THE THOUGHTFUL ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST

1665 – Gaining Every Advantage with Uniform’s Darren Guarnaccia

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the President of Uniform, Darren Guarnaccia.

Guarnaccia Wide

Darren pointed out that many companies had to adapt quickly to stay connected with their customers in a digital world. However, he also acknowledged that there is still room for improvement. Companies are exploring new technologies and innovations to enhance their digital presence and customer experience.

Darren shared how Uniform is revolutionizing how teams collaborate to create compelling digital experiences. Uniform is more than just a platform; it's a tool that allows digital teams to blend content, data, and technology seamlessly. The goal is to overcome common challenges such as inefficient communication, waiting for developers, and general frustration.

One of the unique aspects of Uniform is its “composable” nature. Darren likened it to Lego bricks, where users can assemble and reassemble different components to create a customized solution that meets their needs. This modularity allows for flexibility and adaptability, enabling users to easily plug in and remove other elements to test and learn what works best.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of collaboration and building customer experiences online
  • Impact of COVID-19 on remote work and digital customer experiences
  • Challenges faced by teams without a collaborative platform like Uniform
  • Uniform as a visual workspace for blending content, data, and technology
  • Integration with existing tools and benefits for clients in various industries
  • Concept of “composable” and its application in Uniform's platform
  • Making the platform easy to use, navigate, and connect data and content sources
  • Focus on enhancing collaboration and streamlining processes

About Darren Guarnaccia:

Darren Guarnaccia is the President of Uniform, a pioneering Digital Experience Composition Platform (DXCP) empowering developers and marketers to manage their digital experience stack. With a wealth of experience, he combines top-tier product marketing and management techniques to navigate business hurdles, distinguish products, and catalyze remarkable expansion.

In his role, Darren takes charge of crucial aspects, including marketing, product strategy, and enablement at Uniform. His leadership steers the development of innovative solutions, fostering seamless collaboration between technical and creative teams. Under Darren's guidance, Uniform continues to push the boundaries of digital experience management, offering a comprehensive platform that streamlines control over the intricacies of crafting and delivering exceptional digital experiences.

About Uniform:

Uniform DXCP empowers contemporary enterprises to construct swift and adaptable digital experience platforms. By establishing a uniform visual layer for content coordination across all channels, Uniform empowers business users, including marketing and e-commerce teams, to swiftly construct and experiment with ideas sans developer assistance. This proficiency is facilitated by pre-built integrations that eliminate the necessity for custom code when connecting content sources like legacy DXPs, customer data platforms, and headless services.

Consequently, projects are expedited with reduced costs, all while preserving long-term adaptability for innovation. Uniform further enhances high-performance digital experiences by directly dispatching content to the forefront of modern CDNs, even accommodating personalized content delivery. Through these capabilities, Uniform DXCP stands as a catalyst for streamlined, cost-effective, and agile digital experience creation.

Tweetable Moments:

11:36 – “That idea of being composable and staying composable, staying flexible, staying modular is super important.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Uniform website at

https://uniform.dev/

Check out Uniform on LinkedIn at

https://www.linkedin.com/company/uniformdev/

Check out Uniform on Twitter at

https://twitter.com/uniformdev

Check out Darren Guarnaccia on LinkedIn at

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dguarnaccia/

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Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence.com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, Darren Guarnaccia. Darren, you are the president of uniform and you're on the web@uniform.dev. Darren, thank you so much for joining us. Great to be here. Josh? Yeah. What is uniform? Yeah, Uniform is a visual workspace that empowers digital teams to blend all their content data and technology together to build winning digital experiences.

Speaker 1 (00:01:24) - And, you know, today's you know, today's competition is so fierce that every brand needs every advantage they can get to build really amazing customer experiences online and we help them do it. So I guess help me understand, like where like help us visualize what this is that you're talking about. It's a website builder. No. So it's a combination of, of channels, right? We every day as consumers, we, we use websites, we use mobile devices. You know, maybe we talk to a chat bot and all of those things, you know, need content and all of those things really even need, you know, presentation like, was this going to look like, how is this going to behave? Is this going to personalize to me? And all of those things require tooling that allows, you know, marketing teams and technology teams to kind of work together to build them. So what we create is, is visual workspace allows teams to kind of assemble and build those amazing customer experiences in a collaborative way.

