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The NOW Gen

Digitalization

Finance and Business Growth in The NOW Gen

In this episode, we talk with Rich Radice, CFO of Moven and Founder of Treehouse Consulting about the digitalization of banks, and how to create a successfully financial business in The NOW Gen.

Guests

Richard Radice

Transcript

Francisco Serrano (01:04):

On the welcome back to the new episode of the now gen podcast. This is Fransisco Serrano, and I am very excited for this episode. As we dive deep into a topic that we never usually discuss, which is the finances and the world of brands. And, uh, we have a very special guest, Rich Radice, uh, is currently the CEO at Marvin, and it’s also the president and founder of tree house consultant group. I’m very happy to have him and he will share his experience and knowledge with all the groups. So thank you Rich for being here.

Rich Radic (01:45):

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Francisco Serrano (01:50):

Excellent. So, uh, um, first of all, would you like to tell the audience a little bit more about the two companies that I just mentioned? You, you, you have.

Rich Radic (02:02):

Yeah. Yeah, sure. Um, well moving is, is an extension, I guess, of, of what I’ve done with tree house consultant group to kind of go back to, uh, the origins of my professional career, um, out of college, I, um, you know, I started my career as in the accounting field. I was at Pricewaterhouse Coopers for a number of years, focusing on financial institutions and insurance, um, and then decided to go the private route and, um, you know, started to maneuver towards unique opportunities. One of them, um, ha had been a working as a, as a CFO for an ultra high net worth family office, one of the co-founders of SAP software. So, um, you know, small group of individuals would, um, would, would manage the wealth of, of that particular individual. And in doing that, I got involved in quite a few more, I would say development stage businesses that we had private placement investments in.

Um, my role then was to oversee those, those businesses to a degree, um, and just kind of, uh, you know, demonstrate some stewardship over the investment that we had made. So, um, so that, that got me involved in a variety of different verticals that were contrary to just pure financial institutions and insurance of it. You know, one could say a Mo uh, you know, a very, uh, dry, uh, dry industries. There were, you know, more exciting industries that I got involved in. Um, so, so when that, when that opportunity came to a close and the family office closed, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to find that an opportunity like that so easily, um, because I, I could describe that as probably the greatest job I ever had. Um, so I had to, instead of wait to find that opportunity, I had to create it myself, right.

So I started my own practice Treehouse consulting group, and that was, um, you know, designed to provide that type of financial, you know, fractional CFO oversight that I had been involved in for the private placements, uh, at, at the family office. So at the time, and I’m going back 11 years at the time, that was a relatively new concept, not brand new, but a new concept that most of what I would consider my target client base, we’re still getting comfortable with fractional, um, fractional executive work, um, as, as, as you may or may not know, I mean, the past 10 years have changed that everything has gone fractional to some degree, right? Everything is modular, whether it’s workspace, like we works. Um, but even, even, um, you know, professional services are now modular. So, so, um, you know, I think it was slightly ahead of my time in, in, in, in those terms.

Um, and, and the opportunities that I was able to garner over the course of the, of those years have developed in, uh, size and scope. And, and that’s where I came across the opportunity to work with movement. Uh, that was just over four years ago. Uh, I started as the fractional CFO and grew into the full-time CFO and recently was given the opportunity to take over the CEO role. So I’m operating as a CEO and CFO of, of moving. Um, I also advise a life sciences company that’s working on, um, a vaccine for Alzheimer’s, that’s a relatively new, um, uh, role that, that I filled. Um, I work on other, other types of opportunities, a water reclamation company in, in, in, um, uh, New Mexico and other smaller opportunities that I just provide some guidance and oversight, but, um, you know, those do not demand much of my time. Um, but moving is, is my primary focus. So that’s, you know, that’s kind of the, the, the evolution of my career and background. And as you can see, it’s, it’s, it’s always open to new opportunities, but, you know, over the past, you know, year and a half, two years, um, I really have, uh, you know, really zeroed in, on focusing on moving and getting it through a very critical time in its history.

Francisco Serranoo (06:22):

Okay. And, and focusing now on moving, because that’s kind of, I was looking at your background, your LinkedIn profile, and, and it says that it’s changing the way people view and manage money. Can you explain a little bit more about moving please?

Rich Radic (06:38):

Yeah, sure. So, so moving was started back in 2011, um, by a banking visionary futurist corporate king, um, who has since written several books. He’s got another one coming out soon, um, that were futurist in nature, but really kind of making predictions on, um, you know, financial institutions and the modality of banking. Um, as, as it will be in, you know, 5, 10, 15, 50 years from now, um, a lot of his predictions were, were, were very spot on in terms of what would happen to branch networks. The fact that financial institutions were always typically heavily reliant on, um, a branch footprint. And that was the main modality in which they engage with their customers that has drastically changed, um, that has drastically changed, not just because of COVID. Um, but it has accelerated significantly as a result of COVID now branches, um, you know, used to be something that, um, uh, we’re, we’re, you know, we’re mainstream, but still did not have a, um, uh, the not properly serve certain unbanked or underbanked individuals throughout any facet of society, whether it’s in the US or abroad.

Um, so that, that is now changing. And as we move towards digital transformation in all industries, you know, some have been disrupted earlier, some have been disrupted, um, more, but the financial institution banking in particular is now, uh, undergoing this kind of, um, regeneration of how it engages with customers, number one, and how it serves its customers. And I mean, that banks traditionally are very product forward. They, they, they develop a portfolio of products that they’ve decided they want to sell, not necessarily in response to what consumers need or want. Um, so they, they develop a product profile, um, and they do their, their damnedest to deliver it to customers that they want. Um, and what, what we’re doing now, not just through digital engagement, but through the data that we consume as a result of that digital engagement is understanding the behaviors and the desires of the consumers themselves, right.

To better understand, um, how to develop less of a product, but more of an experience for customers. And I think that’s what they, that’s what they, um, are becoming much more accustomed to receiving and all other aspects of their life, right. Particularly news, right. News has now become this immersive experience because people now become a part of the news on Facebook. They become a part of the news. They become journalists, they become editory, you know, uh, editors, they, um, they, they synthesize headlines and they regurgitate them, so their own taste, um, and that’s taken on a life of itself, but how did we do that in other industries where we allow the consumers, um, to dictate, uh, the ecosystem that they live within. Right. And that, that, that has, um, you know, that that’s what helps formulate, um, the, the, the, the digital ecosystem. Right. Um, so what move-in does is, is basically provide that digital channel, um, and, and data capabilities for financial institutions, particularly banks, to better engage with their customers and provide insights. And what we do is, you know, attempt to cultivate better behaviors to, um, you know, to, to help, um, to help consumers become more financially healthy.

Francisco Serrano (10:54):

Okay. So, and what would be the difference between bank of America and mobile?

