Understanding your users expectations and anticipating their needs is what successful brand experiences are all about. Although, having them feel like family starts with listening.
I am a multi-disciplinary with an educational background in Industrial design although i went on to pursue positions in the web, creative, and THE marketing field.
I have worked in web, the creative field, and a decade as a marketing director with the last four years focused on UX design.
My process starts with understanding what the brand stands for because that is what gives a company its direction and what users will come to love and expect from the brand.
Who You Are
Using Apple as an example, the brand is known for developing software and hardware that are not only visually appealing but simple and easy to use.
Once I know what the brand is about, I can communicate and create experiences both in the physical and digital world to convey that message.
Communicating Who You Are
Apple’s stores and most successful advertisements consist of a simple white background and a silhouette with minimal text which carries over what the brand is about, simplicity.
The brand and the marketing strategy must be integrated into the user experience because that is what the user is expecting from the brand.
Your Brand Experience
Almost a decade later, not only is the hardware design simple, but the iOS of an iPhone’s user interface has remained consistent with their brand to be the intuitive and easy to learn and use.
data driven research AND strategy/problem solving
Through research, I work towards avoiding “coming up with solutions to a problem that do not exist.” Without it, it is all too common to see cookie-cutter solutions that are aesthetically driven rather than solutions that are addressing real issues, users, customers, and challenges that are in line with your brand.
User Experience Design: UX Design/Research
Digital Marketing Specialist
A background in
Entrepreneur: from my first business till now, my goal was “how not to go out of business.”
Graphic Design: packaging, ads, iconography, infographics, to event marketing.
Web Development: HTML, CSS, to PHP/SQL (PHPBB, vbulletin, to eCommerce platforms), via wordpad to WYSIWYG (Dreamweaver) and WordPress.
Photography: continuous/strobe lighting photography, along with post (photoshop).
Digital Marketing: SEO, SEM, FB/IG ads, email, to social media: IG and Facebook.
Model Making to Carpentry: spent a summer fabricating Japanese shoji screens to industrial design courses in model making to furniture design.
Food/BOH: from Italian, Mexican, Southern, to a specialization in Japanese cuisine.
Mechanic: a focus on automotive imports: from tuning, diagnostics to a specialized knowledge in engine and suspension tuning to safety equipment and brake systems.
Being process driven, I have been able to work across multiple industries
Early in my career, I had worked in a number of industries, but in the last decade-and-a-half, I have worked with and helped build these companies/brands.
- At 22 y/o, opened Racer X, one of the first import performance tuner shops in San Jose, CA (located right off the 280 and Saratoga Ave). Was the first major Z.Speed/Skunk2 dealer. Along with a major dealer for Momo, PIAA, Hotshot, Magnecor, GReddy, to several other prestigious brands.
- Asked to come back to help the owner/founder/CEO in turning the Skunk2 brand around from near bankruptcy. This was done in under a year through restructuring and engagement. The brand has been able to sustain itself as an industry leader for well over over a decade and a half (from a cable TV show/Street Tuner Challenge to appearing in the Black Eyed Peas video Pump it).
- Defined and refined both the Gibson Performance and Axial brands. At Gibson and Axial, I built the marketing department, along with their media library. With the Axial brand, it went on to become an industry leader in a segment we had established which was R/C rock crawling (heavily inspired by the 1:1 market).
- Worked with the founder/CEO in delineating and developing the Race Technologies brand from Brembo S.p.A. Prior to that, there was brand ambiguity between the two entities which was a contentious issue with Brembo, a 2-billion dollar a year Italian company. On top of that, the media library to the website was all developed ground-up – two major achievements, graphically depicting the Brembo product line-up with a simple series of horizontal lines based on “intended usage.” The second, categorized the market and dealers from a “tire and wheel” to “track prep/tuner”. This improved UX for “locate a dealer,” along with minimizing conflict between businesses (by not lumping them all together as the same).
- Oishii-desu.com was started to address the numerous issues within the media, although during the pandemic, the site has gone on to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest site for Japanese food and culture. The site draws 16-21k unique/visitors per month, all organic traffic with no paid ads.
- Cost effectively started and operated a pop-up restaurant (the first event did over 160 orders in less than one hour). The objective of the pop-up was to develop a cost-effective solution between food trucks and brick and mortars.
- Was asked to speak to the company and CEO of GoFundMe via Zoom. During that speaking opportunity, we were 1 of only 4 awarded $5,000 for our non-profit initiative. We raised a total of $14k on GoFundMe which was primarily from friends and colleagues (filmmakers/documentarians, food industry, to even an ex-girlfriend).