Speaker 1 (00:02:30) - You know. And so what happens if you have a team that's not leveraging a platform like this? Like how does how does stuff usually end up looking operationally? The the way that and the problem that that uniform really set out to solve was that oftentimes it's all kind of coded by developers and marketers can't see what it looks like. And so there's a lot of back and forth. You know, the developer build some stuff, throws it over to the wall, to the to the marketing team, and then they, you know, it's not quite right. They can't do anything themselves. So they don't have any ability to self-service. They're very frustrated because now they're constantly waiting for development to get to their stuff. And so there's a lot of this sort of back and forth and and waiting and frustration and teams, teams just work better when they can collaborate super fast. And, you know, you can do the stuff that you're really good at and maybe the developers can do the stuff that they're really good at and kind of divide and conquer.

Speaker 1 (00:03:25) - But but right now, that's not how it really works. Like in a world without uniform, everyone is sort of waiting in their own little silos and there isn't that same kind of speed, you know, and and what comes with speed is innovation, right? When you think about if you can move fast, you can learn fast. And if you can learn faster than your competition, you can outgrow your competition. And that's the name of the game nowadays is how can I learn faster, you know, fail fast, as they like to say, and try things, iterate and and the quicker you can cycle, the quicker you can win. Yeah. And so this is a platform Now to that it's it's not like you're having to replace all of your other stuff with it. Uniform seems to be really designed to integrate well with a lot of existing tools. Can you talk like how that works? Yeah, absolutely. No one nobody can just rip everything out that that that world is past. Really today.

Speaker 1 (00:04:26) - The name of the game is how do you leverage all your existing technology? And so when I talk about our visual platform, letting you blend content and data, you know, we plug into all your systems. So you may have like old school content management repositories, you might have like new ones too, Like big brands usually have multiple content stores, right? Like they have like a couple old ones and some new ones. So you got to use all of those. Maybe you're a e-commerce company and you've got product information and an ERP system or a product information management system. Maybe you have, you know, a digital asset management system for all your pictures and videos. So you want to be able to stitch all those together. And we have all these connectors. You know, we really believe in a world where that stuff should just be simple. That stuff should be like, no, you know, just clicks and not code. So we allow you to click those together, stitch those together, and then use all that content everywhere.

Speaker 1 (00:05:19) - So we're plugging in all those systems, we're pulling all your customer data out of your and your customer, you know, you know your cdps, you know your customer data platforms and allowing you to assemble these rich user experiences, customer experiences. Now again, doing this in a very no code way so that marketers can do some of this stuff and marketers can actually go create these experiences versus having to be totally dependent on developers. Yeah. Um, and I would imagine I don't know what the how the timeline looks, but how did your world change say, Oh, I don't know. I think there was some things going on in the year 2020 that were kind of unique. How did how did that impact your world? Oh, massively, because all of a sudden everybody was working at a distance. All of a sudden we're all remote and two things happen. The first thing that happened is we all had to learn how to collaborate at a distance remotely, and that became collaboration became really important, like being able to work together.

Speaker 1 (00:06:23) - The other thing that happened is that all of a sudden people can't physically go anywhere, and so they had to rely on online services. You know, customer experiences became digital overnight, you know, joke about like what really drove digital transformation wasn't the CXO or the CDO, it was Covid. You know, that is really what drove so many brands. So today, anyone who like would not have ordered groceries online has absolutely ordered groceries online. And in every every digital every business had to become digital so fast so that they can stay connected to their customers. So it drove the urgency of of that. Now, there's still a lot of there's still a lot of you know, I would say duct tape and and paper napkins still in place because we had to do this in about five weeks. So now companies are going back and brands are going back and. All right. We made it through. Now, how do we do this for the future? How do we how do we navigate all this new tech that's coming out? Like, I mean, who was using the words ChatGPT, you know, a year ago? Nobody.

Speaker 1 (00:07:25) - Yeah, but now everybody is. So how do you adopt that technology? How do you take advantage of all this new innovation that's happening? You know, Apple's new, you know, AR headset, you know, chat bots or are on the sea now. So all this interesting technology is happening and brands are now trying to figure out how do I take advantage of it. Yeah. So help me understand like what types of clients are using uniform, what size or particular industries that work particularly well? That I would say in a nutshell. Brands that really care about kind of their their online experience or digital experience, mobile device experience, web device experience that really want to engage customers, you know, digitally. So think that's number one one brands that care deeply about their content. It's probably the second thing that indicates a good fit for us. I'll give you an example. Luxury goods. Luxury goods, like if you're if you're, you know, a luxury manufacturer and or a branded manufacturer that has a very curated experience, you really want to make sure your digital experience is amazing and is on point with your brand.

