Transportation Made Easy: The Ride Sharing Scene in the Philippines

Leader: Get There with Uber

The UBER Story:

Being the industry leader and the first to claim such innovation, Uber continues to communicate to its customers its vision to bring people together and to connect cities by providing reliable transportation everywhere and for everyone.

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Screenshot of Uber ad

Brand Values:

1. Wholeness

Uber creates a community within its users through experiences created by using the app. Through customer satisfaction and its vision to bring people together and connect cities, Uber makes it a point to be part of its customers’ lives and ultimately their respective communities.

2. Uniqueness

Uber continuously strives to innovate as a significant number of companies have already been trying to catch up with Uber’s development. With such a fast-paced industry, Uber ensures to stay on top by always being the first to claim trends, creativity, and development in the industry.

3. Simplicity

Despite the tech-savvy feel of an app like Uber, it still makes sure that consumers find it user-friendly rather than intimidating. Its features and contents are minimalistic and very organized.

Challenger: Forward Together with Grab

The GRAB Story:

Grab’s story was rooted on the consumers’ pain of finding a taxi. It started as an e-hailing taxi platform which now grew to a wide variety of services. Grab aims to provide people with a safe and efficient platform that can solve their everyday transportation needs while giving everyone access to transportation that we can trust.

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Brand Values:

1. Richness

Through the variety of services that Grab offers, it truly lives up to its brand character of richness. It is able to cater to the different needs of their consumers through quality services that gives value.

2. Wholeness

From taxis to carpools to delivery, Grab has it all. It has dominated the different opportunities in the transportation service industry and is able to establish an edge compared to its competitors through its unique service offerings.

3. Playfulness

Grab’s brand persona is seen as playful in a sense that it tries really hard to be relatable to its target market. It doesn’t maintain a serious attitude as compared to its competitors but rather, it shows its playfulness through various creative ideas in their promotions.

Follower: Make Friends with Wunder

The WUNDER Story:

As a ride sharing service, Wunder Carpool tells its customers that their daily rides don’t need to be uncomfortable, stressful, or expensive. With Wunder Carpool, riders can have comfortable rides for a reasonable prices and drivers get to earn some of their money back by offering rides. Everyone also gets the chance to make new friends as they share their commutes with each other.

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Brand Values:

1. Wholeness

Wunder aims to making commutes easier for everyone by allowing people to connect and build relationships with those around them.

2. Simplicity

As a mobile app, Wunder is constantly improving its services to make each customer experience as simple and hassle free as possible.

3. Justice

Justice is evident in Wunder as it ensures that users stay secure and comfortable on their commutes.

Nicher: Speed Up with Angkas

The ANGKAS Story:

With the traffic situation getting worse and worse in Manila everyday, Angkas aims to alleviate commuters’ stress when it comes to traveling around the Metro. It’s simple, easy to use, and most especially, it gets you to where you need to go in the fastest time possible. Angkas presents itself as your best buddy in moments when Filipinos are stressed out with our transportation system.

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1. Playfulness

This is seen in the fun way they relate to their customers, since they present themselves as a light and positive brand. They also project themselves very casually and playfully, especially on social media.

2. Uniqueness

It is a ride sharing business, but it capitalizes on its unique feature as a motorcycle ride sharing platform, versus cars/taxis. It also banks on the speed it can take its customers on from one point to another.

3. Simplicity

Angkas boasts of its simplicity and accessibility as a motorcycle sharing app. It’s cheaper compared to other ride sharing apps, but it gets you to where you need to be.


Paradigm Shift: #AppleCares

Apple is one of the few brands that have steadily thrived through the many changes in the marketing world. Since its beginnings as a humble startup in a garage in 1976, Apple has very quickly evolved into the corporate giant we know today. Aside from the popularity of its products, success of Apple can also be very much attributed to its ability to understand its audience and consistently adapt strong marketing tactics for that audience.

Back in the 80’s, Apple implemented basic advertising techniques such as print advertising and released a wide variety of ads. These ads were all heavy on text and very light on images, as were many computer and technology ads from that era. Apple then realized that these advertisements did not set the company apart from its competitors in any way.

