Tag Archives: Retail Store

Sari-Sari Stores Convention Organized by Magna Kultura Foundation

Magna Kultura Foundation successfully organized a convention of sari-sari stores at Isabela Province on August 4, 2012 at the Roxas Astrodome.   Over 250 small store owners attended the seminar-workshop that gave valuable insights on retail management and local store marketing. The 250 attendees that were trained by Magna Kultura will be installed as managers of clusters of stores in towns of Isabela.

The convention was hosted by Go WOW Isabela II, Inc., compose of the working women of Isabela province.  The plan, which was originally conceived by Representative Ana Cristina Go, is to organize clusters of sari-sari stores in the eleven (11) towns of District 2.   Each town has an average of 22 Barangays, and approximately 5 stores will be activated in each community locale.

The Working Women of District 2 Zone 01embarked on the project as a livelihood program that will give the citizens an opportunity to improve their lives.  GO WOW will be setting up a cluster of stores in the 2nd District of Isabela to open doors of opportunities to citizens, at the same time make vital consumers goods conveniently available in communities.

GO WOW will be working with citizens who will manage the cluster of stores as a vehicle to serve the people. The Working Women of District 2 Zone 1 realizes critical role that retail stores play in communities, when all the residents are miles away from a full-service grocery store or a supermarket. GO WOW see the cluster of stores as more than just food retailers, but also economic drivers, community builders, and meeting places for citizens. This is GO WOWs service to the citizens of Isabela.


Magna Kultura Foundation conducted the seminar-workshop to train the Store Operators of the Go Wow Cluster Stores.  During the seminar, Magna Kultura provided an 80-paged handbook that will serve as reference material for stores operating staff providing:

m    general information on the retail industry and local store management;

m    information on the key skills needed to operate the retail management and sales functions with the highest expertise and service excellence;

m    insights on the management process, purchase and inventory procedures, marketing and promotions planning, customer service and retention efforts in operating a retail store. 

Magna Kultura discussed the various processes involved in operating a store and making it profitable;  and provided valuable tips and operations techniques in running the day-to-day affairs of their store.  The topics took into consideration a comprehensive overview of the back-office and front office activities in operating a retail store, including techniques in customer relations and loyalty retention.

Magna Kultura realizes the value that sari-sari stores play in communities.  While stores may be seen as retailers, they are really the back-bone of the grassroots economy.  And while the store owners may not be college graduates, they are small business people bold enough conduct entrepreneurial ventures that serves the community and move consumer goods manufactured by big corporations. Magna Kultura believes that they are unsung heroes that move the economy, accounting for the movement of almost 70% of consumer food products.

Magna Kultura Foundation is an education-for-development NGO geared towards improving the lives of Filipino communities by building capacities of civic and sector groups, providing cultural, educational and social entrepreneurial skills.  As such, it supports small business people such as sari-sari store owners. Magna Kultura teaches social and cultural entrepreneurial skills that enable ordinary Filipinos at the grassroots level to better articulate their needs and aspirations and participate more actively and productively in  activities aimed at improving their lives and that of their communities.

Together with Go WOW Isabela II, Inc., Magna Kultura will support the small store owners of Isabela to assure their success.




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Creating Iconic Brands

Creating Iconic Brands

Nike.  Apple.  Facebook.  Google.  Some brands just make it big. So big, in fact, that the brand name goes before the product does.  And to some extent, they become a household name.

How can you create such an ideal brand that’s synonymous with all the good things you wish to be, like quality, luxury or perhaps dependability?  Can you build a clear, strong, stylish, unique image for your brand? Can you give it such a unique personality that it gains a specific, clear, appealing meaning in spite of the brand clutter plaguing most markets?

Logos and names do matter. But brands are really defined by how people experience them. What matters most is not what the brand says, but what it does, how it behaves.

Here are a few thoughts you can think about in making that iconic brand for your company:

First and foremost, BE UNIQUE, and stand out.   Great brands achieve a high level of individuality and speak to a person rather than to the entire market.

There is a tendency among some, even at the most illustrious business schools, to treat the term ‘iconic’ as a trendy synonym for successful mass‐market brands. Iconic brands are unique, special, distinctive, and have very strong and appealing personalities. They have the kind of recognition that iconic movie actors or singers have.

Can you brand your product like a rock star?  Or, a movie matinee idol?  That’s what you want to strive for as you build an iconic brand.  Give it a unique personality and a highly distinctive voice, then be true to its personality and voice no matter what.

In iconic branding, the brand’s identity trumps everything else in the marketing plan. Don’t extend an iconic brand too far, for example, or you’ll water down its meaning and lose the special boost in sales and loyalty that your iconic status confers.

BE CLEAR. Refrain from speaking jargonese and from talking manufacturer. If your positioning statement uses acronyms, chances are most people won’t understand your branding, and your branding won’t last very long. Example, “Best DVD Copier” presumes that people understand what “DVD” and “Copier” mean. Ten years from now, who knows if DVDs would still matter. Here’s a good tip for you to try: If your parents get your positioning, then chances are, it’s good.

BE POSITIVE – When creating a brand, make sure that it is established on positive attributes like “doing good things,” or “being a catalyst for change.” Don’t try to create a brand that is focused on beating or damaging your competition. Make sure that your brand promotes happy thoughts. No one would want to buy a product that is majorly focused on hurting its competition. If you want to beat your competition, establish an uplifting brand

Consistency is key. Think of one message and work on it. Many companies commit the mistake of coming up with more than one message because they‘re afraid of being niched and want the entire market for themselves. “We sell the best high-end phones, and the best ones for the budget-conscious.” Let’s face it. You have to cater to a specific market, one brand at a time. This is the reason why big companies try to come up with multiple versions of the same product, so they can brand it for a specific market.

