PAST WORK

I have years of experience behind the scenes, creating, sculpting and guiding brand messaging and campaign elements. Here are a few examples of my work that were brought to life by some really great creative folks. Take a look below and contact me today to discuss how I might fit in your plans for growth.

 

MPOWERD

MPOWERD is a Public Benefit and certified B Corp with a focus towards becoming a leader in sustainable energy consumer products and to positively impact emerging markets with the Luci solar inflatable lantern.


mpowerd.com

I joined MPOWERD as a contract marketing consultant, but filled the role of the head of marketing (Senior Director of Integrated Marketing Communications). I was only in the office 2 days per week, working remotely from Alexandria, VA for the remainder of the week. In this role I oversaw a complete overhaul of the marketing team, new employees onboarded, new technologies integrated, and the launch of three new products. 

The marketing team that I ultimately left in place was a high-performing team of professionals covering all areas of marketing strategy and execution. During that time, I also worked alongside the CEO and Founder to implement new reporting procedures, working alongside the data and analytics team to gather the raw data and interpret it into a complex report on Google Data Studio. 

Some of the technology we added to the marketing tech stack included ZenDesk for customer service, and Wrike for project management. The  onboarding of these technologies was done as a team, as it should be in order to properly install the technology into the day-to-day tasks of the team. However, I was ultimately responsible for gaining that initial buy-in and ensure that the team used the tools and understood how to integrate them into their daily routine. 

Launching three new products in one year, with one of them requiring a mobile app was a very interesting challenge! Luckily we had a great group  who was willing to work through some of those learning steps in order to produce a quality product for consumers, and to truly impact the lives of those in areas without sustainable access to electricity.

-- CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS--

Luci Pro Series Outdoor 2.0
Luci Pro Series Outdoor 2.0

launching very shortly after I started with MPOWERD, the Pro Series Luci lights were an important iteration on the original - with mobile charging and vastly improved battery life. My job was to make sure the world found out about them, at least the core users and make sure the efforts to grow were done profitably. Successfully launched, they were back ordered at retail during the next buying cycle in early Spring, making for a great first half of 2018.

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Solar String Lights
Solar String Lights

From a simple naming convention to the expanded use cases for the product, there were many ways I engaged the team to create a better customer experience when marketing this product. The team was reluctant at first, but after we landed the first few very positive reviews in major outdoor publications, they were all on board. This remains a highly popular product among urban dwellers as well as the van life community.

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LUCI Original
LUCI Original

The one light that started it all. This foundation was built on the need to get sustainable electricity to people in emergency relief situations, and then the broader market of people without access to electricity. To date there are millions on people helped through the integrated social impact programs that MPOWERD works tirelessly to deliver.

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Lifestyle image of the Outdoor 2.0 pro
Lifestyle image of the Outdoor 2.0 pro

Lifestyle imagery was a key driver of sales for the Luci light. I helped the creative team develop the right shot lists to go to photographers and influencers with in order to get the right shots to highlight various product attributes.

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Luci Connect with app
Luci Connect with app

Although the Connect was officially launched just after I concluded my agreement with MPOWERD, I was instrumental in launching this product. From the packaging layout, design, and copywriting to the app development, I was driving this product to be delivered with the customer experience at the level of expectation the CEO and Founder set. I took over as product manager in order to manage the external app developer to get on a true timeline and provide the decisions needed in order to deliver this product on time. After a successful launch event at CES's Showstoppers Event, this product has gone on to be introduced at Best Buy and other major retailers.

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Great product review for the Pro Series
Great product review for the Pro Series

Managing and growing a consistent cadence of media reviews is vital to drive positive ROI on earned media. Through my experience I coached our internal team on how to nurture these leads and turn them into positive and timely reviews.

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Great review for Luci Color
Great review for Luci Color

Diversity in media reviews helps to grow the brand by driving repeat sales from past customers who newly discover the brand and additional product offerings.

