Q&A with Tokyo Posh’s Denise Aquino on Starting a New Fashion Category

Q&A with Tokyo Posh’s Denise Aquino on Starting a New Fashion Category

Franchising, interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
Q1: How did you get into the hair extensions business? A: It all started when I was granted a fashion design scholarship by the Japanese government in 2009 and I studied in Tokyo for 3 years. It is there where I got immersed into a culture wherein fashion is literally a head to toe expression. I saw how for Japanese ladies, hair styles are seen as fashion accessories, just like bags, shoes, or jewelry, that they change on almost a daily basis. I found myself being so curious as to how they could drastically change their hairstyles from short to long to curly to with bangs on a day to day basis, and I found out that their secret lay in hair extensions. I found this very interesting and I…
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Q&A with Mont Albo’s Founder Dr. Nol Montalbo on Tapping an Underserved Market in a Crowded Marketplace

Q&A with Mont Albo’s Founder Dr. Nol Montalbo on Tapping an Underserved Market in a Crowded Marketplace

Franchising, interviews, Market Driving Strategy
Q1: What made you offer a 10 minute massage for P55? Was it part of an original package when you started or did it become a subsequent offering as a traffic builder? A: I offered our 10-min Express Massage (dry massage, no oil) to be a "tingi" or "sachet" service. We wanted to increase Mont Albo first timers and entice "massage virgins". With the Express Massage, there's no more excuse to not have a massage. This is still in line with our goal of bringing wellness to every Filipino. It was initially an 80-peso 15-min Express Massage. We made it more affordable. People can just have it after work then ride the bus or MRT without even taking their clothes off. Massage and Go. Q2: Are the availers of the…
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Q&A with East West Seeds Country Manager Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc on Using Advocacy to Expand Market

Q&A with East West Seeds Country Manager Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc on Using Advocacy to Expand Market

interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
Q1: East West Seeds is the dominant market leader in vegetable seeds in the Philippines controlling majority of the market. How was this made possible in your industry? A: This was made possible by a strong research and development, being close to the market (localized breeding and variety development), understanding the needs of our customers (farmers), excellent technology transfer services and engaged and highly motivated employees. Q2: Your business model is to sell to farmers, dealers and financiers, but your company launched the game-changing 'Tanim sa Kinabukasan' advocacy in 2011 which added a business-to-consumer channel. How was the project conceived? Can you share with our readers the insight behind tapping grade 5 and 6 elementary school children to plant vegetables in schools? A: The Philippines has the lowest per capita consumption…
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Q&A with TGP The Generics Pharmacy Chairman & CEO Benjamin Liuson on Competing with Giants

Q&A with TGP The Generics Pharmacy Chairman & CEO Benjamin Liuson on Competing with Giants

Competitive Marketing, interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
Q1: You have been importing medicines for decades. What made you decide to open a retail network via franchising all of a sudden? What was the inspiration? A1:   In early 2000, physicians from PGH would recommend their patients to our office in Quezon Avenue, but since we are in the business of wholesale, unfortunately, we cannot sell retail to these patients. Hence we opened our very first drugstore - our very first  outlet right at the ground floor of our offices, selling only pure generic medicines. This was in 2001.  In 2006, our regular customers from as far as Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and other areas gave feedback that traveling many hours just to buy medicines in Quezon Avenue required much time and effort and requested/ suggested "Why don't you open…
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Q&A with Summit Media President Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng on Transforming the Magazine Industry

Q&A with Summit Media President Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng on Transforming the Magazine Industry

interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
Q1: When you started Summit Media in 1995, your glossy, higher priced magazines became the new industry standard.  What was your insight behind the new concept or what inspired you to tackle something different? Did you have a back up plan if it had not succeeded? In 1995, when we launched Preview, our first title, the magazine industry was dominated by newsprints. We realized at that time that as the Filipino became more global, they would want to read more glossy titles. And as the local market opened up to more lifestyle and aspirational brands, that these brands would need a medium to advertise in. We did not have a plan b so we were fortunate that we succeeded, but it took us a few years. Success was not immediate…
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Q&A with Bayad Center President Manny Tuason on Creating and Defending New Market Space