Rich Radic (11:01):

So Bank America is a bank. Move in is a software company. And, um, so moving provides right now, a digital engagement layer. So we basically build the mobile app for a bank. A good example of that is with TD bank, TD bank in Canada was our flagship client. We had, um, built and delivered their what’s called TD MySpend. That is a companion app. It’s a, you know, it’s, it’s a sidecar app to their primary TD app. Okay. What that companion app provides is the financial wellness capabilities that takes in the customer’s data. Um, and then it helps develop and generate, um, financial behavioral insights, um, and, and the, the commercial results that we’ve gone from that, or, you know, reduction in attrition from their customers, increased savings rates. So that those, those types of metrics actually result in tangible value to the bank and obviously tangible value to the consumer, right. Higher balance in their savings account. Um, and with that, the bank can sell them more products, but again, more products driven towards better financial wellness for that particular country. Yeah. I

Francisco Serrano (12:21):

Yeah. I can imagine. I mean, I’ve never, so if you, if you tell me how many times you’ve been to the branch in the last five years, I can tell you one or two, because the bank wants me to go to sign something, but it’s not of my liking, not because I want to go. So I would imagine that it’s that kind of a service, like, you know, I’m going remote, uh, in the past of taxis that everybody eats against the taxes, but you just have to ask the taxes, but what overcame they changed the whole ecosystem or, or, you know, Carvana is doing, and Amazon is doing to the car industry, and nobody wants to go and be, feel harassed by the sales, you know, Hey, by BMW is the best one in the media. Have you decided yet? And you know, all this discount, oh, because you came today, I’m going to give you a 20 presented all this, uh, this information that is not needed anymore for the consumer. I would imagine that what you’re telling me, some kind of, that it’s going towards that direction, right? No, no, that’s a good point. It’s ironic that you bring up

Rich Radic (13:39):

No, no, that’s a good point. It’s ironic that you bring up the, the, the, the car, uh, you know, the, the vehicle industry, I was actually, uh, one of my clients in the past was a, um, they would do livery leasing. They would lease vehicles to predominantly Uber drivers. Right. So we understand, we understood the demand in the market and, and the contrast with, you know, the TLC in New York city, I’m, you know, I’m originally from New York. So I’ve had my share of yellow cab rides, and I can compare them with an Uber ride. It was night and day. And what had happened was, again, through digital transformation, um, they were able to build an immersive experience for the user, for the, for the person taking the ride, as, as opposed to just providing the utility. The yellow cab was just the utility. It was full wheels and a driver, Uber was an experience.

And now you have, you know, it’s just as, as, as you know, regulations are trying to protect that for, for a variety of reasons, um, and allow, you know, and trying to level the playing field. Um, and I, and I use that term deliberately. So, you know, the, the TLC is trying to level the playing field for the yellow cabs in New York, right. To preserve that as a, um, you know, jobs program and, and, and, and not have people go, you know, purely go on a business. Um, but it’s interesting, um, because Jamie diamond, um, had made a similar comment about the, the, um, the challenger bank space in the US and that, you know, large legacy banks and the regulators that they need to level the playing field, meaning don’t allow the cultivation of challenger banks, purely digital banks to, to, um, to develop, um, quicker than legacy banks are ready to compete with them. Right. And I thought that was ironic. And to say that leveling the playing field, um, for JP Morgan chase, they need to level the playing field because they haven’t gotten a headstart.

Francisco Serrano (15:43):

Exactly.

Rich Radic (15:45):

The headstart that they need. So it’s a little disingenuous because, um, when, when things don’t work out in their favor, they’ll foul, um, digital banks, just like any other digital channel are, would encourage is progress right on, you know, in favor of the consumer. And that’s what, um, you know, and that’s what we look to do is to be ahead of the market, understanding the consumer first, if you understand your consumer and you have contextual insights about who you’re selling to you’ll sell.

Francisco Serrano (16:16):

And, and also a good example is what happened to Tesla, right? Tesla, it’s now biggest, it’s bigger than Ford and, you know, comparing them to JP Morgan and, you know, the newer digital banks can have that growth faster. Right. And that takes me to the next question. So, as we were chatting before starting this podcast, I was telling you that the now gen, uh, audiences kind of, you know, everybody has like this red thread that is, they want everything to happen now. So how does the banking, the digital banking industry and what moving is doing is going to affect, or why should this, you know, the now gen podcasters should be looking at what digital banking means for them and moving, you know?

Rich Radic (17:10):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, listen, the way we look at, you know, generational preferences needs and preferences, um, it is very involved to try and accommodate millennial needs and preferences, right? They, they do represent a large portion and they are the, the market that is coming into existence th that the largest group of consumers, but there is still, um, the earlier generations that have a millennial inside of them, right there, you, you will see, you know, um, consumers digitally transform themselves, um, out of, out of necessity in some cases, right. Um, the pandemic is bringing out the millennial in several people. My father included, my father now has a Facebook account. Right. Never in a million years, would I think he would ever do that. Um, but at the same thing as, as they, as they transitioned to smartphone. So, so I think there’s a lot to be said about how the millennial generation is, is shaping, um, the next generation of products, services, and even preferences. Um, and we’re accumulating those data points, right. Because what we haven’t necessarily had in the prior generations is all of that accumulated data, data beta that we can aggregate, cut up and provide our own insights or ourselves say, what did these people really want? Right.

Francisco Serrano (18:40):

Yeah. And, you know, when you were talking about this digital transformation, uh, personally, I don’t understand why, uh, there’s no ACH, so a transfer option from companies, uh, when, when you’re doing business to business, you know, big companies, they send, you checks still like in the 1930s or forties. So when everything started and, and they don’t do just the transaction, which is easier, faster, and it’s like, you know, like sending your catalog printed catalog to your home, that, you know, it’s going to end up in the trash can, I don’t understand that. So, yeah, that is all

Rich Radic (19:25):

So, yeah, that is all starting to evolve. That is all starting to evolve, you know, with, with, you know, I think the, um, uh, you know, the, the template for that is like a PayPal’s Venmo, right? So it’s a PDP, it’s, it’s a payment platform that allows people to make payments in real time. That’s all now being, um, you know, reconfigured for, you know, B2B and all of the type of methods of payment. So, so that is all going through this entire paradigm shift. So, you know, the, the, the traditional ACH that takes days to process, um, they don’t process wires, uh, after hours or on the weekends. That that is, that is now going to just fall away. But again, it is all a function of the regulatory environment, which is the biggest, which is one of the biggest elements to all of this progress. Right. And when I, one thing I can call out for US versus Europe is, you know, the, um, the promotion of challenger banks in Europe was enabled through FinTech, charters being made available, right?

So 2015, 2016, it was early. Then they had FinTech charters available. They don’t make those readily available in the U S they don’t make them billable at all. Um, the OCC had recent, you know, a couple of years ago, the OCC had revisited issuing FinTech charters, New York state department of financial services squashed it immediately, right? Because again, big banks are asking for, um, a level playing field, but again, it’s, it’s holding back progress. If you, if you could think of the TLC in New York city saying, well, Uber can’t operate well. They tried to do that. They tried to do that. And a lot of municipalities and, and big cities always attempted to, you know, you know, to get rid of Uber right. As, as it was too competitive to, um, their own taxi limousine services. But, um, yeah, so all of these things are going through a paradigm shifts, all enabled through the regulatory framework.