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Trade Show booth - Summer Outdoor Retailer 2018
Trade Show booth - Summer Outdoor Retailer 2018

To support the sales effort in a meaningful way, I overhauled the B2B convention branding and made sure that the booth fit in the industry and fit the MPOWERD brand. The result was one of the most successful summer Outdoor Retailer Shows.

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Trade Show booth - Summer Outdoor Retailer 2018
Trade Show booth - Summer Outdoor Retailer 2018

To support the sales effort in a meaningful way, I overhauled the B2B convention branding and made sure that the booth fit in the industry and fit the MPOWERD brand. The result was one of the most successful summer Outdoor Retailer Shows.

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International sales support at The OutDoor Show - Freidrikshaven, Germany
International sales support at The OutDoor Show - Freidrikshaven, Germany

In addition to domestic sales, I supported international sales by working with the sales team to find an affordable, and unique option to showcase the brand at the largest outdoor trade show in Europe.

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The OutDoor Show - Freidrikshaven, Germany
The OutDoor Show - Freidrikshaven, Germany
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Domestic sales support - Best Buy HQ
Domestic sales support - Best Buy HQ

Meeting and speaking with the marketing teams at key retailers ahead of a launch is very important to build an omnichannel product launch and create opportunities to grow with the retailer. I met with our key account sales rep and the Best Buy team to create a net positive marketing program for Luci lights to enter Best Buy stores.

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Retail packaging - store visit
Retail packaging - store visit

As a part of my role, I always do store visits to ensure the brand is properly displayed and stands out on the shelves (or hooks).

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MPOWERD Founder & CEO both on stage to support the Town Hall organized by Rock Steady For Life to be
MPOWERD Founder & CEO both on stage to support the Town Hall organized by Rock Steady For Life to be
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Camping with Luci lights
Camping with Luci lights

I use every product I have been a marketer for - and still support the brands I've worked with. In order to truly know the brand, you must use the products.

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LIFESTRAW

Vestergaard Frandsen is a category-leading, mission-driven, privately-owned company based in Lausanne, Switzerland with offices in the US, India, Kenya, Vietnam, and Korea.

lifestraw.com

As the first professional marketing hire for LifeStraw, I was charged with managing all retail sales and marketing for North America and Europe, along with South Africa and work alongside the Regional Director for Asia retail sales. 

I immediately dove in and had to troubleshoot an issue in South Africa at the same time as signing on a new distributor - which required a site visit and quick relationship-building in Cape Town. This was just prior to participating in my first-ever Follow The Liters program (now called their Give Back program) in Kenya.


After hitting the ground running with operational tasks, I was then able to take a step back and consider strategic positioning and pricing for a new product being launched that holiday season, along with planning for the second-half of the 2015-2016 fiscal year. 

My 2016 strategy was executed with a big increase in brand exposure through new initiatives including: a branded content marketing campaign called A Life Inspired, by LifeStraw; a new partnership with the GoPro Mountain Games in Colorado as the Official Water Filtration Partner; and new social media influencers.

In Europe, I began to strategically expand brand awareness leading up to bringing on board 3 new distributors in the key markets of Germany, France, and Switzerland. The original distributor for LifeStraw in Europe remained a key partner of ours in the UK and all of Scandinavia. During this process I managed 3 PR partners supporting England, Germany and France to build up brand familiarity and drive demand at retail. 

--CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS --

LifeStraw Original
LifeStraw Original
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Signage for trade show booth
Signage for trade show booth
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LifeStraw Go colors - packaging
LifeStraw Go colors - packaging
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A few photos from England and camping with journalists
A few photos from England and camping with journalists

Exposure for the brand in UK brought me to a bushcraft camping site in Southern England for a few days - it was great to connect with influencers and journalists, all organized by the PR agency in market.

