With academic backgrounds in IT and digital design, Alessandro Cormio from Naples, Italy, is getting the best of both worlds in his current position as the chief creative officer at Naturality Digital, a digital marketing agency with an international team of creative, passionate and data-driven talents.
The agency, headquartered in Shenzhen, was founded by Cormio and his partner Kazaf in May 2020, not long after the COVID-19 pandemic made waves around the world.
“I think from difficult times, there is the chance to do something,” Cormio told Shenzhen Daily. It’s safe to say that the Italian digital designer is right about that, as their company has had its solutions recognized by many clients, whether they are startups or big names.
Cormio came to Shenzhen five years ago. Before that, he worked in a tech company in Italy and used to travel around Europe to work on projects from different companies. Cormio got tired of his job in Italy and embarked on a journey across Europe and Asia by road, traveling to around 30 countries along the way.
Speaking of how he ended up in Shenzhen, the Italian said that he got here by chance without any plans to come or stay for a long time. “I stopped in Shenzhen for a while, and then I had the opportunity to have an interview and they offered me a job.”
Cormio co-founded the company with Kazaf, who was one of his first clients in Shenzhen. Leveraging both of their work experiences and strengths, the duo started Naturality Digital, which specializes in supporting local brands to go global with their products and ideas.
“I had a very good job in Italy. Everything was very good, but I was bored. At least in here and for now, I don’t feel bored. I feel like I have some challenges every day and I learn something as well. This keeps my motivation high,” he said frankly.
According to Cormio, one of the important reasons why he is staying in Shenzhen is that the city is very dynamic, which enables him to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds. Meanwhile, the city makes it easier to start something new and try things out.
“There are many companies here that have good and innovative products. But many companies don’t know their next step,” he said.
Cormio cited one project that he was very impressed with because their team had been involved in the project from the very beginning to the end. The client had a material called aerogel that is very light yet durable enough to withstand extreme environments.
“So, we get them this idea to use this material to create a sleeping bag. It also came from my travel experience,” said Cormio, adding that US$300,000 was raised in the sleeping bag’s crowdfunding in one month.
According to Cormio, a good design is designed to work instead of looking beautiful. “The first principle of design is that it has to work. It has to be something that people can use.”
Designers with a problem-solving mindset first analyze what doesn’t work, understand how to fix it and make it work. “Once it works, make it look better,” Cormio said.
Digital marketing is all about brand awareness, exposure and increased sales, Cormio said.
“I think what I enjoy the most at work is to try to provide ideas and be able to do something different than others. I’ve been like evolving, learning and improving,” the Italian said.