With that, Apple realized the importance of building brand equity rather than focusing on specific products and released the “Think Different” campaign which was more focused on brand image. Furthermore, because of social media and the online communities that it has been creating, Apple ads recently have adapted to become more human-centric. They released new ads that were more relatable to their consumers. The new ads are dreamy, thoughtful and revolve around inspiring scenes from everyday life.

Initially, most of Apple’s ads revolved around the specifications and benefits of the products themselves. The original iPhone campaigns used to show just the phone itself and its features.

However, as mentioned, Apple has geared its ads towards emotional connections with its consumers since the release of the iPhone 5s. Apple is actually one of the pioneering brands that quickly tailored its advertising strategies to cater to subcultures formed within the market. Here’s a small taste of the new iPhone 5S ad, which is about health. Note that the phone itself hardly appears in the ad.

With Apple’s success in the market, we can clearly see the importance of listening to and relating more with crowdcultures in this age of social media.

Engagement Marketing: #HappyShopMateHappyShopper

The digital era has made companies realize the need for brand advocacy and its effects. It is now the end goal of each marketer for his/her brand to have its own army of loyal advocates. With this, a number of trends in engaging customers through post-purchase activities have been discovered and are now leading the marketing competition.

One of these trends is the use of mobile applications. A lot of companies now use mobile apps to provide hassle-free transactions for their customers. Because everyone is already on his/her smartphone almost 24/7, brands realize that they have to be present in smartphones as well to capitalize on the time people spend on their phones. Having a mobile app for your business can serve as media for content, as a self-service channel, and even as integration to your core product or service.

Another Engagement Marketing trend is the Social CRM. Evolving from the traditional CRM, this strategy takes advantage of the proliferation of social media. I think that social CRM is more effective than the traditional one because customers can express more freely through social CRM. It is less formal, more conversational and the discussions usually happen among their corresponding communities. Through this, marketers can listen to their customers, get insights from them, and prevent brand crises by handling customer complaints early on.

The most exciting strategy for me is the use of Gamification. I think that coming up with an effective system of gamification for your brand can really be helpful to induce brand loyalty and create customer communities. Additionally, gamification makes it easier for marketers to focus on the right set of customers and drive desired behavior.

An exceptional example of the trends mentioned above is that of Coca-Cola’s Coca Cola Happy Shopmate mobile app. This is an app where users can redeem rewards such as discounts, load and free data, coupon codes from Coca-Cola’s partner stores, limited edition Coca-Cola items, and access pass to exclusive events. To earn rewards, users must accomplish tasks in the app’s Mission Cards to get points. These missions include scanning Coca-Cola receipts from Mini Stop, sharing content on social media, and so much more. Personally, I think that Coca Cola has developed an app that intelligently used a combination of the trends mentioned above. It used a mobile app as a medium to execute gamification thus gaining multiple benefits from combining the two strategies.

Driving consumers from ask to act stage is one thing, but turning them into advocates is another. In this day and age, brand advocacy is now more beneficial than repeat purchase. Marketers should then invest in Engagement Marketing in order to achieve desired brand affinity.

Prudential Financial: #LoveForSale

This Prudential Financial advertisement basically captured a common goal from Content Marketing and Human-centric Marketing – that is connecting with consumers by uncovering their anxieties and desires.

As what was lectured and mentioned several times already, brands that are able to attract consumers on a more emotional level usually are the ones that create brand recall and brand advocacy. In this video, Prudential Financial went beyond what is usually expected from insurance companies. The brand managed to stay relevant to its consumers lives and even took it a step further by tugging on their emotions. Instead of outright selling insurance, the brand took on another approach by selling love and concern to its customers.

Omnichannel Marketing: #PerfectCombination

Because the path to purchase of consumers today is commonly complicated, marketers ensure purchases, or even brand loyalty, by being present in multiple channels and providing them with seamless purchasing experiences. As consumers, our ideal purchasing experience would be a hassle-free, instant, yet reliable purchase decision. To deliver this, marketers cannot depend on a single channel alone. They would have to aim to combine the immediacy of online channels and the intimacy of offline channels.