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LifeStraw Play
LifeStraw Play
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LifeStraw Play Packaging
LifeStraw Play Packaging
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Lifestraw Universal Packaging
Lifestraw Universal Packaging
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LifeStraw Universal components
LifeStraw Universal components
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LifeStraw Flex
LifeStraw Flex
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Retail specials were discussed and approved with distributors
Retail specials were discussed and approved with distributors
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Amazon was handled through our North American distributor
Amazon was handled through our North American distributor
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Screenshot of social promotion by a distributor
Screenshot of social promotion by a distributor

Our distributor used their large reach to grow D2C sales

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Mina Guli on the morning show in Las Vegas
Mina Guli on the morning show in Las Vegas

I managed the partnership with Mina Guli and the 6 River Run when she started her quest along the Colorado River outside of Las Vegas

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Booth set up for the National Hardware Show
Booth set up for the National Hardware Show

The booth was featured on HGTV with a :15 sec segment of me speaking to our partnership with the American Red Cross

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Outside booth set up at the GoPro Mountain Games
Outside booth set up at the GoPro Mountain Games

I managed the negotiation, logistics, and execution of the LifeStraw brand Official partnership with the event.

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Booth set up for the Outdoor Show in Freidrichshaven Germany.
Booth set up for the Outdoor Show in Freidrichshaven Germany.
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Regional sales expo booth set up
Regional sales expo booth set up

I worked alongside our sales reps across the country to grow exposure for the brand and make sure they had the right tools to sell LifeStraw in to more retail doors. As a result, over 1,000 new doors were added in 2016.

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Video content crew in Kenya setting up to capture key images
Video content crew in Kenya setting up to capture key images

I created the concept and managed the vendor for a series of brand content videos call "A Life Inspired by LifeStraw". The same video crew was invited to film the Follow the Liters program in Kenya to show just how LifeStraw was working hard to solve for the issue of safe water for thousands of Kenyans.

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LifeStraw Community filters outside a remote primary school in Kenya.
LifeStraw Community filters outside a remote primary school in Kenya.
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LifeStraw & American Red Cross co-branded products
LifeStraw & American Red Cross co-branded products

I managed the negotiation and ongoing licensing relationship with the American Red Cross to ensure a successful partnership. Although initial sales were slow due to external factors, the partnership was perfect to illustrate the necessity of a safe water /filtration solution in an emergency.

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Booth set up for GoPro Mountain Games
Booth set up for GoPro Mountain Games
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Booth set up with crowd during the GoPro Mountain Games
Booth set up with crowd during the GoPro Mountain Games
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Photo shoot for the LifeStraw Go water bottle targeting the workout/gym audience
Photo shoot for the LifeStraw Go water bottle targeting the workout/gym audience
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Retail packaging
Retail packaging

Retail audits were a regular activity for me during my travels. I was always looking for ways to improve our exposure at retail through the packaging or additional branding opportunities.

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2016 Outdoor Inspiration Awards
2016 Outdoor Inspiration Awards

LifeStraw was honored with this award the year after Patagonia, being recognized as the leading company that was inspiring change in the way we do business in the outdoor industry.

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Photo shoot with Mina Guli for the 6 River Run partnership along the Colorado River
Photo shoot with Mina Guli for the 6 River Run partnership along the Colorado River

I was on-location for the video and photo shoot lasting 4 days prior to the start of Mina's 6 River Run global event for her foundation, Thirst. My role was to ensure proper brand representation and provide speaking points for the video production.

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Me with Mina Guli on the north rim of the Grand Canyon during filming of the brand video
Me with Mina Guli on the north rim of the Grand Canyon during filming of the brand video
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Me with a few primary (elementary) school children in Alwar, India
Me with a few primary (elementary) school children in Alwar, India

I spent a lot of quality time with the primary school children during the Follow The Liters program in India. These kids were fantastic and really understood the need for clean water for their health and to support their education.

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Educational content of the Follow The Liters program
Educational content of the Follow The Liters program
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SPHERO

Robotic toy company known for Sphero, the robotic ball you control with your phone, along with BB-8 and Lightning McQueen robotic toys developed through a partnership/license with Disney.

sphero.com

My time at Sphero was during a turbulent transition for the brand. Building on earlier successes with their flagship product, Sphero, the company was introducing a new robot concept and needed a name. As the first project I undertook, within only 2 weeks in the position, I brought the team through a naming exercise, tested the final naming ideas, and enthusiastically landed on the name Ollie for the second product the company had launched. This name reflected the active tricks and maneuvering that it was capable of doing that separated it from the original Sphero.


