Growth Con PH: How to Perfect Your Brand’s Niche, According to These Entrepreneurs

In the recently-concluded Growth Con PH, six entrepreneurs share how businesses can perfect their products to cater to their niche audiences. Here’s what you should know.

When operating a business, many aim for perfection which can be hard to achieve because technically speaking, perfectionism is defined by Merriam-Webster as a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable. This may somehow mean that some people believe that there is only one perfect path or decision to success.

But this is not the case. After all, all businesses are built differently and each one goes through a different path. And while it’s hard to apply perfectionism in terms of decision-making, business owners can strive for it by attaining the best possible quality for their respective products or services—followed by consistency, which can further establish the brand’s reputation. 

During the first Growth Con PH—held at Ascott BGC—The Business Manual invited six key speakers who have pushed for the best possible product out of their respective brands. During one of the panel talks, each of them shared their knowledge and learnings with attendees and gave advice on how to perfect their respective brand’s niche. Here are some takeaways from them. 

From L to R: Aaron Espina of ImmuniGlobal Incorporation, Alejandro Manalac of Havitas, Rachel Renucci-Tan of Renucci Rice, Jonah Sison-Ramos of Dear Face PH, Jean Yuzon of Suds Sustainable Pods, Pia Ugarte-Garcia-Morera of Viajecito, and RJ Ledesma, the Editor-in-Chief of The Business ManualPhoto by KLIQ, Inc.

Aaron Espina, CEO of ImmuniGlobal Incorporation 

ImmuniGlobal is a company passionate about providing Filipinos with good health. Under their brand, they have produced ready-to-drink sachets—packed with vitamins and minerals—that provide energy and boost immunity, as the brand believes that this can help its users with their daily activities. 

The brand was conceptualized in 2018 and was officially launched in 2021. Their inspiration? “Filipinos seem very tired or they seem very down, but they don’t really have another option but to continue to keep going. So we wanted to address that to create a pick-me-up or an everyday partner for every Filipino,” Espina explains. 

Aside from being a regular supplement, the brand made sure that its consumers will also feel a sense of relief upon drinking the content of their sachets. “What we try to do is be innovative in the sense that we designed it to be liquid so that it can really be easier to use,” he adds. “And it’s something that you can bring around. So it kind of erases that inconvenience of constantly having to mix it.”

As for his key takeaway for entrepreneurs who want to start selling their own products in the market? “Make sure that there’s a component that gives instant gratification for consumers. So not only do they get the benefits over time, but they also end up feeling a sense of relief because of that instant gratification component.”

Asked about how they started, Aaron Espina of ImmuniGlobal Incorporation says, “We actually formulated the company in 2018 with an idea in mind to really create a product with a purpose—to help the everyday Filipinos, [especially] the working class.” Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Jonah Sison-Ramos, CEO of Dear Face

Dear Face is a local brand that built itself on creating skin products that will make its customers feel more confident about themselves. Aside from their wide range of topical beauty products—like whitening and rejuvenating sets—they also offer beauty drinks that come in various flavors. 

Given her background as a registered nurse in the Philippines and her passion for skincare and beauty, she started launching several brands years ago—with her recent one being Dear Face, which was created during the pandemic. “I think after the pandemic, people changed, the market changed, and the consumer behavior changed as well,” she says.

“We always develop products according to what the market needs, and what the market wants. So we always listen to our customers, they all they’re always included in our product development,” adds Sison. 

Asked about their successful approach to influencer marketing, she reveals, “It’s very important to adapt because the top market is through the influencers. They have their own followings, they have their own fans, and you know, creating awareness through the influencers will bring more traction going to your brand.”

“When we give guidelines to influencers, it’s just guidelines, [because] we want them to showcase their experience with our product,” shares Jonah Sison-Ramos of Dear Face PH on how they handle influencer marketing. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Jean Yuzon, Co-Founder of Suds Sustainable Pods 

Suds Sustainable Pods is focused on creating personal household cleaning products that are packaged in a water-soluble film, as they aim to reduce excess plastic waste. Beyond the usual laundry pods that people know, the brand also offers dishwashing, handwashing, and other types of cleaning pods. 

As a brand that was also launched during the pandemic, Yuzon shares that its goal is to apply its advocacy to how frequently Filipinos clean. “Our advocacy is really lessening plastic pollution,” she explains. “We are in the circular economy and you really care about the end-of-life use of a product’s packaging, so we made it a point to offer an alternative to the market for cleaning products.”