Disney, with its trip-planning website, has set a really good example on how to get Omnichannel Marketing right. When customers book a trip to any Walt Disney, they can organize the entire trip using the website’s My Disney Experience tool. It can even find attractions customers want to see and provide them with estimated waiting time for each place. In addition to this, Disney also released its Magic Band Program that could serve us a hotel room key, photo storage, and a food-ordering tool. Now, this is taking it a step further.


I think that, as an aspiring marketer, Omnichannel Marketing is really something to look forward to and something worth investing on. Aside from delivering the best results, it sparks creativity and brings challenge to businesses by looking for that perfect balance of offline and online channels that seals the deal, and not lengthen or make the path to purchase of customers more confusing.

Kraft Tiger Energy Playground: #Win!

Today, brands strive to find ways to produce advertisements that would hopefully generate enough returns to their marketing investments. They are continuously battling for a spot in the consumers’ minds. For marketers, the emergence of the digital world has introduced innovative ways of creating advertisements and has lead to the discovery of Content Marketing. From hashtags to online games, the competition among brands heightens as time passes.

One excellent example of Content Marketing that I had come across is from Kraft Tiger Energy Biscuits. Kraft Tiger,  with the help of one of the most popular communications agencies, Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, Phils., went overboard in communicating its value proposition when it came up with the Tiger Energy Playground.


The Philippine’s first ever energy playground was set up last December 2011, in the midst of the Christmas season, in Hospicio de San Jose, a charity community for abandoned kids and the elderly. The playground was a collaboration between Kraft Tiger Energy Biscuits and Mapua Institute of Technology, which was represented by a team of Electric Engineering thesis advisers.

The energy playground had two playground elements (seesaw and merry-go-round) that transform physical energy coming from kids playing with them into electrical energy to power its surrounding community. If the science behind it seems unbelievable or complicated, click on the link below to watch how this energy playground was made to life!

Link:  Tiger Energy Playground Execution

Kraft Foods’ goals for this execution were mainly brand-related. Brand awareness and brand recall evidently increased as people started talking about the brand in online conversations and even in online blogs.

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Screenshot of a blog from about the Tiger Energy Playground

The company also made sure that they stay relevant to the consumers’ lives by designing a content purpose that touched their emotional anxieties and desires. Carlo Licuanan, Kraft Foods Category Marketing Manager for Biscuits, even made his speech during the event and said, “We chose to donate the Tiger Energy Playground to Hospicio de San Jose to remind the children here that they have not been forgotten this Christmas, and that there is reason for them to be hopeful for a bright future.” Tying it all up, the whole concept of the energy playground greatly reflects the brand as it connects the benefits kids get from the product with the ability to convert energy into a commodity that can benefit a community.

Marketers nowadays indeed go to great lengths in order to be one step ahead their competitors. They have to maintain an innovative perception towards marketing in order to stay on top of the race. Sometimes going beyond what is conventional can even bring a marketer the winning idea. As the saying by Steve Jobs goes, “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do.”

Marketing 4.0: #HumanBrandsAreComing

What struck me most about learning the Human-Centric Marketing was how as consumers, a shift like this in Marketing was never anticipated. We used to be just fed by marketing communications by companies. We were all poor slaves who did not have other sources of information and no way to voice out our honest opinions about a brand. Additionally, marketers of today do not just actively seek out for our opinions but they also desperately want to figure out our hidden anxieties and desires.

Thanks to digital technology, the power has now shifted. The brands have now become humans.

Marketers now have to switch from traditional research to Digital Anthropology. In Social Listening, Netnography, and Emphatic Research, marketers aim to study the nexus between humanity and digital technology. Using online communities to do so, marketers get to understand the human side of their target markets. Just thinking about how brands now portray human attributes to connect with the people is mind-blowing. Brands nowadays no longer strive to overpower their consumers but rather, be at equal positions as them or even be friends with them.

From these, the shift from not just being consumer-centric but human-centric is evident. Brands now need to connect with their consumers on a deeper level. Human brands are indeed coming.