Francisco Serrano (21:34):

I’m sorry. And as I heard you said in the past, COVID has been an accelerator for you. Right. So can you tell us a little bit more about how the pandemic has influenced your line of business?

Rich Radic (21:46):

Oh, for sure. So for moving in particular, we had been held to an exclusivity and we weren’t able to operate in the U S right due to one of our commercial contracts. Um, the beginning of COVID, we were able to renegotiate that, and now we’re allowed to, to operate and sell into the U S which was a game changer for us. Um, but again, that happened at the, at the, the, the heel of, uh, the pandemic, right. And, you know, we weren’t necessarily able to do all that outreach and, and, and business development because all of the banks that we were selling to were now completely disoriented and worried about what they’re going to do. Right. Um, but now, as, as the, as the, uh, the effects of the pandemic thought to a degree, you know, obviously we’re, we’re gonna, we’re going to have to deal with this new normal, you know, I think for years to come, but as things start to Thor and the banks get their, their legs up beneath them, they realize now that they, the table stakes for them to succeed are to digitally transform in a meaningful way.

Right? So, so what that’s done is prime the market for us. And at the very least help these financial institutions that we sell to solve the problem on their end, whether to buy or build it’s going to be too costly for them to build it themselves. They don’t have the expertise, they’re not software companies, they’re banks, so they would have to accumulate the talent and that, and that talent does not want to work for a bank. They want to work for a technology company, so they don’t have the talent. Um, we do. So we have the technology that’s already built. We can deliberate deliver it to them, um, for much cheaper than it would cost them to build it. And they solve the speed to market it’s readily available, and it can be integrated with an aunts. So that, that helps us. And now they understand the necessity for them to have this type of digital, credible. Yeah. So it’s really helped us. And, you know, we don’t just sell in the US we sell all over the world and because it’s a pandemic, it’s impacted every corner of the earth. Yeah. They’re all going through this kind of condensed, uh, decision-making cycle, which for us, it shortens the sales cycle. Um, and, and, and it helps us kind of, um, penetrate the market that much faster.

Francisco Serrano (24:04):

I would imagine that it’s kind of this feeling of you’re pushing an idea, you’re pushing an idea and they’re saying, no, no. And suddenly light at the end of the tunnel, the pandemic hits, and everybody is a genius now. Boom. Oh, Hey, Rich.

Rich Radic (24:23):

That’s precisely. Right. And the funny thing is, you know, a lot of this, you know, a lot of the, the, the thinking with, um, from the large institutions was if we ignored it, it’ll go away. Right. If we ignore challenger banks, they will go away and there’ll be suffocated. Um, that is not the case. Right. That’s, you know, maybe, maybe a couple of, um, you know, less than sophisticated thinkers thought that about the internet and, you know, they were wrong. Um, digital transformation is going to take hold in every industry around the world. Because if, if, if a, if an industry does not digitally transform, it will be left behind. Exactly. Yeah. And every organization will have some form of banking capability, everything. Yeah.

Francisco Serrano (25:14):

I mean, the other day I was, I mean, we deal with brands all the time and with, you know, fortune five, fortune 200 fortune 50. And, uh, and when I was thinking of, of this podcast, I was kind of saying, do marketers need to rethink of how the are approaching in the way they are doing the transaction? I mean, probably, probably yes. And you know why? Because the other day I was talking to the, to the, one of the directors at Amazon, and they told me that they already have a, in the payment form department, the Bitcoins specialist kind of, so they’re already, I don’t know if it’s going to be a reality or not, but they are investing in that position and trying to innovate in that side. So, so I guess the question of dust, you know, fortune 500 brands need to think of how the banks are going to transform the digital, uh, real and how they are, you know, the e-com just grew like 200% and some brands and others, it’s just whatever their, through the roofs and sales. So, so the digital banking has to have that kind of, uh, of a, of

Rich Radic (26:35):

A, uh, absolutely. Um, um, it it’s, it’s, it’s happening every day. And, and the, the, the course and speed of merger activity, partnership activity in this space is, is, is growing exponentially on its own. So it’s, it’s been, it’s, it’s been interesting to watch which types of large organizations have, you know, basically put their heads together to deliver a more immersive experience. Goldman Sachs just hired an exec from AWS. Right. Um, so think about that as bringing two worlds together. Right.

And, and that’s, and that’s the type of thing you’re starting to see. And we have a partnership with, um, [inaudible], which is, um, uh, the New York digital investment group. And, and basically they, they bring, um, Bitcoin capabilities, right. And that’s it, to be able to store value Bitcoin and to transact. Um, we, we formed that partnership because we knew the demand that the law, you know, the, the large, um, top tier banks are now changing their, um, their opinions. Um, or maybe they’re not changing their opinions, but they’re, there, they are now accommodating the preferences of their consumers who want access to Bitcoin to be able to store it, to be able to trade it. So, um, that, that is something that because of the consumer data that, you know, large institutions are now collecting, they understand what those preferences are, they’re making the appropriate adjustments.

Francisco Serrano (28:21):

Yeah. And you need to be able as a company and as a brand, you need to be able to, to understand and detect when, when the there’s an industry transformation. I mean, think about blockbuster, right? They said, no, no random, Trent. Then there you go. Right. So Netflix came and just do the whole thing. So this big banks they’re trying to, of course, I think as you were telling me to put a barrier and say, no, hold on because of security because of, you know, but then again, you see Venmo moving like a fish in the water and transport, and they’re

Rich Radic (29:01):

Challenged now. And again, that the term challenger bank, there are challenge of banks in the U S the largest is chime. Uh, you have Varrow, um, um, current. So these, these are pure challenge of banks, which basically they have no branch footprint, right. They’re purely digital. They can operate throughout the U S they’re enabled through a bank charter, but it’s a sponsorship model. So they don’t have their own traditional banks. Right. Except for Barrow. Barrow was actually one of the first, the only that has, um, you know, uh, has applied for and received a traditional bank charter in the opera. But, um, but you know, to go back to your, to your question in terms of how should marketing and, you know, financial institutions, bank, and banking in particular, um, um, work together, right. To serve the consumer. I think there’s a lot to be said about, um, where this generation, uh, where society in general.

And I think we can, we can say that it’s not just the us, it’s not just north America society in general is moving towards, um, more, um, the Netherland purposes behind organizations, right. Um, that’s, what’s birthed, you know, concepts around, uh, frameworks like ESG, right? Um, environmental, social governments of governance of, of organizations. It’s an entire, entirely new, uh, corporate structure. That’s designed to, um, redefined stakeholders of any particular organizations to say, Hey, you know, you have more of a purpose beyond profit. Um, and we want you to have more of a purpose just beyond me as, as your single customer wants you to have, you know, do social good. We want you to be, you know, part of the, you know, um, you know, part of the, the, the, you know, global citizens, right. So I think that is now, what is informing a lot of the messaging, particularly in the U S is that it’s gotta be, it’s got to have more of a benevolent purpose.

