PH ‘needs strong brand’-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Sunday, August 25, 2013
FOR the Philippines to hold its own when integration with Asean occurs, it has to have a strong country brand, said Management Association of the Philippines’ Asean Integration committee chairperson Junie del Mundo.
Del Mundo, who is also CEO of stakeholder relations firm EON, believes the Philippine brand lies in the Filipino and that traits like being collaborative, caring, colorful and creative are what makes the Filipino stand out.
“A brand is what people say about you and your product when they are not in front of you,” he said. These include what others experience, associate a product with and their perceptions. “The only time we can compete is to have a strong country brand.”
Del Mundo said he has made it his company’s advocacy to dissect the Filipino to come up with a country brand and help promote it. While the country’s “More Fun in the Philippines” campaign has taken off nicely, del Mundo said it is only a tourism brand and is just one of many components of a country.
The country brand, he said, should include its cultural heritage, investment, exports, governance and its people. He added that it should establish a distinct and clear identity of the Philippines.
While he commended the Department of Trade and Industry’s pitch about the Philippines being an entry point to Southeast Asia’s 600 million market, del Mundo pointed out that the pitch does not answer the question why investors should choose the Philippines over any other Asean country.
Del Mundo said local businesses can contribute to preparing for integration by knowing what is at stake for their own enterprises.
He urged local business owners to understand their own environment, know trends in and around Asean and find out how their respective companies are perceived.
Businesses can also benefit from joining regional awards for exposure and building up their corporate image.
Del Mundo said preparing for integration is the only option, as the time for influencing policy is over, with all agreements signed.
“The AEC (Asean Economic Community) is happening whether we like it or not. The only thing that we have to do now is to prepare,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2013.