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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Interbrand executive says Filipino brands have global potential

While no Filipino brand ever made it to the world’s 100 most valuable brand list in 13 years, a handful of local firms can cut it in a decade or less, if they summon their resources and commitment, Interbrand Executive Director Brand Strategy Jonathan Bernstein.
Already, two Asian brands made the top list of Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, last year.
Korean brand Samsung increased its value by over 40 percent, edging out competitors Apple and Nokia. On the other hand, the Japanese brand Nissan jacked up its value by 30 percent despite natural disasters in its home front.
However, it took the two Asian brands decades to get to where they are, the Interbrand official pointed out. “Samsung started out as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) 20 years ago.”
Filipino brands like Jollibee, Bench, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and Banco de Oro (BDO) can be strong contenders, Bernstein observed.
San Miguel Corporation
Other contenders include established names like the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) and newer ones, like Cebu Pacific Air (CEB).
Still, Jollibee needs to generate more business abroad. Same thing for BDO.
“To make it to the list, the brand’s revenue has to come from three different continents and the company has to be publicly listed,” he pointed out.
PAL has massive potential because of the heritage of the brand but they need to define what they want to be, work closely with tourism authorities to mprove the image of the Philippines and deliver an experience based on who they are.
CEB went from nowhere to a hypercompetitive brand highly differentiated from the competition. Their value proposition is very strong. But they have no cohesive brand strategy yet in place.
As the airline pushes for long-haul services, it needs to maintain its relevance, which is about the experience, not the price on the part of the Low Cost Carriers (LCCs).
Here, local companies feel that if they have good advertising, they have a good brand. But it’s just the external aspect, he pointed out.
What’s more important is to build internal value, create programs to help employees understand the value of the company and the brand and enable them to connect the brand to the business.
Google, the world’s 4th best brand, spends no money advertising the brand, he cited. “They spend on building a culture that attracts and retains the right kind of people who behave a certain way. These people develop brand experiences to build the brand.”
In 2012, Coca-Cola, Apple and IBM topped the “Best Global Brands” list, based on their financial performance, influence on consumer choice and strength to command a premium price and earn for the company.
PLDT logo
Coca-Cola retained its number 1 position, Apple jumped to number 2 as sales skyrocketed in developed and emerging markets. Social media giant Facebook came in at number 69 after implementing the third largest IPO in US history.
Google ranked 4th after posting a 26 percent increase in brand value, outdoing rival Microsoft, which ranked number 5 for the first time.
Branding started out as a science in the West and Asia was quite behind. However, Interbrand is seeing a shift these days and expect more top brands to come from Asia. For example, Taiwanese brand HTC made it in last year’s list though they fell out this year.
(Story courtesy of Emmie V. Abadilla of the Manila Bulletin)

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