It’s gotta be socially driven. And that’s, and that’s, that’s, that’s becoming table stakes now in, in, in many cases that could be, um, uh, you know, a thorny thorny prospect for some companies, because they take political sides. Right. But they have to make their own decisions in that regard. But I think at the end of the day, you have to, you have to kind of, um, adopt this, do no harm type of, um, um, persona, uh, you know, each organization would have to do that to kind of demonstrate that the, you know, it’s not just about profit and theirs, they’re giving back to a community in some sense.

Francisco Serrano (31:34):

Okay. And, and talking about, you know, what you were saying about, you know, or we were discussing about pushing, pushing, and then what is the right thing to do, and how do you do it, looking back at your career, you know, moving and you know, this private investment from family business, what is the one, the one thing you remember the most with that you said, Hey, Rich, you really kill it here. Right. So the proudest moment you remember.

Rich Radic (32:10):

I really, the time I had that, that realization was it, I don’t necessarily know if it was a particular milestone. It was more just kind of an accumulation or a look back, right. It was a look back to say, well, I didn’t, I didn’t think it would come this far. Um, and, and I guess I w I appreciated the person. I was years ago that persisted through what seemed like a pretty dark corridor, um, with very few opportunities to say, Hey, listen, you know, this is, this is how great things are built. That’s not going to be easy. If it was easy, everybody would do it. I know it’s, you know, there’s the old saying goes, but, um, you know, I gave it the time I gave it the effort. And basically it’s like, I, I felt like I had to be a fishermen with a big net, if, if I, if I just persisted.

Speaker 3 (33:05): Um, and, and wasn’t kind of, um, you know, disheartened by any, um, you know, lack of progress in any, in any direction, then at least I would continue to fish with a big net. When you fish with a big net, you have more of an opportunity to, you know, to catch something that you’re looking for. Right. And that what happened then I continued to fish with a big net, and those, those opportunities have kind of, again, developed in scope and size and it’s, it’s really satisfying. And then when you become in my mind, I, I like what I do, because I feel like I’m good at it, right. When it becomes, when it’s a chore, when it feels like a task, um, you know, a job, uh, you know, a role is, is an accumulation of tasks and jobs and things like that. But when you, when you start to enjoy it and you get good at it, it becomes less about those tasks.

Speaker 3 (33:58): It becomes more about the purpose. And, and if you, you, you see the results of what you’ve been doing and the hard work, and it pays off, not just for you, but for other people that rely on you. That’s, that’s the reward right there. So that, I mean, I guess that to answer your question, it was not one particular milestone, I guess it was just one day where maybe it was even a bad day that I was having where I looked back and say, it was a lot worse back then. And because you kind of, you, you stuck your head down and drove through it. You’re in a much better position today, you know, and you’re doing what you want to do. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (34:34): That’s loving what you do. Well, congrats on that because not many people, I mean, do you know, that’s what everybody’s saying in the social networks, do what you love, do what you love. Oh, yeah.

Speaker 3 (34:46): That’s, I think that’s, uh, I think that’s a very, very dangerous piece of it.

Speaker 1 (34:50): Yes. So your dreams, not at a college, you know, well, it means you get paid

Speaker 3 (34:55): And you learn how to support yourself and then flowers, you follow your dreams. You want to be a painter or a dancer go for it, but pay your bills first.

Speaker 1 (35:03): Exactly. That is for sure. One. And that was going to ask you, so it’s a good cue for that. What is the one piece of, of, um, of a takeaway that you can leave our audience? Uh, the one thing, because we’re talking, we talked about, you know, pushing, we talked about, you know, uh, doing the right thing, we’re talking about all your, your, your career. So among all that concept, what do you put in the table that somebody can take away and say, boom, uh,

Speaker 3 (35:38): As far as career? Um, I, I think one thing I would say is I, I feel that there’s, um, it’s, it’s, it’s very popular now for kids to come out of school, college and want to start their own business. I, I, I always think that that’s a great expression of an entrepreneurial spirit, which you’d never want to, you never want to kill. Um, but if you, if you, if you give it too much, sunshine too early, it may, it may kill it on its own. Um, people want to start their own business. And, uh, whether it’s a service, if it’s a service, they, they, they want to, they want to charge people as experts, um, and consultants. And you’re not an expert when you’re just at a school, so you won’t be able to sustain yourself. Um, you have to live through the paces. You have to, you know, you continue to learn after school, through various jobs, um, and roles and experiences, give that some, um, but you know, don’t abandon your entrepreneurial spirit, but learn from people who have been through it before, develop a template for what’s next for you. I don’t, I don’t think it’s any responsible thing to do. You can, you can still hold on to your passions, but at the same time, develop yourself professionally in a responsible way. Great.

Francisco Serrano (36:59):

Yeah, I completely agree. Because, you know, nowadays, like we were talking, it’s fashionable to be an entrepreneur and have the pictures and the Lambos and all that. And it’s just very few people we’ll do that. It’s

Rich Radic (37:12):

Like I dream to be a professional hockey player. Um, I live in Florida now. There’s not a lot of rinks around here. So see how that worked out.

Francisco Serrano (37:23):

Exactly. Uh, I, I was going to tell you that I wanted to be a professional hairdresser

Rich Radic (37:28):

And there you go, there you

Francisco Serrano (37:30):

Go. So there’s no hair practice on yourself. There you go.

Rich Radic (37:36):

Uh…

Francisco Serrano (37:36):

Okay. Rich, we’re, we’re wrapping up. And before we end this interview, wonderful interview is, uh, I wanted to ask, uh, because this show is about brand talks, right? So, and since you mentioned, you’re from Florida, which are your three preferable brands for sunblock, sunblock, or sunscreen?

Imagine that you being a bank, you know, type of guy security and software type of you would definitely have sunscreen in your, I do

Rich Radic (38:10):

I do. I try and avoid the sun as much. I romantically. Um, so, but I do have sunscreen, uh, Hawaiian Tropic and, um, uh, the other one, I only have two, I have two, two brands, and I can’t think of the second one. Um, but it’s, it’s got that sport. It’s the sport version. It’s allegedly, it doesn’t come off when you sweat or when you go in the water, but a fetologist told me otherwise, but, um,

Francisco Serrano (38:35):

Yeah, it works. It works also for me because, you know, I tend to sweat and touch my clip a lot, and then it goes into my eyes and then it’s a mess. So yeah, I, I cook clean for cone. That’s it? Coppertone and donut. Yeah, those are the two top. Okay, great, great, excellent. So, well, we’re, we’re wrapping it up. Anything you want to add, or you want to say to the audience

Rich Radic (39:00):

Now? No, I listen. I appreciate you having me. Um, it’s, it’s always good to talk about, um, you know, what you’re passionate about and, and, uh, I really appreciate you having me having me on, and I’m looking forward to hearing some of the other podcasts sounds pretty exciting.

