Dot asks Enoc Armengol 11 Questions
Social media is the difference if you want to add significant value to your brand, and communicate the “spirit” and “soul” of a brand.
I first met Enoc back when he was starting Mam Originals as a co-founder and I was looking at working with them on their social campaigns. We didn’t end up working together on that project, but enjoyed a great professional relationship since. For me, he is one of the most original product designers I have had the opportunity to meet.
Enoc has received several national and international design awards for his innovative startups. At age 22 he moved to NYC to work on product innovation, user experience, and brand strategy for big corporate businesses who wanted to engage better with their customers. Years after, he moved to Asia where at age 25 he founded in Singapore the fast-growing online brand Palowood. In only 6 months the brand was featured on TV by Hollywood stars such as Halle Berry, Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Firth and more. In less than a year he created an “Instant Global Brand.”
He then came back to Barcelona after nine years abroad, and co-founded the trended wooden watches brand MAM Originals, featured in Forbes, The Guardian, Vogue, becoming the number one online brand in its category. In 2016, MAM was already a seven figure business.
Inventing has been your interest since you were super young. How did you end up in design world?
Product design was the career that was more similar to inventing in a way. It has the technical part and discipline that it needs in order to make things come true, plus the creativity that it needs to go beyond.
You’ve been in the press for many amazing projects, one of your first was the Panpaati bread chair. How did you come up with that concept?
I want Panpaati to give a new perspective on what a sustainable material is. How about using food as a biodegradable material? That was the question I asked myself, and the rest just flowed from that first question.
Why did you choose to leave Barcelona for New York City? What drew you back to Barcelona?
New York was always in my dreams. I wanted to see other ways of working, thinking. The energy that NYC has is something unique – for good sides and bad sides – because living and working in winter is not a welcoming environment, lol. One thing is true, there everyone has two more gears to get into what their professional career really is, and then what they want to become. This doesn’t mean is the best place to succeed actually, especially nowadays, when you can run a successful company from wherever you are, if you have internet access.
What were some of the biggest lessons you learned from the launch of your first wood sunglass company, Palo?
Making the right choice of business partners is probably one of the 3 most important aspects that can determinate if your startup, brand or business will succeed.
How did you get involved with Kickstarter?
It was something I wanted to do, since a friend show me the platform 9 year prior. Then, my own fears were holding me back from doing it for at least 3 years. Then once I’d used the platform, I discovered it was one of the best things I could do. Kickstarter liked the campaign so much – the whole development of the project, pr, media coverage, video, visual information – that invited me to become Kickstarter ambassador.
How much of an impact has social media been on your marketing campaigns and customer communication? Any tips you’ve learned in the process?
Social media has been crucial in some of the brands I created, and customer communication has become number one on social media. It is a constant challenge to find the right person to manage the questions that people have on social.
Understanding what is the right social media platform for your brand is important in order to prioritize.
Depending on what you are doing, social media will not turn into direct sales. It is a long run, which is why many people prefer to launch products on Amazon, to make the process more simple.
However, social media is the difference if you want to add significant value to your brand, and communicate the “spirit” and “soul” of a brand.
You’ve progressed from creating products (sunglasses, floating houses, origami chairs, edible furniture), to creating companies, and now a product incubator for millenials. What do you think is your next progression?
Now it’s creating a process where we identify high-involved customers, and then they have the option to reshape the brand and product of the company through a selection of their proposals and ideas.
I believe that listening to them is not enough. Letting them create, probably making workshops, where those aficionados are fully invited to be involved in the process is very important. They are people who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the product, the brand and are willing to become part of it through the process of creation.
You travel for speaking and for work. Favourite part about traveling? Least favourite?
Favourite? Discovering new people, and places especially, is more an inside aspect. For me it is about getting myself out of “the comfort zone” . This forces me to awaken my awareness.
The least, it can be tiring moving around and not having your “base, pod or nest.” This can be your close friends, family, your home or just a place where you feel you don’t need to be on constant action, otherwise you feel you are missing opportunities, things or events.
Who has been your best mentor or someone you have looked to for advice and inspiration?
My dad has been one of my best mentors, he traveled the entire world when he was 20, and rejected many important job offers in order to create and follow his path. My mum, for his social skills, and unlimited amount of energy.
Besides them one of my product design teachers helped me see that it is a matter of how much you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve something.
And several of my friends are such an inspiration for the way we all live, chasing our dreams.
Favourite part of your work day?
When I find the solution of a problem, and when someone change my point of view. It’s important to deeply listen and observe and put aside your ego; ideas and opinions have to be defended until the point they just need to be changed. There is no reason to keep something that can be changed for a better option.
Unicorn or Dragon, and why?
Both!!! Why have to chose one when you can have both 😉 ! lets innovate and create a Unidragon !!!
Unicorns symbolize for me the process, the brain, the emotional control, and in the startup world, the valuation of companies. In a more mystic way it can represent the spirit.
Dragon is the passion, creativity, the nonconformist, those that break the rules, the hacker of the system, the virality….
I’m excited to have Enoc onstage on November 14th talking about his fundraising secrets!! See the link below to sign up for free admission!