- “Your Stomach Loves Us” gave away $13k worth of food to Harlem, NYC. The event was a goodwill gesture although the point of the event was focused on messaging. We wanted to pull people together versus creating more polarization (tribalism). Our main tagline was “You Good? We Gotchu.” Oh, and and all individuals involved worked remotely.
“Greg came to Race Technologies as a car enthusiast, a marketing professional, and as a…
“Greg is very meticulous and organized about the tasks & projects which he decides to take on at RT…
“Greg was a huge asset to the marketing direction of Axial during his time here. His ability to strategize…
the last 3 years in the food/restaurant industry
Events, restaurateur (the pandemic has created some new challenges), to digital marketing
TO CREATE AWARENESS, NOT FOOD TRENDS
The food of over 4 billion people is not a fad.
303 Night Market is an event that is currently being planned for Colorado. Taniguchi Ramen is a pop-up that can be found at select events. Oishii Desu is one of the largest, if not the largest source (16-21k unique/visitors per month) for Japanese food and culture on the West Coast. Stew Shack is a new venture in 2021 where I have become a partner to this 8-year old B2B product. My role is to take it beyond one of the items on the menu of a multi-million dollar international seafood chain based out of Los Angeles.
Taniguchi Ramen pop-up: Hakata style tonkotsu ramen. Most ramen in the U.S. will be from “instant ramen stock,” but this pork broth was made from scratch, all 3 components of the stock.
Contribution to the Westword article “Why is My Ramen So Milky?” about Japanese ramen by Mark Antonation.
Gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen
PROMOTE, EMPOWER, AND SUPPORT BUSINESSES
We connect and network communities and people.
USer EXPERIENCE (UX) LEAD
Race Technologies, LLC: official partner to Brembo for logistics and market management of the Brembo Sport/Performance, and Racing programs.
Brembo, S.p.A. is an Italian manufacturer of automotive brake systems, especially for high-performance cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, to Cadillac) and motorcycles (Aprilia to Triumph) based in Bergamo, near Milan.
My role: I worked with the CEO/founder throughout the entire UXR (User Experience Research) process from the research to concepting/sketching, site maps, task flows, lo/hi-fidelity wireframes, to measurement.
Three examples of how we connected people to Brembo
At RT, our objective was to “be the solution” which meant RT’s role was to make the process of purchasing and servicing Brembo products as quickly, simply, and as enjoyable of an experience as possible.
1. The diversity and specialization of dealers and distributors
Developing the “dealer locator” feature always takes me back to when I bought my Cannondale bike. On the Cannondale website they have their bikes segmented into “mountain,” “electric,” “road bike,” “urban,” to “women,” yet they have their dealers lumped all together. That made it hard to locate what I was looking for since their dealers do not carry the entire product line, and many of them specialized in one type of bike more than another.
That same diversity of product and dealers was a lot like the Brembo Performance market which was identified through the user and product segmentation research (we had a staff with with a minimum of 8 years experience). The data we gathered contributed to the development of the locate a dealer functionality which allowed the user to find a shop that specialized in having their Porsche set-up for a track day, or to a tire and wheel shop for a routine pad/fluid change.
2. Brembo has been a partner with Audi amongst many others
A marketing objective was to communicate Brembo’s capabilities which was to juxtapose Brembo’s massive involvement in not only racing, but also as a OEM supplier compared to the smaller and limited capabilities of other products in the market. To achieve this, one tactic was to have every “year, make, and model” search deliver up a a small brief in the product results page about Brembo specific to the “make” search such as with Audi:
“Audi/Quattro GMBH and Brembo have had a long relationship from supplying the original Audi R8C Le Mans Prototype all the way to the current R18 E-TRON Quattro. Brembo also supplies the Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT program as well. Brembo can be found on several high performance OE Audi platforms like the Audi R8.”
3. From noobs, track rats, to industry pro’s
User specific product descriptions: content was designed to match the level of experience and knowledge of the user, so for the application lists we designed the extent of information/terms to cater to dealers. Whereas general product information was aimed at users not as familiar with the products and product lines, so we focused on the benefits over citing extensive product specs like a “355mm disc diameter, 32mm disc width, 54mm annulus, 16mm air gap, to a 48 vane curved vane design.” That was replaced with “upgrade and replace your heavy 1-piece rotor to a lightweight 2-piece disc system: comprised of an aluminum bell and outer iron disc…”
None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the collaboration of a number of people inside and outside of RT because.