Francisco Serrano (39:16):

No, thank you. Thank you again for, for coming here. And, uh, well, uh, I just wanted to let everybody know that we were talking with rich Radis CEO of moving and founder of pre house consulting. If somebody from the audience wants to reach out to you rich, uh, can you tell us where they can do so?

Rich Radic (39:40):

Sure. Um, uh, I have, uh, an email address it’s rather long. It’s rich.radic@treehouseconsultinggroup.com.

Francisco Serrano (39:54)

Okay, perfect. And LinkedIn, are you a LinkedIn user?

Rich Radic (39:56)

I’m on LinkedIn? Yes. Richard Radic.

Francisco Serrano (40:00): E. Oh, okay. Yeah. Okay. Rich then, uh, LinkedIn, you can search rich readies and you will find them there and he will answer right back. So thank you very much for being here. If you want to learn more about the most relevant power brands for the now, Jen, stay tuned for the next episode.

The Multidisciplinary Approach in Business

In this episode we talk with Grace Guerra, Brand Manager at Implus about the importance of having knowledge in multiple areas of the business in order to create a succesfull strategy for any brand.

Guests

Grace Guerra

Transcript

Francisco Serrano (01:03):

Okay. Hello, Fransisco Serrano here, chief speed officer at one-to-one and host of the now gen podcast, where we talk about, uh, what’s happening with the now gen, uh, folks and, uh, uh, everything and anything in regards to what branding people are doing to live up to the expectations of the market, uh, accomplishments, insights, and how they manage to deal with this frenzy going on. And, uh, uh, I’m very excited today because we have Grace Guerra with us. Uh, Grace is a brand manager at impulse currently she’s in charge of the outdoor category, working with brands, such as Jack pracs, dry guy, stables, spore, Bella, and little Hottie, Keith. Uh, welcome. How are you Grace?

Grace Guerra (02:03):

Doing well. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Francisco Serrano (02:05):

No, we’re excited too. We were just discussing the, the wonderful weather that we’re living right now. And does that influence in any way your business?

Grace Guerra (02:16):

It does absolutely. Um, for, so a lot of our, my brands specifically are seasonal, so, um, we’re working right now, initiatives to make it a year long business, but, um, ha kind of how they originate originated is very seasonally driven. Um, so yak tracks and stable are more of our winter brands, their traction brands, basically, um, they’re devices that you would put on your shoes so that you can walk in the snow and the ice and you don’t slip. Um, stable actually started in Maine. Uh, so that was, uh, you know, kind of made in the USA for awhile. Things obviously change as you grow, but, um, that was a fun brand that we’re really kind of expanding right now. Actually there’s a big initiative going on. Um, and then sport Brella is our beach umbrella brand and, or I should say beach, sporting events, tailgating those kind of, um, places where you would see this word Burleigh, but most likely at the beach.

Um, and so, yeah, so we, we are very heavily reliant on the weather. Um, little hotties is a hand and warmer hand and toe warmer brand. Um, so to keep you warm, if you’re skiing or hiking during colder mornings, um, and then dry guy is, you know, essentially dryers to dry all of your gear. So you can put your shoes. If you were out, you know, for a run and you got wet, um, they slide right on and they can dry out your gear. Or if you’re a Fisher and you’re wearing waiters, you can put your waders on there and dry the inside of your waiters out. And then we have a couple of accessories that come with it. Um, for athletes, if you are a hockey player or a biker, um, you can put your helmet on there, there’s a helmet attachment. So lots of fun stuff.

Francisco Serrano (04:02):

Yes. I was looking at your, your, your brands and the website then. I mean, impressive how America is, is active in the outdoors. Right. And, and, and you guys are all over the place. You’re the leader of the, uh, from the pack, right? I guess.

Grace Guerra (04:20):

Yeah. In some of them we are absolutely. Yep. Um, lots of the really fun brands to work on. We have a lot of environments that we get to play in. Um, we’re global. So, you know, yesterday I had a meeting with our Australia team and they’re bringing in sport, Burleigh and Australia, which is really exciting. Um, and then, you know, we have partners obviously in Canada and then as well as in, uh, Europe and South Africa. Okay. Yeah.

Francisco Serrano (04:43):

Good. And I want to pick on the word fun, because you have mentioned that a couple of times I heard a little birdie told me that you worked on Disney and your past, so does that have to do with anything? I mean, I mean, where’s the Grace in the past, it’s evolved to the Grace now. Absolutely.

Grace Guerra (05:05):

Yeah. So Disney like has always been a part of my life. I think every child, it really is. Um, but I had a great opportunity when I was in college. Um, and I, uh, interviewed and got to go on what they call the Disney college program. And basically what you do is you take a semester of school, um, and you go and you intern at Walt Disney world. And so I took the semester, the spring semester of my sophomore year, uh, in 2012. And I moved down to Florida and, um, moved in with a group of five girls from all over the U S um, who I’m still friends with to this day. And I got to play and work at Disney world. Um, but it really set the precedence for kind of my career moving forward in the sense of what I knew I wanted and what I knew I deserved.

Um, I wanted to be passionate about my work and that was something that I felt every single day. I went to work at Disney. Um, and that’s what my peers had felt as well. They love they could have been doing, you know, one of the harder, maybe not as glamorous jobs. Um, but every day we took pride in our work and we had fun doing it. And so, um, that was really important to me that wherever I, wherever I saw my career going after that it was going to be centered and focused on enjoying it and having fun and, um, you know, picking each new day and seeing what I could do with it and mold it into, into what I needed it to be, to continue, you know, the business, but as well as just personal growth for me. So that’s where I used to work. Uh, I actually also did part-time at the Disney store and when I lived in Chicago, so I worked at Michigan avenues, Disney stores, um, main store for them. So they have kind of different levels. And the Chicago one on Michigan avenue was a big one. Um, and I absolutely adored it, loved it. It was so fun. I, you know, I worked my regular job, um, my branding job, and then got to go play and make magic, you know, at least once or twice a week, which was just a lot of blast for me.

Francisco Serrano (07:09):

Yes, uh, I mean, I’ve heard, you know, a lot of, uh, business, uh, talks and presentation that the whole deal about customer service and the guests philosophy of Disney, it applies from, you know, from the guy or the girl that is doing the, the animals or the there and all the way through, you know, the director of the theme park.

Grace Guerra (07:32):

Exactly, yeah. I mean, you see it throughout, it’s a story and they, and you tell a story in every single aspect, no matter where you are in the park, there’s, there’s some kind of story happening, whether you’re the story or whether you’re a part of the story. Um, and I’ve had have just taken that into, you know, into my work. Obviously, you know, I’m not working at Disney now, but you know, when I’m working on branding work, it’s all about creating a story and, and helping, um, you know, our consumers for the brands that I work on, go on adventures. And, and that’s why I really love working in the outdoor space and why it’s really important to me. Um, I’m passionate about it. It’s, it’s something I’ve, I’ve grown up, you know, coming from Michigan, you know, always out in the wilderness, you know, camping, hiking, all that stuff.

