There are many unsung heroes at NetRush, doing amazing work behind the scenes for our brands, providing invaluable insight and driving strategy. A platform as big as Amazon requires a team of savvy, driven individuals — which brings us to today’s employee spotlight, highlighting Brand Analyst, James Pieterse.
Pieterse, pronounced “peet-err-sah,” is a last name with roots in South Africa — which is where James and his family hails from. That said, James’s heritage can actually be traced back to eight nations, including Holland, India, Germany, Australia, Egypt, and Ireland. So it makes sense that he’s a multifaceted gent of many interesting tastes and proclivities, ranging from brussels sprouts to fine bourbon, sports, and books that crack open the human condition.
Today, we decided to pick his brain and talk a bit more about the nature of brand analysis on the Amazon marketplace — the what, how, and why of helping brands crush inventory health.
How did you end up here?
My parents were both born in South Africa. My dad was an activist and a lawyer, and he ended up coming out here to the States back in 1980, a couple years after my brother was born. Of all my siblings, I was the only one born “across the sea,” as my parents put it.
I moved to the Pacific Northwest from California in Sep 2015, and got hired at NetRush in November. I’ve been working here ever since. Before that, I was a quality assurance officer for a chemical distribution company.
So, your last name is Afrikaans. Can you say something in Afrikaans?
“Hou jou bek.”
*Shut your mouth.
What does your average day at NetRush look like?
I have a conference call with one of my seven brands each day. These conversations are normally strategy based, focusing on inventory health, assessing overall seller compliance, and other important things that affect what customers are receiving. Things that aren’t obvious when it comes to selling on Amazon, but valuable if you’re a brand with a unique product and wide reach.
As far as my department, we are really analytically focused. All of us have an advisory position with our brands now. We really keep a close eye on the marketplace and how certain SKUs sell.
What are the signs of a brand that is doing well on Amazon?
Ideally, it’s when a brand really takes ownership of their presence on Amazon. A great example is MegaFood. They really care about how their product looks, how it’s being shipped, what kind of customers they’re reaching. They’re invested in every experience that people have with their product, not just on Amazon — in stores, on their own websites, everywhere. Concurrently, they fully trust NetRush — and that trust in us goes a long way.
When things don’t work the way that you expect. Sometimes, less-than-ideal things happen and you have to explain to a brand that you didn’t foresee something happening. It sucks. Some things are not fully in our control, and you have to just adjust and come up with a strategy to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
What’s your biggest challenge every day?
I think it’s harder when you’re first starting off with a brand, and you’re still learning how you work together. When something goes wrong, it’s a matter of conveying how to adjust and coming to them with a plan rather than an excuse. You have to let the brand know that it’s not the end of the world, and give them a plan on how to bounce back.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love reading, the outdoors, and going on hikes. Me and my wife are trying to do more hiking, mostly for nature but also because it makes us feel good. I’m just enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest and I’m getting out there to experience as much as I can.
I guess you could say that I am a whiskey and bourbon connoisseur. Right now one of my favorites is Angel’s Envy Rye.
You’re something of an office sports buff and played a lot of baseball growing up. Tell us about that.
I played a lot of sports back in my heyday. I traveled around the United States and Europe for baseball and football. When I was in my teens I was ranked in the Top 50 in my state for playing 2nd base (overall; offensively and defensively). I’ve won MVPs, coach’s awards, and a few other accolades. As great as all of that was and as much as I like to win, I also know what it’s like to lose, and when you’ve lost something or someone important in your life, it shapes how you perceive a win. I think that really helped in not taking things for granted when things go well.
Fun Facts about James
- Sports (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Euro Soccer, Golf, Formula 1)
- Psychology Research Books
- Brussels Sprouts
- Wine Tasting
- Dallas Cowboys
Number of watches owned