Their strategy for growth? “Fortunately for us, they [customers] help spread awareness by posting on their social media, leaving reviews on our store, and even gifting our products to their friends and family. So that actually helped us create traction and momentum.”

But more than that, Yuzon circles back to the very ethos of how she built her business, which has led to its success. To her, “[Business is] more than [just] showcasing a logo or color or your overall visual identity. It’s really about the connection [and] being able to communicate to your customers.”

To maintain sustainability, Jean Yuzon of Suds Sustainable Pods states that her brand focuses on cleaning concentrates to lessen carbon emissions, while their products are being transported. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Rachel Renucci-Tan, CEO of Renucci Rice

Renucci Rice is a white rice brand that’s 100% made in the Philippines. Made in the province of Leyte, this type of rice was hailed as the world’s third-best rice at the World Rice Conference in 2019, where it came in as a last-minute entry. In said competition, this brand stood out against 27 other rice variants in terms of appearance, texture, moisture, aroma, and grain length. 

The CEO herself asked the crowd some questions about rice and what they know about the current rice situation in the country—all while enlightening everyone with the plights of local farmers. And when she was asked about the pain point they were specifically trying to address with the brand, she answered, “My pain doesn’t end. My pain started because we wanted to produce good rice for the Filipino people.”

“We improve the quality of the palay [or rice, in English]. Then we invested in the most in Japanese technology, which we adapted for the Philippine context,” she goes on to add. “That allowed us to produce very good rice and to store the palay for up to a year and [keep it like] it’s freshly harvested.”

And the most important part of all? “Focus on quality through the use of technology for [both] the final product and the raw material,” Renucci ends.

Rachel Renucci-Tan of Renucci Rice proudly tells everyone how they train the farmers in Leyte to plant good palay and how they can increase their yield at the same time. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Alejandro Manalac, Chairman and Co-Founder of Havitas 

Havitas is a real estate company that aims to provide Filipinos with quality services—based on its keen understanding of the industry. The company caters to various projects that range from residential to commercial purposes. Moreover, they study raw lands and turn them into something that will make their client’s vision come true. 

Although the company started as a development consultancy that was heavily based on research, things changed when they saw that people had new preferences about their properties—in line with the new normal.

Aside from the impressive designs they come up with, the company has amassed its clientele by keeping its properties more affordable compared to its competitors. The reason behind this? “Sustainability means we’ll keep making money for them, not only on capital gains. So all we did, it’s not only the uniqueness of the product but responsible pricing [as well].”

“We are serving what the market wants. We just listen to the market and we keep on improving our designs based on the feedback that we’re getting from our buyers,” Manalac adds. 

Alejandro Manalac of Havitas describes the dimensions of the first project they worked on. “110 square meters, 7.3 meters high, full glass, Austrian brand bifold windows, [with a] private lounge pool, two parking slots, and color fixtures all porcelain or granite” which they sold for only 8.5 million PHP. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Pia Ugarte-Garcia-Morera, CEO and Co-Founder of Viajecito

Viajecito is a bag brand that produces splash-proof and tarnish-proof bags. Each made with a refined finish, the bags are guaranteed to be sturdy and easy to clean. What’s more, the brand assures its clients that all their bags will last for a lifetime—given its dedication to good quality output.

And to cater to a diverse market with varied preferences, these bags also come in different shapes, sizes, and colors.

“Anybody can create a bag, but they can’t create the brand, and the people behind it. So what we did, knowingly or unknowingly from the beginning, we let our community into the process of developing our bags. So from the very, very beginning, we have people following us and our process”, says the Viajecito CEO. 

Citing further the importance of their community, she says, “We do like to innovate new things and we always want to keep making new things and be the first. But our community will always be there and will always be supportive. And without them, we’re really nothing.”

“We need to create something that’s our own and just be ahead. Always create. We’re entrepreneurs and creators in the end,” says Pia Ugarte-Garcia-Morera of Viajecito

Given the many key insights and learnings that these entrepreneurs shared, attendees from The Business Manual’s first-ever Growth Con PH learned about conducting further studies about their chosen niche. By keeping these in mind, entrepreneurs can now focus on fine-tuning their products in order to ensure that their customers will get nothing but the best.