And so, um, it’s a joy to get, to kind of help build those stories for other people. Um, you know, for family younger families that are just starting to experience the outdoors and with COVID you saw a huge upswing in everyone, cause it was the only thing they could do was go outside. Um, and that was really interesting to watch. Uh, I saw it from two different aspects. Um, my previous work was at Coleman with the Coleman brand, so all the camping gear, um, and I was there for four and a half years and we really saw a major shift in, you know, outdoor experiences, the different generations that are experiencing it now, um, the passion behind it. And then now in my current role, um, which is more of an ex more accessories style brands, um, that kind of fit into those different adventures, but you know, it all comes back to creating stories with the ones you love and, and really embracing that. Um, no matter where you are.

Francisco Serrano (09:19):

How important is to really, uh, embrace the, something that just makes a difference in how you have perspective in life, even if it’s Disney or whatever, like you say, the college adventure, five different friends that you keep relationships with, and you’re taking that to your current job and you’re going to take it with you always. And, and, and, and you mentioned that you work in the outdoor space a lot. Are you an outdoorsy kind of person or, yeah.

Grace Guerra (09:49):

Yep. I am. So I grew up, um, as a girl scout, so I went all the way through, I have my bronze, silver and gold award, um, but that’s really where it started for me and my family. Um, I have three siblings and my parents, like we were camping. That was our vacation. Our vacation was packing up the car and going camping. And, um, my best memories are at the campground. Um, that’s where they start. They start out on the trail, they start out riding our bikes. Um, that’s where I’m most happy. And so it’s been really fun. Actually. I recently moved to California in March when I took on my new role. Um, and I guess just get to be outdoors every day and my dog loves it and I love it. You know, there’s tons of hiking there. Um, obviously we have the ocean, so I go to the ocean every single day.

Um, but I really am. It’s really important to me to give thanks to the outdoors. Um, it’s something that, you know, every morning when I’m out walking the dog, we walk to the ocean and we always greet the ocean and, and thank her for another beautiful day. And, um, you know, the other night we had the most beautiful sunset, um, and it’s just taking and I was on a run and I, and I stopped and I just stood there and I just like, watch the sunset because those moments are like, you just, you can’t let them go by when they’re right there and you can in grasp them and run with them, then, then you take it. And then this morning when I took my red eye flight in, um, I have to see the sun rise. And so, um, it was fun. You know, I haven’t seen the sun rise in awhile cause we get the sunsets on the west coast.

So I watched the sunrise and it was just like, you know, as exhausted as I was, it was just so beautiful, you know, to be home and see the sun rise. So the outdoors is a huge, huge piece of who I am. Um, and it’s why I wanted to stay in the outdoor industry, um, working on brands that we’re bettering it, that we’re challenging it, that we’re, um, you know, designing and innovating for, you know, more adventures with, with COVID. It really did change everything. And so now people are, there’s just a whole new group of people, generational cross-generational that are just like, they found a love for the outdoors that they might not have had before, because they didn’t have a choice. It was the only thing that they could do was to go for a walk, just to get out for a little bit.

Francisco Serrano (12:09):

You talking to one of them, Grace, I had to go out and explore the world. And I, now I have, you know, the backpack for the, the water, if I’m going on a two hour walk, if I go in a five-hour walk. So kind of amazing how that’s shifted, but coming back to, to you and, and your experience, uh, the COVID experience shifted to e-com tell me that you, uh, does impulse have, you know, a S a robust infrastructure in the e-com world, or you had to like push push little bit push.

Grace Guerra (12:54):

Yeah, it was definitely tough. Um, e-com moves fast and changes every day, no matter what, whether it’s a COVID year or not. And so staying on top of e-commerce and the trends and social, like anything that has to do with web and digital is moving and changing every single day. And so you’re never going to be like fully on top of it. So what are tactics that you can do to, you know, stay as aware as you possibly can, um, and really just taking the time to create that robust environment to move things faster. Um, it did, it took a lot for us to kind of, kind of to rethink everything you had to take a step back and be like, okay, we gotta get, um, better content. That was the biggest thing people were shopping online now. And if they can’t see every angle of the product that they’re buying on top of how it’s used, or if it’s something that involves set up and they need how to videos, because they don’t, you know, they don’t have any other way to learn how to set it up.

Um, we had to pivot and we had to act fast and get out there and create some content. Um, and with that came challenges because, you know, technically you’re not supposed to be with a lot of people. And so, um, it was a lot of, you know, the photographer at his house and his own, you know, home studio, shooting, shooting stuff for us and approving digitally. Um, and so it was just very difficult, but it, it made us realize that we can move quick. We can move a lot faster than, um, maybe we had been doing previously. And that I think is, is a huge asset to us, um, to know that we could unlock that capability and make things continue to keep working.

Francisco Serrano (14:41)

And has that rewarded you, uh, as far as, uh, number one knowledge and number two, the bottom line, you know, the, the thing, the sales on your brand?

Grace Guerra (14:54):

Yeah. I mean, we had for sport Barilla alone, it was a huge year. Um, the tough thing that, that I think every business is dealing with right now is getting product from, if your product is coming from China, it’s just really hard to get your products right now. Um, and so, you know, we’re selling out of products and we haven’t, we’re just hitting peak season. So like summer is just hitting for us. Um, and we’re already sold out of a lot of stuff. And so, you know, waiting on inventory to come back in so we can restock. Um, and so it’s just been, I think the last two years have been big learning years for us. It’ll be really interesting to see kind of how the market changes now that, um, we’re going somewhat back to normal. But, um, like I said, with people exploring more and getting outdoors more, they’re spending more, they’re excited try gear, they want to try gear.

Um, and so we just need to be prepared for that. And that’s something as a brand manager that my number one priority right now is making sure they have all of the answers to the questions that they might have when they’re shopping online or they’re shopping in store. Um, and that our content is supporting them through that journey, especially for newer people that are just coming into the category. Um, we want to make sure that, you know, it’s easy and fun for them, um, from start to finish from when they start researching for the product to when they’re out there on the adventure, using the product. Yeah. And I

Francisco Serrano (16:25):

Yeah. And I …Imagine with all the demand that you have, uh, advertising and reaching out to people, it’s, it’s, it’s a part of your marketing mix or leave it now because you don’t want to sell more than you don’t have in stock.

Grace Guerra (16:40):

Yeah, no, I mean, we aren’t constantly communicating with our consumers. Um, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job is, is hearing people and hearing their stories about what they like and what they don’t like, because that only makes us better. It makes our innovation stronger. Um, there was, you know, we had a couple of products that we were experiencing. There was like these weird pinch points and they were letting us know. And, you know, I think that’s important. We need to be going and seeing what the ratings are and what the reviews are, because then we can then turn around and just, you know, adjust the product so that it works better for, for them. Um, because at the end of the day, they’re at the heart of everything that we do, our consumers are at the heart of everything we do, and we serve them.

