5343 Manitowac Dr. / Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 310.291.7367 / [email protected]
Product Marketing / Brand Strategy / Strategic Planning / Consumer Insight / Story Telling
A marketing professional who knows how to sell. Strategic planning, ideation, product development, brand strategy development, execution of integrated marketing programs and evaluation of effectiveness. Extensive experience in market research, product planning, promotion, pricing, branding and key message creation.
- Led formulation of new Commercial Vehicle Division at Nissan North America with projected $2.4 billion annual revenue and the brand strategy of: “Everyday Hero”
- Managed Nissan’s global auto shows ($80 million annual program)—a key brand marketing activity to communicate Nissan’s future product direction
- Spearheaded Nissan’s global motor sports program ($70 million annual program) from strategy development, brand strategy development, execution of integrated marketing activity, to post-event effectiveness evaluation. Key messaging of: ”Technology, Performance, and Durability”
- Created Nissan brand visual identity guidelines as a key member of the brand guardian team
- Managed global launch of the Nissan 350Z—Nissan’s first globally coordinated product launch with the key message: “Z is back, Nissan is back”
Key Skills Include: “Unmet needs” analysis for development of “unique selling points.” Strategy development. Transforming concepts into execution. Developing innovative & creative solutions. Building and leading cohesive, quality and results-driven cross-functional teams. The ability to see things clearly and simply. Completely bi-lingual and bi-cultural Japanese-American (U.S. Citizen)Highlighted Achievements
Formulated strategy, product, and marketing plan for new division at Nissan North America with projected $2.4 billion annual revenue and $420 million profit. Researched and developed business case recommending Nissan’s entry into a completely new vehicle segment. Business, product, and marketing plan were approved and a new Commercial Division to support this initiative was created.
Profit & loss and product life cycle management. P&L responsibility for a $4.3 billion product portfolio Market of Nissan Xterra and Pathfinder vehicles for US, Canada, Mexico, and Gulf Coast Countries.
Full spectrum of successful marketing planning and execution. Globally launched the Nissan 350Z Sports Car with fully integrated marketing activity starting with the unveiling of the concept car at the Detroit Motor Show, co-marketing with Sony PlayStation and Microsoft X-Box, creation of introduction video, promotional DVDs, die-cast mini-cars, website, brochure, coffee table book, merchandising program and advertisement culminating to a global media event.
Designed and implemented Nissan-branded merchandising program, realizing first year revenue exceeding $1million. Developed high-quality merchandising goods program (watches, keyholders, pens, business card case, diecast minicars, etc.) as part of Nissan’s brand communication activity. The program was successful beyond original objective as it expanded from internet-only website/e-commerce to retail store environment.
Secured $6 million OEM contract, leading to Peerless Systems Networking “Sales Achievement Award.” Conquested a major imaging system development and licensing contract from a new OEM customer and received "Peerless Systems Networking—Sales Achievement 2000 Award."
Managed $2 million budget to globally market research effectiveness of marketing promotions. Researches managed were: semi-annual global motorsports research, global motor show media & consumer research, and promotion event research. Other research managed were commercial vehicle user research, “extreme user” research, ethnography, focus groups, personal interviews and marketing clinics.Professional Experience
Ebisu LLC, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 01/2008 to Present
PRESIDENT. Securities trading, real estate investment, and marketing consulting. Trading of securities in excess of $30 million annually. Realtor®
Taproot Foundation, San Francisco, CA 10/2008 to Present
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR. Pro-bono volunteer to assist small non-profit organizations. Currently leading the QueensCare Family Clinic’s Brand Strategy & Key Messaging development project.
Compete Inc, Boston, MA 03/2007 to 01/2008
CLIENT SERVICE DIRECTOR, AUTOMOTIVE (Home Office in CA) Compete is an Idealab company focused on online (internet) behavioral market research that creates value for consumers and marketers. Responsible for all aspects of Hyundai Motor America account--providing market intelligence services and growing account relationship—secured renewal of $1.2 million 2008 annual contract. Services include internet click-stream based consumer behavior analysis, on-line channel effectiveness analysis, and on-line behavior targeted custom surveys. Proficient with SPSS.
Peerless Systems Corporation, El Segundo, CA 09/2006 to 12/2006
SR. MARKETING DIRECTOR (Contractor / Temporary Employee). Peerless provides imaging and networking technologies to manufacturers of printers, copiers and multi-function devices.Provided strategic marketing consultation during CEO retirement/transition.
