Rugged Radios

I’ve had the pleasure of working as the Lead Designer at Rugged Radios for nearly 2 years. Rugged Radios is an intense, growth driven niche company specializing in high-noise in-vehicle communication and radio communication systems.

I joined the company in time to experience Black Friday, and subsequently had a unique opportunity to work on new packaging, branding, and educational projects for the company.

My responsibilities included:

  • Coordinating high converting online sales (including flash sales)
  • Email marketing
  • Heavy rebranding
  • Moving ecommerce platforms from ZenCart to Shopify Plus
  • Assist in coordinating high converting social media campaigns
  • Creating print and other marketing assets

Managing Sales

Online sales account for more than 40% of company revenue. We held anywhere from 1-3 major sales a month, and on average 1 or more flash sales per week. During major promotions I was responsible for the visual direction of every campaign. During my time at Rugged, my team was able to focus campaigns, and create more growth in less time.

Email Marketing

By far our greatest marketing tool was our mailing list. We primarily used Mailchimp.

Most of our campaigns consisted of multiple sale emails, which would account for a huge portion of our sales numbers.

Besides creating email campaigns, I was solely responsible for consolidating and optimizing our email list. We removed tens of thousands of non engaged users. We used A/B testing to optimize email subject lines . We came up with best practices for scheduling emails on the best days and times.

I also successfully cut down the time needed for asset creation from over a week to just a few days, creating more focused designs and trimming the fat from our normal procedure and creating high converting and more visually appealing designs.

To grow our email lists, we leveraged online giveaways and social media contests. Facebook Ads also greatly improved our email list signups – garnering us 7-8,000 signups during month-long campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

When I started at the company, we hardly took advantage of social media marketing by merely boosting posts and running hardly any full fledged campaigns.

I was instrumental in moving one of our key sales people, who primarily handled sales on Amazon, into our marketing department to help implement stronger campaigns on Facebook and Google.

Our Facebook Ad campaigns quickly became one of our highest sources of revenue. We utilized retargeting ad campaigns, as well as targeting to similar audiences with appealing graphics. Together we were able to create a methodical approach to creating ongoing campaigns, as well as surgical campaigns during limited sales.

Sample Campaign


We were tasked with selling overstock limited edition helmets. This Facebook Ad made over $20k with a spend of $1.5k during a period of one week. Between email and Facebook Ads, we sold over half of our stock in this time.


At Rugged we were constantly moving, there were always strict deadlines, and business as usual became less of an option as we approached a time of heavy change and growth.

My team was tasked with updating the look and consistency of our brand.

Aside from updating the look and focus of sales campaigns, I also was responsible for updating the look and feel of the packaging of our flagship products, as well as creating instructions and educational materials to supplement products. Besides designing this packaging, this also involved communicating with our Product Development team, as well as our manufacturers overseas.

It was my job to coordinate with the product development team and update the look of our old packaging. We went for a more modern feel, and updated product specs as well. Initially our products were geared toward the Offroad Race market, but we wanted to broaden our horizons and create a more sophisticated look for broader appeal.

Instructions, Manuals, & Diagrams

Many of our products were without installation instructions. One of my responsibilities was working closely with out Tech Department to come up with step by step instructions and visual aids to help our customers install products, as well as mitigate the need to call our Tech Department for assistance.

Final Thoughts

Working at Rugged taught me to never be comfortable – to always strive to think outside of the box and abandon the idea of “business as usual.” More than anything, I learned to simplify processes and eliminate waste in order to focus on the bigger picture.