Um, and that, to me, you know, those reviews, um, both the good and the bad are just each one is a new learning experience. What do they like and why do they like it? And how can we, you know, extend that across all of our products or into our new products? Um, what don’t they like so that we can change it moving forward? Um, so those things are, those are important to, to step back and listen. Social’s always fun. I love connecting on social with, uh, our consumers because, you know, we get to see the pictures and we get to see the stories that they’re creating with their families. And, um, you know, yak tracks is a fun one for those that live in the snowy states and the IC states, um, and people that are training for marathons and half marathons. And the reason they can train is because they know that they can put their yak tracks on and they can get their, their training and their runs and, you know, in the winter months and things like that.

So it’s fun to see all that come together. Sport Brella is really fun right now. Um, it’s a small social presence. It’s a noose, it’s a, we just launched an Instagram not too long ago, so it’s growing. Um, but we’re getting lots of fun tags and photos and things like that. And we’re starting to explore giveaways and influencers. And, um, so there’s just been a big growing year for us, but it’s been a lot of fun because we’re, you know, we’re connecting with the end user and that’s, you can’t ask for anything more than that than just to hear from them and hear what they like and, and why they’re using the product and why they chose you.

Francisco Serrano (18:50):

I believe what you were saying. And, and I typically compare, uh, the relationship that you have with a brand, like what you have with a human being, right. You have to nurture that relationship. You have, you have to listen what the other person doesn’t don’t like about you, and you’re aware and have self-awareness and be able to change because that’s, that’s the biggest selling. One time that’s easy, but keep making them come back and back to that, make that connection in the competition is it’s fearless. I mean, it’s, it’s all over the place because now the boundaries, um, you know, say.

Grace Guerra (19:36):

There are none, the boundaries are gone.

Francisco Serrano (19:40):

Exactly. No. And, and how do you cope? Cause you were saying that you connect through social media, how do you call, do you have like, uh, uh, assist them because you say it’s constant change and it’s adapting and, and, and how do you cope with all those changes? And do you, do you like evaluate and change, uh, on a two week notice? Uh, how do you have a support team that says, well, now it’s not, well, oh, no, no, go orange.

Grace Guerra (20:12):

Yeah. Yeah. You definitely have to, um, you have to evaluate what is best for the business. So, um, you know, there might be a color out there that like isn’t selling well and, you know, we have to take a step back and like, why isn’t it selling well, um, you know, is there, is it just not a color that’s resonating well, um, and if that’s the case, then, you know, you, you kind of, you get to, I guess, kind of pick new colors and, and that’s always fun too, you know, and in doing the research and looking at the color and trends, reports that are coming out, um, but you know, it takes time and, and that’s not something you can just turn on and off and you still have inventory that you have to sell through. And, um, when it comes to launching a new color of, of say one of our umbrellas, um, there’s, MLQ, there’s minimum order quantities that you have to hit, you know, you can’t just place a small sample order for, you know, 500 and sell through those and just see how it does.

Um, maybe if you’re a smaller company, that’s, that’s an option. But when you’re, um, when you’re a bigger brand like ours, uh, you know, you’re working with large retailers that, you know, they, they need mass quantities. And so, um, it’s not just an on, off switch there. And so you’re working cross-functionally with sourcing with product development, with your product line managers, with the brand managers, um, with graphic design, like there’s so many people that you have to work with to make sure that it makes sense the business to either, you know, cut the skew or launch a new skew or a new product, I should say. Um, and that is another thing that I just really enjoy is like the versatility and brand marketing of working with experts in all these different fields. Um, you know, I own the brand, it’s my job and my duty to own the brand and what the brand stands for, but I would not be able to do my job without every single one of those other people and all those other departments.

Um, they are the true heroes of, of launching a product and it, and it really is a team effort to get something on shelf. And it’s the best feeling when you walk in a store and you get to see it, um, because you know, the amount of work and the amount of people that touched it to get it to where it is at that point. Um, but it is, you know, you’re, you’re constantly looking at what your competitors are doing. You’re looking, I’m a bit, I love learning on LinkedIn. I love, um, you know, like seeing what everyone is doing. I have a huge network on there. Um, it’s, to me, that’s one of my favorite social media is, and a lot of times my friends will kind of laugh at me like, you know, like why LinkedIn? And I’m like, oh my gosh, there’s just so many learning tools on there.

There’s so much free knowledge out there that you can access. Um, yeah. And, and it’s, you know, sometimes it’s like overwhelming and, you know, I’ll just be like, I just need one article today. Um, but even on like, you know, it’s, it’s crazy when I look at Instagram or tick-tock, and it’s like these little tips and tricks that people are like putting out there for free. And you’re like, oh my gosh, I never would’ve thought about that. You know? And then you go and you adjust and you test and learn and see how things go and that’s fun. And it’s, um, it’s what keeps the job fresh and new every single day. Cause there’s just something different that you can try. Um, you know, truly every single day, there’s something different.

Francisco Serrano (23:42):

It’s the sisal right. Not the steak necessarily. It’s brought up the every day. And I wanted to piggyback on what you were saying about being proud of your team, everybody that works with you to make magic happen. Right. So, but I want you to hop in the time sheet and tell me, uh, and tell us the now Gen podcast, which is your proudest moment professionally in your career up until now. Could you say, oh my God, Grace, I’m proud of you.

Grace Guerra (24:20):

Yeah. Um, I, it’s not necessarily, um, a moment that I, like, it’s not like a product I launched or anything like that. Um, I have been with my previous company for six and a half years. It’s where I started out of college. Um, I traveled, I met amazing people, mentors, friends to this day, um, that I’m still close with. And I think my proudest moment was deciding to take the leap and challenge myself. Cause I, I could, I felt myself getting into a comfort zone. Um, and I was like, okay, you know, I’ve been doing this for, for six and a half years. I’ve been on the same brand for four and a half years. Um, and I loved it. It was the hardest, most challenging decision I think I’ve ever faced professionally, uh, in my life was to take the chance to try something new.

Um, I stayed within marketing and I, I knew I wanted to stay in marketing and I knew that I wanted to stay in the outdoor business. And so it was really important that I wasn’t just gonna make a move to make a move. Um, and I took the time and I, um, the interview process really like enlightened me on, you know, my capabilities and really, truly like believing in myself and what I had to offer. Um, and so that to me was a huge, huge, proud moment, um, in my career professionally. The other thing I would say, um, my second I have to, I guess, um, my second one would be when I went and decided to go back and get my masters. Um, I decided to go back and get my master’s in 2019 and I graduated in a year and a half. So I graduated in 2012 in June of 2020.

So I didn’t get, I think it’s walk across the stage. Um, but you know, that challenge of working full-time and going to school full-time as well, you know, I’d work a full day and then I’d go to class six to nine. Um, getting my masters was a huge accomplishment. Uh, for me I have extremely high standards for myself. Um, and I wanted to graduate with like as close to a 4.0 that I could get. And I graduated with like a 3.8. And so, um, yeah, so that was just a huge, proud moment for me in my career. But, you know, the first one being deciding to really take a chance on myself and challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone and doing something somewhat new and then moving to a totally new state in the middle of COVID.