Speaker 1 (00:08:36) - So like luxury travel, maybe it's travel and hospitality. Anyone where the customer experience and the online experience is so important to your brand, those are the kinds of brands that work with us. Yeah. And. And where did uniform come about? Like, what was the. It was kind of the origin story. Yeah, it was. It was three founders who had had come out of a bunch of marketing technology companies and they were doing a bunch of consulting, actually, and they were working with a bunch of these brands and they just they were just, you know, kind of horrified by this sort of new world that we found ourselves in where, you know, marketing teams were totally siloed from development teams. You know, they were, I call it stuck in the backlog. You know, they were you know, they were in backlog. Hell had to wait like 6 to 8 weeks to get anything done. Super frustrated. So they're consulting with these clients and realizing someone's got to fix this.

Speaker 1 (00:09:30) - This is this isn't right. Like this market, you know, disempowering marketing siloing these teams. We're in the middle of Covid. We need to be working close together faster together, not slower and more separate. And so that was their intention is to solve that problem. And then they also saw just a ton of waste and and technology spend and things not being upgradable and or things taking six months just to upgrade, things like that really, you know, frustrated them, too. And they they set out to fix it. They set out to to fix that marketer, to developer kind of connection really you know, get get away from like all this money pouring into tech and not giving you any value. They knew that there was a better way and that's what they really wanted to solve with uniform. I want to point this out, too, because there may be someone that's listening that either has a point of contact or could be a potential partner for uniform as well. So one thing that that uniform seems to be you seem to integrate well with others, right? And so you've got technology partners, solution partners.

Speaker 1 (00:10:35) - Can you talk a little bit more about that? And not just technologically, but seems, you know, kind of philosophically that this seems to be pretty intentional? There's a word that is used in this industry that they call it composable. The word composable really means a couple of things. One, modular like it's it's sort of modular like think like like everyone uses the example of a Legos, but like Lego bricks, everything's modular and you can unassembled and reassemble. So this idea that you can bring a lot of these things together in and what I call best of need style meaning just what you need. You're not buying like this all in one everything solution refined just enough and just what you need. So this idea of modularity and that you can compose or assemble what you need and that idea is what started all of this. And that means that, you know, we we do a lot of connections. We connect a lot of your data sources and we connect a lot of your content sources. We connect a lot of the pieces that you want to assemble, you want to compose.

Speaker 1 (00:11:36) - And then we we really believe and this is, I think, the uniform special sauce that need to be done in a way that's super easy to to, you know, plug it in and take it out because you're testing and you're learning and maybe this thing didn't work as well as is another one. You want to maybe try this or try that. And that idea of being composable and staying composable, staying flexible, staying modular is super important. So everything we do is about connecting, connecting people together, connecting teams together, connecting technology together because it's about people, process and technology at the end of the day. Website uniform.dev to our friend that's been listening to our conversation and maybe this conversation is kind of part of their buying journey. And now they're wondering, well, where do I go from here? Well, what would you recommend? Think the uniformed dev section under learn has so much good content. We have a huge library of content there that you can learn about how to get started, how to do this.

Speaker 1 (00:12:39) - We've been producing some really interesting assets about how to buy some of this technology. You know, a lot of times people want to start with, let's say a content management system, and there's a lot of them like hundreds of these things on the market. So we've gone through and helped create buyer guides and how to actually select these things, how to implement these things. There's a lot of learnings there. We also have a ton of courses on Headless Creator that's a sister site that that we support, that really teaches people how to do some of the work and the really more practitioner level information. So if you're trying to learn how to say, get started with with content modeling or how to architect things in the right way, there's a ton of classes and certifications that you can actually get there. So lots of learning, lots of ways to get started and, and really learn from, from, from experts. Yeah. And are able are folks able to test out the platform before they buy? Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1 (00:13:32) - Yeah. We work with customers all the time. We, we like to we like to guide them and teach them how to do it and best practices. So we'll work with you, but absolutely do tons of proofs of concepts. We, you know, we'll, we'll help you understand how to get started. You train your teams and really help them prototype things. Because one of the nice things about a platform like that is because super easy to get started. You can just try 5 or 6 different kinds of technologies. And we actually in many cases become like a prototyping layer for companies because they want to try 5 or 6 different CMS, 2 or 3 different digital asset management systems, and it's a really easy to assemble those things. Yeah. Darren Guarnaccia, again, President of Uniform. The website is uniform Dev again, highly recommended. You click on Learn, you've got like you got a lot, there's a lot of great documentation, a lot of great articles, a lot of great resources here.

Speaker 1 (00:14:23) - So certainly you could spend, you could spend days learning everything you need to learn about. And then of course, you can. There's a button right there. It says request a free demo and certainly could take a look at that. So, Darren, it's been great having you on the podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. Great to be here. Thanks. Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My Influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day.

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