Brand Republic: From show-buying to brand-building

What initially started as a show-buying pastime eventually ended up becoming a brand-building endeavor. Two years ago, three friends – Florente, Mark and Jofel – bought a show from a theater company and decided to put a twist into it. They made it into a play plus a party – complete with a unique social media strategy and eye-catching design artworks for the event. It turned out to be a big hit and became a nice springboard for the start of an exciting one-stop-shop marketing services company (consultancy, design, events, and premium items) for start-ups, now called Brand Republic.

Jofel Gaddi, Chief Operations Officer of Brand Republic shares, “We did show-buying just for fun, but it showed us that we complement each other’s strengths really well. Florente for strategic marketing, Mark for design, and I for operations. We thought of forming a business that would duplicate that experience, and its success, more often.”

At 29, Jofel is no stranger to the ins and outs of managing a business. He co-owns a BPO company that has grown exponentially in the last five years and co-manages his family’s other businesses.

Today, the group feels that they are now ready to go full blast. They have been quite successful in start-ups that served as their “practice” clients, which were mostly lifestyle businesses: entertainment companies, eco-resorts, and wellness companies like Full Blast Productions, Red Turnip Theater, Aleron, and Prado Farms. They served as their marketing arm and worked on their marketing plan, including digital presence.

Florente Garcia, Chief Marketing Strategist of Brand Republic says, “It has been a very interesting journey so far. After our first official project, we have been referred to small businesses who wanted guidance on their marketing. We really enjoy the process because we’ve realized that there are many promising start-ups in the Philippines today. They can truly be big if only their great ideas are paired with the right marketing principles found only in established companies. So it has become our goal to be the first choice of start-ups to partner with when it comes to marketing services.”

Coming from solid brand management assignments for companies like Nestle, Philippine Airlines, San Miguel, and Fonterra Brands Philippines, Florente feels confident that Brand Republic can contribute to the success of various emerging businesses.

“Republic actually means that the power is with the people. Blame it on our UP, Ateneo, and La Salle education, but I guess that is what drives us to make this company succeed. The vision is to really empower new businessmen, regardless of how small their new business is, to create strong brands that can build the future. We are sure that doing so will ultimately help us see a Philippines that is fuelled by inclusive growth and positively youthful visions,” Garcia adds.

On top of the marketing aspect, the business has also been thriving on the design front. Brand Republic says that what works for them is that other than being affordable, the designs they produce has science in it, as it is intrinsically tied to proven marketing strategies.

Mark Dayot, Head of Design and Creative for Brand Republic, explains, “I’ve tried creating design for big companies in the past, but it really is different when you work with new small companies. The possibilities are greater and the approach can be more varied. It gives me a high when I see my work being boosted in social media, used by people on the trade, and displayed on the streets. However, nothing beats that feeling when clients appreciate the fact that we don’t just come up with any design, but we come up with something that can truly achieve their business objective.”

His formal design training in Sydney, Australia and his previous experience as Head of Design in their family business (which incidentally is one of the biggest printing companies in the country) has become key to how he responds to client requirements.

The team is very much excited to work with more new businesses in the future. “As a team, we have decided to invest more of our energies and time here because more than just a business, we see this as an advocacy as well. We want to see more budding companies succeed because the impact is really greater,” explains Gaddi.