Riccardo Natoli
Name: Riccardo Natoli
Title: CEO Thought Leader
Expertise: Brand Strategist • Creative Director
Words of Wisdom: Walk the talk…


Since I was old enough to speak I have been commended on my abilities to ‘story tell’. My mother was confident that this gift would be the cornerstone to many adventures and my future success. She was a big fan of P.T. Barnum and had always hoped one of her three sons would somehow end up in the circus.

My path did not lead me to that wonderful world of lion tamers and trapeze artistry but it did eventually make good use of my abilities.

I started my career as a junior marketing associate for notable fashion design houses in Italy. I later took advantage of my language skills and was hired to work in-house for Calvin Klein (GFT – N.Y.) – Marketing and Sales. It wasn’t long before I clearly defined my calling was to be in the Marketing arena. The next 5 years I was on a fast track climbing the corporate ladder first at Conde’ Nast Publications and later at Hearst Publications. My position as Marketing Director to Luxury Brand advertisers offered me great insight in interpreting brand objectives and designing long term promotional campaigns; creating integrated opportunities between magazine titles and their advertisers; overall, understanding the paradigm between promotion – advertising and consumer motivations.

My next step came when recruited by Ogilvy – WPP Worldwide as Senior V.P. to its’ global branding practices. The position was a great opportunity and a challenge. It required the management of high-level teams overseeing all aspects of the client campaign, not limited to directing the process of the pitch; securing the client; creating the program in answer to client objectives; managing the execution and ultimately measuring its deliverables.

It wasn’t until 2003 that I became a part of a collaborative vision and launched an independent brand marketing / event production company. We opened our doors with a client list that was as much diverse as it was renowned; Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, Vh-1 Save The Music Foundation, Lexus, Perrier Water, China Grill Management, Oakley, Chanel, Vogue, Stuff/Maxim, Merrill Lynch, Miramax, Sony Music and Clive Davis … were but a few of our clients.

Building on vertical growth as much as new business development – I am proud to say that the success achieved in my previous practice, and many of my original clients, have carried over to my newest venture Gun4Hire Marketing.

With the changing tides of our economy, Gun4Hire diversified its business practices and re-aligned its’ core services to offer 360° solutions to clients needs. By strategically outsourcing and partnering when necessary we can deliver specially tailored programs and work within specific budget parameters. As much as I would like to say we can fulfill your every need — it’s just as important to acknowledge that when we can’t – we know how to source the experts – the tech heads — the celebrity wranglers — the product placement studios – and so on.

So, as the tentacles of branding are reaching every crevice of our life’s passion points … from cultural perceptions to aspirational behavior – even religion and traditional values have played into the messaging of brands – it’s obvious that it has become a complicated brand new world.