Q&A with Bayad Center President Manny Tuason on Creating and Defending New Market Space

interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
Q1: Bayad Center, as a bill payment center, was set up because you had to address unremitted collections and increasing cost of collection (hold ups of Meralco electric bill collectors, delayed remittance, etc).  How serious was this situation then or what was the tipping point that caused the creation of the Bayad centers? Have you attained your goals why Bayad Center was established in the first place? When Meralco was experiencing problems on regular hold-ups not to mention the “staged hold-up me” incidents, the Bill Collector system’s spiralling insurance premiums and related collection costs prompted Meralco to go Collectorless. Consequently, our customers had to endure long queues to pay their bills given the limited number of Meralco branches. We then came up with a Collection system that could be deployed…
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Q&A with Cebu Pacific Air’s President Lance Gokongwei on the Airline Industry

Q&A with Cebu Pacific Air’s President Lance Gokongwei on the Airline Industry

interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
Q1: You modeled Cebu Pacific Air after Southwest Airlines in the US. How has the low cost carrier (LCC) model evolved since then, especially with much higher fuel cost as a percent to total operation cost? Southwest Airlines adhered to the original LCC mantra as it provided a point to point service as opposed to hub and spoke; as well as using a single aircraft type. They aimed for simplicity of operations (short turnarounds), and their flights had monoclass seating. Strictly speaking, it is the European LCCs such as Ryanair and Easyjet that have really introduced incremental innovation particularly with regards to online distribution, ala carte pricing and introduction of ancillaries such as excess baggage, seat selection and food. The LCC model has evolved since then, but with the same…
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Q&A with AHEAD Learning Systems Founder Rossana Llenado on Market-Driving Strategy

Q&A with AHEAD Learning Systems Founder Rossana Llenado on Market-Driving Strategy

interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
Q1: When you founded Ahead Tutorial, what made you decide to focus on students doing well than students having flunking grades? At the time I started AHEAD, there was a negative perception attached to tutorials, which were mostly done at the students’ or tutors’ homes. Most people saw tutoring as a last resort for students who were failing or in danger of failing in school. That’s why a lot of kids would be ashamed to admit they had a tutor. From the very start, I wanted to make a difference. I wanted students to enjoy learning and to be happy to study with their tutors. I wanted to make tutorials something they’d look forward to and not dread. I was also inspired by my first students who were actually doing…
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Q&A with Universal Robina Corporation’s VP-Marketing Edwin Totanes on Launching and Defending New Products (Part 2)

Q&A with Universal Robina Corporation’s VP-Marketing Edwin Totanes on Launching and Defending New Products (Part 2)

interviews, Market Driving Strategy, Q&A
This is continuation of our interview with Universal Robina Corporation’s Vice President-Marketing Edwin Totanes on Launching and Defending New Products. In this second part, Mr. Totanes generously shares about lessons he learned from failures. For Part 1 of his interview, click here Q7: One of your early marketing assignments was as brand manager of Procter and Gamble for Crest. While Crest is a leading brand in many countries, it was clobbered by Colgate in the Philippines and was phased-out eventually with single-digit market shares in the 1970's, tell us what happened then? What could have been done differently at that point? My story on Crest is a long one and can form 3 chapters of a book if ever I wrote one. Importantly, the failure of Crest in the Philippines…
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Q&A with Jerome Ong, President of CDO Foodsphere Inc. on New Market Space

Q&A with Jerome Ong, President of CDO Foodsphere Inc. on New Market Space

Market Driving Strategy, Marketing Plan in the Philippine Setting
Q1: CDO has become an aggressive force in the food industry. You have, in fact, launched the first canned corned tuna in the industry.  What was the idea behind the product? The idea came about by thinking of the personal thing disliked most about the main competitor’s flakes in oil product, which is “in oil”. Canned products should be filled with contents to be processed well and oil is normally used to fill it up. During a workshop sometime March 2009, the corned tuna idea came out instantaneously with our “think out of the box” battle cry. The idea was shared with the R&D head who responded that it was not possible. But as we agreed during the workshop “don’t kill the idea”, they proceeded with experiments and came out…
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