Startups discover and amplify their brand identities in the increasingly competitive online world for the 3rd and last leg of 2022’s Shell LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom. Upper row, from left: Serge Bernal, Vice President of Corporate Relations, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation; and Donna Santos, Head of Marketing and Growth for e-Commerce, Robinsons Land Corporation. Bottom row, from left: Host RJ Ledesma; and Brad Geiser, CEO and Co-founder, GeiserMaclang.
Creating a unique brand identity in the increasingly saturated online marketplace is no easy task for most startups. Finding an identity for a business that is distinct enough for customers to recognize but unique enough to stand on their own is a process companies have to go through if they want to be leaders and innovators.
Addressing this need is the 3rd and final leg of 2022’s Shell LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom on September 8, 2022. Startup founders, business owners, and entrepreneurs were taught vital lessons on how to create their digital identity. Sharing their experiences and knowledge during the event were established industry mentors Brad Geiser, CEO and Co-founder of GeiserMaclang, and Donna Santos, Head of Marketing and Growth for e-Commerce of Robinsons Land Corporation.
Serge Bernal, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation Vice President of Corporate Relations, gave an overview of the company’s mission and how Shell supports the participants of the program: “Guided by our mission in nation-building, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation has been actively supporting the country’s startups and budding entrepreneurs in developing their businesses through Shell LiveWIRE,” said Bernal. “Through this program, Shell helps Filipinos turn their ideas into viable and sustainable businesses. In addition to providing expertise, Shell LiveWIRE may also provide additional capital for either startup or expansion purposes, as well as an opportunity to be integrated into the Shell Value Chain.”
Don’t neglect branding
A global enterprise development program, Shell LiveWIRE is offered in 15 countries to selected new enterprises to help them strengthen their systems, sharpen their competencies, and give them a chance to become part of the Shell Value Chain. Now on its second year in the Philippines, about 700 Filipino startups and community and social enterprises have participated in LiveWIRE: more than 20 successful startups have been supported by Shell and received capital funding support; seven of these businesses are being integrated into the Shell Value Chain with more under negotiations.
Geiser first explained why it is vital for companies to build a strong brand: “Strong brands affect consumer purchasing decisions. Brands help set budget priorities for consumers. Sometimes more than economic considerations, brands alter and impact purchasing.” He also added this warning: “If you don’t have a strong brand, essentially you are going to be crowded out by someone who does.”
Then he described branding from two perspectives: “From a marketing perspective, it’s the public ownership of an idea, image, or emotion that is commercially relevant to a segment of a population and which is tied to your industry and category. From a startup perspective, a brand is a badge that indicates you are recognized for having solved a need for a community.”
Hooking the customer
Meanwhile, Santos explained the importance of being able to break down your target audience in the digital space. “You are not selling the product—you are selling a solution to a problem, and get in the mind of your audience and understand what they care about,” she said. “When you do your audience research, it’s important to find what content they’re consuming and what social media they’re using.”
Santos also enumerated the four goals that any digital marketing campaign should win from the customer: “Their attention. Interest. Desire. Action.” The challenge: “You have less than three seconds to hook the customer.”
This session marked the end of 2022’s Shell LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom. The first leg was held on August 18, 2022 and was about the growth mindset and thinking for diversity and inclusion. The second leg happened on August 25, 2022 and taught participants ways to grow their digital business through partnerships.
Shell LiveWIRE was made to help strengthen local economies by promoting entrepreneurship and meaningful employment. Today, it continues to support businesses that are on the cutting-edge of innovation. For updates on future Shell LiveWIRE events and sign up for the 2023 program, visit the official website at: https://www.shell.com.ph/energy-and-innovation/make-the-future/shell-livewire-philippines.html
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