Another one of my duties as the brand manager was to transition the company from the old name of Orbotix to the flagship brand of Sphero. This included walking the entire staff through the transition to gain their buy-in to the process. I also had to work with WIPO to obtain the URL for sphero.com since it was owned by a domain squatter and was not being used. This process was a months-long endeavor that included coordination with the legal team, executives, and WIPO. 

Additional fun projects I was involved in were spearheading the first national (cable spot) TV advertising buy. I worked closely with the web developers to track visits to the website as the TV spots were running to show immediate ROI on the effort. It was a resounding success which materially contributed to a year-over-year increase in net revenue of nearly 200%. 

--CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS --

Sphero brand logo
Sphero brand logo

Sphero brand logo - I guided the switch from Orbotix to the flagship product brand being the name of the company.

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Ollie Packaging
Ollie Packaging

Working alongside creative and packaging, I led the development of this new type of packaging for Ollie. I handed translations for 18 languages, worked with sourcing to confirm elements in box, how the box was made, and the customer experience of unboxing.

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Ollie w/phone app
Ollie w/phone app

I worked alongside the app developers and UI designers to work out what the unique play structure would be for Ollie.

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Ollie with various tire colors
Ollie with various tire colors

Determining overall color palette and accessories offered were a team effort!

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Launching Ollie with Disney Media in Chicago
Launching Ollie with Disney Media in Chicago

Launching the Ollie in new markets, I led the event team to go to Chicago to participate in the Disney Media celebration just before the holidays in 2014.

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Introducing Sphero as a STEM solution to the Boy Scouts
Introducing Sphero as a STEM solution to the Boy Scouts

Creating opportunities for our sales team to build relationships with key accounts, and new markets, I helped bring Sphero to the Boy Scouts key leadership conference in Anaheim, CA.

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Sphero was an official partner of the DEW Tour to introduce Ollie to the extreme sports audience.
Sphero was an official partner of the DEW Tour to introduce Ollie to the extreme sports audience.

Growing awareness in current markets, and testing new ones, was a part of the job - including negotiating and managing a partnership with the NBC Universal / Ally Sports DEW Tour.

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Sphero Retail Packaging
Sphero Retail Packaging

Packaging and retail display design and deployment with our channel marketing managers was a key ingredient to converting customers at the point of sale.

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Me at the Licensing Expo with Bumblebee in Las Vegas
Me at the Licensing Expo with Bumblebee in Las Vegas

Attending the National Licensing EXPO in Las Vegas, I met with other brands and properties that were interested in partnering.

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Basic event set up for Maker Faire, NYC
Basic event set up for Maker Faire, NYC

Partnerships and events were a key aspect of the role, including managing the partnership with MAKE Media and bringing Sphero to the audiences at the Maker Faire in NYC. Special thanks to the team for creating and building this special track.

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Sphero online maker contest winner
Sphero online maker contest winner

I developed a concept to reach the inventor/maker audience through a 3D printing website to engage this audience. Here, I am awarding first place to the winner of the contest who designed a portable holder for Sphero - simple and very smart.

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Experiential event at the Mall of America during Black Friday.
Experiential event at the Mall of America during Black Friday.

Special project - Experiential event with a "gumball" robot dispenser to be staged in the Mall of America on Black Friday. We supported the FULL SELL OUT of all Spheros in all of the stores in the mall that weekend!

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Event exposure for Sphero and Ollie
Event exposure for Sphero and Ollie

Experiencing Sphero was a key aspect of engaging core audiences that would influence the purchasing decisions of countless others. Creating a simple, effective and on-brand display was a part of the job to make sure people understood what the product was and what the brand stood for.

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