Building a personal brand requires a lot of time and consistency, the latter of which is a critical element to the brand’s success. Being consistent is what builds familiarity and trust in the minds of others and demonstrates that you are very serious about your business and it’s image.

By not being consistent, you may appear to be undecided or confused which leads to a loss in credibility.

The Opposite Test. You can always say that your products are “nutritious, delicious, and fresh.” However, how many other companies can claim that their products are nutritious, delicious and fresh? See if your competition uses the antonyms of the adjectives that you use to describe your product. If it doesn’t, your description is useless. Example, I’ve never seen a company claim its products to be slow, hard to use and bulky.

Fool-proof your message.  Once you have the perfect brand positioning for your perfect product, it’s time to make sure that everyone understands the message it conveys. Start within your organization, from your immediate people to the receptionist down the front desk. Make sure that everyone understands the message.

The power of PR. When it comes to branding, too much money is worse than too little because people who have a lot of money tend to spend a lot of money on stupid things like stupid awards night commercials. Keep in mind that brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself.  Go advertise above-the-line, but don’t waste too much on advertising, use PR.  Make people realize that you’re offering a great product and you get great response.

Try staying away from conventional branding, and avoid speaking like a manufacturer.  Empathize with your target consumer, and genuinely speak to them.  Brands are created in the customers’ minds. And though customers may get attracted by the brand’s value proposition, it needs to live up to the promise and build a relationship based on trust.

Customers value some products as much for what they symbolize as for what they do.  For Nike, Apple, or BMW, customers value the brand stories largely for their identity value.  Acting as “vessels of self-expression, the brands are imbued with stories that consumers find value in constructing their identities.

Every marketer aims at creating brands that customers love and trust. Yet it is only a few brands that are able to win the hearts of customers.  The challenge for brand managers comes after the non-believers have bought into the brand. The brand experience needs to be managed well.

Though branding has been regarded as a science, the process of building brands that are endearing is also an art. The culmination of science and art is what results in the creation of truly great brands.  If your brand becomes known in the market, good.  If your brand becomes popular, better.  But, in time, if your brand becomes an icon, great!


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When Its Time To Change Your Corporate Strategy

Most businesses have a core strategy that has been very successful in the past and where so much of their capabilities and strengths are centered. Every business also needs to move into adjacent areas just outside the core. These adjacent areas tend to be derived from the core, but hopefully those adjacencies strengthen the core in some way.

In order to add value to any business, you need to have a plan, and at least, renew the corporate strategy every five years, which will allow you to change with the company’s needs and recognize threats. Management should work out an updated strategy, enlist the help of experts, identify the company’s strengths, and help the organization weather the existing problems.

It’s not so much the plan, but it’s all the planning that goes into it. It’s the thinking through the various scenarios and understanding the business and what are the value drivers of the business. Where is value derived? Where is value created? Then it’s deciding what is the core that you want to build on for the future?




For Business Consulting, contact
Dickie Aguado, Executive Director – Magna Kultura Foundation
CP Nos.: +63 917 8990025 (Globe) or +63 922 8990026 (Sun)
Direct Line: Tel No. (632) 514-5868
Email Address:




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Empowering Sari-Sari Stores In The Philippines

The Sari-Sari Stores are vital assets in the local economy. We perceive these small business people as “heroes” of the Micro-economy at the grassroots of our society

Magna Kultura Foundation has been organizing outreach seminar programs designed to educate retail store owners and store-keepers with basic business skills. Most of the vendors are “un-schooled” in business enterprise management. But we greatly admire the boldness of these individuals, as they have taken the initiative to put up small business operations.

In a significant way, these individuals have been serving the community; at the same time, they move the commodities of consumer manufacturers. We want them to recognize their importance in our society’s economy, and appreciate their contribution to country’s gross product.

Magna Kultura Foundation is advocating informal schools that will provide small store retailers with valuable educational skills: to help them with better manage their small enterprise; enhance their effectiveness as key partners trading with companies and private dealers. In so doing, we make them better participants in growing the grassroots micro-economy.

Our goal is to uplift these small enterprises, and improve livelihood of common citizens at the grassroots in general. We believe that the effort to help small business retailers will greatly contribute to the improvement of the micro-economy; at the same time, enhance facilitation of trade with consumer goods companies.

The program is given to Sari-Sari Store owners and storekeepers in District-Barangays in Metro-Manila; implemented in partnership with local Barangay Councils.

The program is  toured as informal training schools for sari-sari store owners, groceries, and wet market vendors, and it will be conducted in barangay-communities .

From our active network of 80,000++ retail vendors, we will be reaching 24,600++ retail outlets in Metr-Manila.

The training seminars will have half-day sessions that features the following educational topics:

  •  Store Operations & Basic Management Ideas
  • Basic Retail Math and Record-Keeping Techniques
  • Inventory Management & Stocking Techniques
  • Store Appearance and Merchandising Approach
  • Customer Relations & Store Promotions,
  • And, in Dealing with Dealers, Salesmen & Traders

The attendees are store & grocery owners, store storekeepers. wet market vendors.

The knowledge and simple tools gained from the sessions conducted will help store owners interface with better service among neighbourhood-consumers, as well as, in dealing with wholesalers and company sales representatives of the products they sell.

In case individuals or corporate citizens would like to join in this significant advocacy contact Magna Kultura Foundation. Contact Dickie Aguado, Executive Director of Magna Kultura Foundation, at Tel. No. (02) 514-5868 / Globe 0917-8990025 / Sun 0922-8990026. Email Address:


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