Ray Brown sees around corners, his sharp instincts and pragmatic smarts leading the marketing charge for Zuvo Water. Together with CEO Andy Butler, he keeps the start-up team focused on continuously raising the innovation bar.
“Innovation is about constantly working for the impossible, the things that no one has ever done before or thought of before. It's walking out of a design meeting or innovation meeting and saying, ‘Wow!'” he says, laughing.
“It's not easy stuff. Companies can be innovative one day and then lose it over time—complacency creeps in. We've done a nice job of taking this industry and looking at not what's been done, but what could be done,” says Ray.
Brown's executive retail background has been instrumental in helping the Zuvo team navigate the better, faster, cheaper world of the consumer marketplace.
“The advantage of having a consumer background instead of a water background is that I didn't come in with preconceived notions of what's possible and not possible. I can ask those what-if questions,” he says.
“I also have this pragmatic view of what will work or not work in the marketplace. I can talk to people about innovation—here's what I see from world-class companies like LG and Sony and Samsung.”
Retail is in the man's bones after spending 25 years of his career in this space, ranging from product launches to, at one point, becoming a buyer responsible for product management. Brown brought his big-box retail mentality to ...