Francisco Serrano (27:04):

So I didn’t get, I think it’s walk across the stage. Um, but you know, that challenge of working full-time and going to school full-time as well, you know, I’d work a full day and then I’d go to class six to nine. Um, getting my masters was a huge accomplishment. Uh, for me I have extremely high standards for myself. Um, and I wanted to graduate with like as close to a 4.0 that I could get. And I graduated with like a 3.8. And so, um, yeah, so that was just a huge, proud moment for me in my career. But, you know, the first one being deciding to really take a chance on myself and challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone and doing something somewhat new and then moving to a totally new state in the middle of COVID. No, I mean, yeah,It takes a lot of guts to really say let’s just not worried about this pandemic and to work and learn and grow and keep the challenge of your e-comm life transformation, digital transformation with this new challenge that plays and then go and read and learn and take the tests. And whoa, that’s a kudos. Congrats on that really. And, uh, and so, uh, what, what is, if, if, uh, we’re coming close to, to our interview now and, and, uh, uh, are, you know, now gen podcasters, they want to know something that they can take away from this interview, from your experience they can, they can use to, you know, to live in this fast paced world. What would you say to them?

So I didn’t get, I think it’s walk across the stage. Um, but you know, that challenge of working full-time and going to school full-time as well, you know, I’d work a full day and then I’d go to class six to nine. Um, getting my masters was a huge accomplishment. Uh, for me I have extremely high standards for myself. Um, and I wanted to graduate with like as close to a 4.0 that I could get. And I graduated with like a 3.8. And so, um, yeah, so that was just a huge, proud moment for me in my career. But, you know, the first one being deciding to really take a chance on myself and challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone and doing something somewhat new and then moving to a totally new state in the middle of COVID. No, I mean, yeah,It takes a lot of guts to really say let’s just not worried about this pandemic and to work and learn and grow and keep the challenge of your e-comm life transformation, digital transformation with this new challenge that plays and then go and read and learn and take the tests. And whoa, that’s a kudos. Congrats on that really. And, uh, and so, uh, what, what is, if, if, uh, we’re coming close to, to our interview now and, and, uh, uh, are, you know, now gen podcasters, they want to know something that they can take away from this interview, from your experience they can, they can use to, you know, to live in this fast paced world. What would you say to them?

Grace Guerra (28:02):

Um, my advice that I give to anyone that I mentor or anyone that I get to work with is, um, take the time to build the relationships with people. Um, the people that I work with are my family they’ve become my family. And, um, yes, there’s a, it’s always important to be able to, you know, to separate work and home and whatnot, but, um, you most likely will spend more time with those people at work than some of the people that you spend time with at home and investing in them as just human beings and people, um, makes your work that much more enriching, and you’re not going to get along with everybody. Um, but the relationships that you build with the people that you work with, um, only make you a better person. And it’s because of the people that I work with, that I am where I am today.

Um, and their respect, their friendship is it means everything to me. Um, I hold it in high esteem, um, and I can’t express enough just how important relationship building is with, with your peers. Um, because it’s going to be what makes coming to work every single day, that much more fun, whether it be face-to-face or over a zoom call, um, take the moment, you know, schedule the extra five minutes just to catch up before a meeting. It doesn’t have to be, you know, get right down to it and, you know, into the business, you know, how are your kids doing? Or, oh, I heard you’re, uh, you started a new workout program, how’s it going? You know, or what’d you cook for dinner? Like anything, you know, just, just take the time to build that relationship, because that is what makes successful products. It’s what makes successful businesses and it’s what makes you a successful person. Hmm.

Francisco Serrano (29:54):

Great. Yeah. And I relate completely to that. So, uh, in the brand world, if you’re not building a relationship with your customers, with your peers, with the community, then you’re not, you’re not doing as well as you’re supposed to. So, uh, on that, thank you for, for that. Uh, okay. So we’re going to end the meeting, but before we do that, we’re going to go into segment favorite segment that we have right now. I asked you a very personal question is going to be three brands that you like of food, three brands that you like pet food.

Grace Guerra (30:47):

Yes. Okay. Okay.

Um, my goodness. Okay. My dog. So I have a, I have a dog. I also had a cat she’s running around here. She lives with my sister now, but, um, I, so I’ve grown up with pets my entire life, but I think too, the first one is BarkBox anything that comes in her bark box is just like the branding. I like, I would love to work for them. Their branding is unbelievable. It, I get excited when the BarkBox is coming, because it’s a different theme every month. Um, you know, this last one was a sleep away camp and she got a smore toy and she got, um, a little beaver in a, in an inner tube toy, but it comes with, you know, these, these treats that are in there that are also themed. And so I would say BarkBox is killing it. Um, love them for like treats for my dog.

Uh, the other one, I don’t know if it’s necessarily dog food and I can’t think, but chewy, anything on chewy has been there. Their e-commerce is just next level, next level. It’s so good. Um, and just the pride that they take in their work and, and making sure like, you know, the information on if your dog passed or when it’s your dog’s birthday or your pet, I should say, not your dog. I just think of my dog immediately. Um, and then the third one, I don’t know if I have a third one, those two are probably my top two. I will say one that has stuck with me. My entire life is K9 Advantix, which is like the flea and tick medicine for dogs. But to this day I have there, like, it was a commercial that ran when I was a kid, but I haven’t, I haven’t memorized and I’ve known it my entire life. And I’m like, if I can memorize your song from a commercial, like it did something right. Like

Francisco Serrano (32:55):

Yes, exactly. And then you have it with you, right. It’s like, you know, brand recognition, you know, and it’s the same quality, the same product, the same, you know, probably they change a little bit of the branding, but it’s just the typical nacelle. Okay. Well, thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that. Okay. So anything else you want to share with us before closing out?

Grace Guerra (33:18):

Um, I don’t think so. Thank you for having me. This was fun. I’ve never done anything like this. Um, this is a blast. It was an honor to be on here and, uh, I look forward to, you know, seeing and hearing everything else that you guys continue to do.

Francisco Serrano (33:32):

Yes, thank you so much. Yeah. Thank you for accepting the invitation and making room that you’re up, uh, uh, your home and everything. Thank you so much. Really. I appreciate

Francisco Serrano (33:44):

It. So, uh, okay.

So we’ve been talking to Grace Guerra, impulse, outdoor section, brand manager. If somebody from the audience is interested in reaching out to you where we’re can do that work and they can do so, do you have an email or an Instagram account or somewhere that you want them to redirect them?

Grace Guerra (34:02):

yeah, I would say if you want to connect, LinkedIn is the best place to find me. I’m very responsive. Shoot me a message. Um, I always will respond. I love hearing, learning, expanding my network. Um, it only makes us all better. So LinkedIn, I would say, would be the best place to find me. Um, and I think my, my email is in there. If not, um, once I get that message and you want to continue conversation, I’m happy to share that with you.

Francisco Serrano (34:31):

Okay, perfect. So LinkedIn is the place to meet, uh, or get to know and connect with grace. Garah. If you want to learn more about the most relevant power brands for the now, Jen stay tuned for the next episode. Thank you for staying with us.