The underdogs

For the past weeks, the election fever has started to heat up. The advertisements are starting to build up. Positioning one name, be it Villar, Noynoy or Gibo, requires research to see the strength of the name, as in marketing – a brand. In this case, the brand is the name of the candidate. Similar to a product, careful positioning is required to match the strength and unique proposition of the brand with that of the current needs of the consumers. In this case, the consumer is the electorate – the voting public.

Villar is clearly positioned as a fighter against poverty. Coincidentally, Go Negosyo has the same vision, with negosyo as sagot sa kahirapan. Nonoy is positioning himself as anti-corrupt, something his mother and father achieved. Gibo, on the other hand, has positioned himself as somebody who has talent as well as experience. The three candidates have realized that poverty is the country’s biggest problem. Somehow, they also found a way to use the same slogan of fighting poverty. For now, Noynoy has the upper hand in all the surveys, but one can never underestimate the underdogs.

I remember the two brands I bought – Selecta and Cosmos. They were both underdogs. Selecta started with 1% market share versus Magnolia, which then owned close to 95%. Cosmos or Pop Cola also was only at 2% when we bought it. Today, Selecta is close to 60%. By the time we sold Pop Cola, it was close to market leadership.

Similarly, while Noynoy has the lead, one can easily make a mistake. Last year, no one knew that Tita Cory’s early death would change the game. While we can say that this is all part of destiny, one cannot solely rely on destiny and just wait for things to happen. At this point, even Gibo’s rating still has a chance. Manny Villar is passionate to win and he never gives up. Surely this will be an interesting fight to the finish.

I am sure that 2010 is really going to be a year of change and promise for the Philippines.

Let me share with you the dreams and aspirations of many more leaders and entrepreneurs for 2010.

“My aspirations for 2010 are to see how I can help in my own small way to set our country in a path to dramatic reversal of our continuing slide in economic growth and moral ascendancy vis-a-vis our neighboring countries. Even international weather stations have dropped us from their list, and we have lost the respect of other peoples. We need to regenerate ourselves!” –Guillermo Luchangco, ICCP Group of Companies

“My aspirations for 2010 are for a smooth and orderly transition from the outgoing Administration to a more credible and more honest new Administration that would have a genuine concern and which would work very hard to reduce the level of poverty in our country. –Joey Cuisia, Philamlife

“2010 is an opportunity for the nation to usher in a new decade on a positive note. We can do this by focusing and acting on the opportunities that accompanies every challenge in our economy, in the upcoming elections, and in the various activities of nation building.” –Sec. Ace Durano, Department of Tourism

“My vision for 2010 is grounded on the hope of a recession proof world where business returns to fundamentals. I also hope the year encourages and rewards integrity and innovation, and creates significant wealth for a larger base of people. My aspiration is that this year will help me get closer to my goal of becoming an entrepreneur… which I think should be the endgame for every professional. I want to acquire the right skills, resources and most of all, the confidence to be able to make this significant transition in three to five years from now.” –Sandeep Khanna, Nokia

“I believe 2010 can be a better year basically because the world economy has recovered from the 2008 financial crisis as evidence by the improving commodity prices. Our country is lucky as we are insulated from the crisis, as our banking system has learned and adjusted from the Asian crisis of the late 90s. The other thing is the forthcoming May elections wherein our people will vote for new leadership. We hope that our people will vote intelligently as the new leadership should be able to give renewed confidence that would create more investments and job opportunities that can propel our economy.” –Dioceldo Sy, Ever Bilena

2010 is an election year. I am looking forward to a clean, honest & early proclamation of elected officials with the computerization program of the COMELEC. The peaceful transition to a new administration will always usher growth and dynamism to our economy. –Henry Lim Bon Liong, SL Agritech

“I wish to add greater value to my clients by helping their business grow thru transformational training, to my family by building them our dream home, to my friends by being there when they need me and to my life by cutting my ironman time by one hour. In all this, may God sport an even bigger smile. –Anthony Pangilinan

“I look forward to 2010 from three fronts: my family, our family’s business and the country as a whole. As a proud father of four, I would like to spend more time with my children. I am happy that they have taken my and Bea’s (my wife’s) passion for sports. This year, I’d like to see them excel in their chosen sport and help them take their game to the next level. As the President and CEO of the Lhuillier Group of Companies, I am passionate about excellence in the workplace. On top of my agenda for 2010 is to energize the organization by jump starting a Six Sigma program and see all other company initiatives come into fruition in the coming months. Lastly, I would like to see a smooth and peaceful elections this coming May. Like most of my countrymen, the seamless transition of government is also what I am hoping for so that all plans for the country can be accomplished at the soonest possible time. – Jean Henri Lhuillier, Lhuillier Group of Companies

“For more people to think of embracing sustainable lifestyles and to adapt their businesses to become more sustainable. Sustainability is a global trend and the way the world should be headed towards.” -Chit Juan, Echostore Sustainable Lifestyle

“For the year 2010, I’m hoping to do more social work alongside my vision to expand our businesses. I wish to be able to give more of my time to help our kababayans hone their skills and discover opportunities for a more stable kind of livelihood.” –Connie Sison, Masas