Nissan North America, Inc., Gardena, CA 04/2004 to 07/2006
SR. MANAGER, PRODUCT MARKETING, COMPACT SUVS & LCV – PRODUCT PLANNING DEPARTMENT. Responsible for P&L, product competitiveness, product concept planning, and life cycle planning for responsible vehicles – Compact Sports Utility Vehicles and Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), a combined $6.7 billion portfolio. Analysis tool include: Strategic Vision, Global Insight, Kelly Power Blue Book, R.L. Polk Regis, Power Information Network, Edmunds, VIUS, AutoSource, AutoPacific, GfK, Yankelovich, etc. Additional responsibilities include:
- Lead Cross-Functional Team for North America Fleet Business Project
- Lead Cross-Functional Team for US Federal Government Contracting Project
SR. MANAGER, LCV PROJECT – ADVANCED PLANNING & STRATEGY DEPARTMENT. Developed product, brand, and marketing strategy and plan for launch in an all-new segment—requiring creation of a new company division. Conducted extensive market research to gain commercial vehicle user insight: vehicle clinics, focus group, mail-survey, internet-survey, extreme user profiling, ethnography, and analysis of syndicated researches. Projected results:
- Approximately 100,000 units incremental annual vehicle sale
- Approximately $2.4 billion annual revenue increase
- Approximately $420 million annual net profit increase
- Creation of an all-new Commercial Division alongside Nissan and Infiniti Divisions
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan 09/2000 to 03/2004
DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER – PROMOTION MARKETING DEPARTMENT, GLOBAL MARKETING DIVISION. Globally managed all Nissan autoshows, motorsports, sponsorship, co-marketing, merchandising, product placement, licensing activities, and efficacy market research.
- Brand Guardian Team Member
- Managed the global launch of the Nissan 350Z sports car with fully integrated marketing activity
- Created Nissan’s global promotion strategy and evaluation metrics
- Created Nissan’s first global website
- Created advertisements, brochures, promotional video
- Purchased media and sponsorship and managed global autoshows
- Creation of business and marketing alliances with other companies
- Nissan Environmental Strategic Task Team leading to “Nissan Green Program 2010”
Peerless Systems Corporation, El Segundo, CA 01/1998 to 09/2000
ACCOUNT MANAGER – SALES DEPARTMENT. Responsible for sales and licensing of Embedded Digital Imaging System products (software & ASIC) and maintenance of relationships with designated Japanese Printer OEM accounts including Kyocera Mita, Toshiba TEC, Casio, Fujitsu and Hitachi. Accomplishments included:
- Over $7.5 million in sales booking
- Peerless Systems Corporation “1999 Rookie of the Year Award” recipient
- Peerless Systems Networking “Sales Achievement 2000 Award” recipient
- As a result of this sales experience, I finally understood what marketing was all about
Los Angeles Cellular Telephone Company (currently AT&T Wireless), Cerritos, CA 06/1996 to 01/1998
SENIOR PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER -- BUSINESS MARKETING. Responsible for defining, planning and implementing cellular network products. Responsibilities included:
- Creation and execution of Business-to-Business marketing strategy
- Creation and execution of product strategy, marketing plans, and business cases
- Management and operation of product development teams
- Selection of operating platforms – software and hardware
- Product launch schedule and profit & loss
- Selection and contractual negotiation of service provider vendors
Nissan North America Inc., Torrance, CA 09/1993 to 05/1996
PRODUCT PLANNING MANAGER. Responsible for all product issues affecting multiple vehicle lines. Responsibilities included:
- Creation and execution of corporate, marketing, and product strategies
- Competitiveness, pricing and profitability analysis and assessment
- Market research, forecast, and analysis
- Pursuit of new business opportunities and creation of execution plan
- Investigation and recommendation for future technologies--telematics
Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A., Gardena, CA 10/1988 to 09/1993
TASK FORCE MANAGER / SENIOR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT ENGINEER. Managed a task force of engineers from various Nissan organizations, teamed to improve the product quality of the Altima and Maxima models. This activity resulted in:
- Significant warranty cost reduction -- millions of dollars of reduction per year
- Significant customer satisfaction improvement (approximately 20%) as measured by the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey
- J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey #1 position for the 1989 Maxima
Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI 07/1986 to 09/1988
PRODUCT ANALYST. Oversaw cross-functional teams for the Ford Villager/Nissan Quest mini-van project. Responsibilities included product planning, financial studies, and Ford-Nissan business arrangement.Education
MBA, Marketing, Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) — 1994
Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley — 1986Additional
Languages: Japanese (native speaker) and French (casual conversation)
Applications: Microsoft Office Suite, SPSS, mTAB
License: California Real Estate Broker
Hobbies: Guitar Player. Guitar (luthier) and vacuum tube amplifier builder.
James Makishima 3 of 3 March 2009