Q&A with Century Tuna Marketing Manager Bea Ballesca-Martinez on Brand Messaging

Bea Ballesca-Martinez is the marketing manager of Century Tuna, the dominant tuna brand in the Philippines. She received the Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards in 2023. In this interview, she discusses the importance of brand messaging and communicating what the brand represents to its target audience.

Q1. What do you want consumers to think and feel about your brand when they encounter Century Tuna?

A1: We’ve always harped on the consumer insight that healthy = hard. Healthy food has the connotation to be either expensive, inaccessible, or tasteless. Century Tuna offers a healthy source of protein and Omega-3 that’s conveniently packed without preservatives. We want consumers to build the habit of including Century Tuna in their diet without feeling the guilt of a delicious indulgence. By doing so, they can start or continue their journey to becoming a healthier version of themselves.

Q2. Could you articulate the core values that underpin your brand’s identity? How are these values reflected in both the products you offer and the way you engage with your audience?

A2: We believe that self-improvement is a journey that involves various practices and mindset shifts. By committing to healthier choices, a person can achieve his/her goals by being able to do more in life. Century Tuna aims to inspire people to be in better shape and in the process, to also inspire others to do the same. The “Superbods” is not just a fitness competition, it is an avenue for healthy individuals to serve as fitspirations to the public. Century Tuna also partners with celebrities who have a positive influence on the consumers by encouraging them to eat healthier and to do exercise.

Q3. What is the unique selling point (USP) that sets the Century Tuna brand apart in the market?

A3: Century Tuna is the only ready-to-eat delicious canned tuna that can help consumers get into better shape so they can do more. It is a good source of protein and Omega-3 to help in positive body transformations. Omega-3 has been proven to help reduce belly fat with proper diet and exercise. It is also a natural source of protein that helps build muscle. With the inclusion of Century Tuna in one’s diet, the journey to becoming a Superbod becomes easier.

Q4. How has your brand adapted to evolving market trends? Has your positioning changed over the years as well?

A4: Since handling the brand in 2018, I’ve maximized every opportunity to firmly establish Century Tuna’s market dominance, transforming its brand image from fit and sexy… to strong and healthy, with a heart. We’ve redefined health by taking on a holistic approach towards it—physical, mental, emotional, social. Century Tuna continues to be positioned as the healthy meal solution to those who want to be better versions of themselves. We acknowledge that the road to becoming a Superbod can be difficult, but with small, sustainable steps we take daily, it can become easier.

Q5. In what ways has storytelling helped in transitioning the brand to meet changing consumer demands and different consumer segments?

A5: Harping on stories of positive body transformations has helped inspire more and more people to take care of themselves better. Serving as fitspirations, the Superbods share their own experiences on hardships, failures, and motivations for staying healthy and fit. By being able to tell their stories in a captivating and compelling way, our consumers (whether they’re young/old, male/female, rich/poor) can draw inspiration to become better by having a proper diet and exercise.

Q6. With changing market dynamics, how do you ensure that your core messaging remains relevant and resonant with your target audience?

A6: We remain with our brand purpose: Everybody can be a Superbod. Everyone has a chance to become a better version of one’s self. We continue to improve our product offering to make sure that we help consumers have healthier food choices. We encourage people to exercise and move. We partner with individuals who have inspiring stories to tell. In this way, we are able to continue encouraging other people to prioritize their health and debunk the belief that healthy = hard. Because with Century Tuna, you can be a Superbod!

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Josiah Go is chair and chief innovation strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc. He is also the co-founder, alongside Chiqui Escareal-Go, of the Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards (YMMA) since 2006. The search for the 19th Mansmith YMMA is currently ongoing. For more information, visit www.youngmarketmasters.com.

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