A total of forty (40) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were benefitted in the roll-out of the flagship program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)- the Brand Equity Development Program (BrEDP) in Region 02. On 02-03 August 2017 at the Crown Pavillion, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, a Brand Awareness and Coaching Session was initiated by DTI Region 2 headed by its OIC Regional Director Ruben B. Diciano. The two-day activity was facilitated by Dr. Willy E. Arcilla, an expert consultant and the country’s acclaimed Brand Healer .

The recent developments among ASEAN partner countries formalizing market and intellectual exchanges pose a huge opportunity on economic dynamism. However, this becomes a threat if not properly managed especially by the MSMEs who are thriving in the markets. They need to be sufficiently prepared and armed with competitive strengths that could define their positions in the global market. Most especially that market competition is getting stiffer as a result of free and borderless trade among partner countries, an effective brand statement and strategy will ensure a major edge in sustaining customer interest and preference.

In his opening message, RD Diciano dwell on the continuity of the program and challenged the beneficiaries to use this as an opportunity to get a share of the larger consuming public and create niche markets. He said that while DTI can only do so much, the success of the BrEDP and the harvest of its fruits will largely depend on the strategies of the beneficiaries.

On the first day, Dr. Arcilla expounded on the key concepts of branding, new trends and the basic principles of brand development. The rest of the activity was allotted for the one-on-one coaching with the MSME-beneficiaries. At the end, the participants were able to derive strong brands that are hoped to not only capture the domestic but the international markets as well. One of the favorites is the Buffalo Pops from the locally known Chicha-rabao of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

The two-day activity is only one of the components of the BrEDP as it seeks to register the brands with the Intellectual Property of the Philippines, improve packaging and labelling and launch the brands for a massive promotion. The same activities will also be rolled-out in an anticipated Phase 2 of the program which will be in September 2017.