trying to satisfy everyone in the world. If I have a client in Japan, I focus only on satisfying that person in Japan. I find that usually you can create something that can be shared that is unique and breakthrough, beyond current trends, across the board in all markets.
When it comes to merchandising product, how do you know which are winners and losers? How does it affect your product line strategy?
I see merchandising as growing plants – it’s organic. You have some products that grow as soon as they’re launched – like quick fashion trends that grow fast and die quickly like leaves. They leave room for other products. The roots of the plants are the franchise – need new colors, features to keep them alive to be sure the whole plant alive. The branches are products that are future trends that will take time to establish. They last for a few years, so make sure that they’re trimmed and encouraged to grow so they’re not forgotten. Every month, you look at sales reports and cut what’s not working anymore and in terms of inventory make it easier and leave room for new-ness.
I recognize it when we have an idea and I keep looking to see if it’s out there and when I don’t see it – I try to understand why nobody else has done it before and if there is potential for that idea to grow substantially so that it can generate strong revenue for the company.
How do you balance business growth needs as indicated by investors in relation to creating strong, brand products that are authentic and relevant to consumers?
In terms of designing product, it’s about staying true to what your brand is and who you want to be. Have that in mind. If you start to question if it’s authentic or not, then it’s a path I try to avoid. It may bring a quick profit on the short term, but it will damage brand image on the long term. I’m more into long term growth rather than getting a quick check from a customer.
For me, a good product strategy is when everything is aligned – product is cleaned, everything is easy to use, then the marketing communication is aligned with the message that is clear, curated, and considered. Everything just makes sense. A poor marketing strategy is two things: 1) The product sucks. 2) They try to just pack it with features that will satisfy everyone and then the message is completely lost and nobody doesn’t understand what it’s about and they don’t understand how to use it because they’re just too much stuff on it.
I like to see teams that focus on the group over personal agendas. I’m all about grooming a strong work ethic where people don’t need to be reminded to do things. I do keep track that factories do their part and on time. I make sure to ask the right questions to feel when something is wrong or if I’m not being told something. Always keep the conversation going so the project can move at the right pace and so that we can overcome difficulties. I hope to be treated as I treat others: with respect, accountability, and good vibes.
I like to participate, provide suggestions and at the same time, I know where is my spot and I’ll show the respect to ensure that the project leader hold the reins.
From service, studio, communications, to sales – everyone needs their key information to do their part of the job and I’ve been known to deliver even before they ask because I know what they’re looking for and what they need to do their job well. A leader understands the work of those around them and their needs and their capacities.
Have you ever coached a team member, intern, or a colleague who was struggling? What was your strategy?
I do enjoy constructive conversations and I feel that it’s not everyone’s forte as there are those who can sometimes struggle with their managers. I’ve been known to be someone who can help build bridges so that my colleague can overcome the difficulty and forge a better relationship with his/her manager.
I’m all about creating constructive conversation and putting in place some tasks that can remedy the problem over a certain period of time.
For me, company culture is really important. It enables everyone to share the same values and it creates more passionate collaboration that if it was at a place without culture where people are just getting a paycheck. I believe that people give more of themselves when there is a strong pervading culture.
Experience The Journey.
Professional Certificate of Marketing | University of California San Diego | 2006-2008
Masters of Materials Engineering | University of Polytech Montpellier, France | 2001-2003
Bachelors of Materials Engineering | University of Polytech Montpellier, France | 1999-2001
Solidworks Training, Solidworks Corporation | Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 2004
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Reliasoft | Tucson, Arizona, 2005
- Microsoft Office/Project 04-07
- Financial Accounting Control System (FACS)
- Lotus Notes
- Discoverer Plus
- Reliasoft Software
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