Agora Award winner Blen Fernando on building your brand name with integrity
October 2, 2015
Today’s marketing landscape has changed a lot from how it was decades ago. Professionals are now provided with technology that makes work easier for them and open new opportunities that were once not there. Still, this does not necessarily make things easier for today’s professionals. In fact, they still need to go the extra mile if they wish to succeed in their chosen field.
This is according to past Agora Award winner Blen Fernando who received the prestigious award for Marketing Management in 2009. The marketing powerhouse shares how she and her colleagues had to learn the ins and outs of the industry the hard way to be where she is now.
She muses, “It’s very different now because a lot of facilities are available, and opportunities are available to marketers. You don’t have to research like we did back then. Now, there’s a lot of technology to help you.”
Fernando further elaborates, “There are a also a lot of seminars, workshops, conferences and training programs that you can attend, which are the best practices. During my time, when you went to those conferences, they were all lecture-types. Now, there are a lot of practitioners who share their knowledge and experiences with the younger generation. They are very lucky.”
Fernando is one of the 22 past Agora Award winners who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise in marketing at the forthcoming Agora Circle Conference of the Philippine Marketing Association, which will be held at the Marriott Grand Ballroom on October 21, 2015.
The conference, a pre-event for the annual Agora Awards, will see past Agora winners discussing with conference participants their personal stories and what inspired them in creating their winning marketing strategies.
This year’s Agora Circle Conference follows the theme “Fifty Shades of Marketing Darker” and will be open to members of the academe, industry professionals, and even students who are interested to know more about the local marketing industry.
Fernando is presently Vice President for Marketing of Alaska Milk Corporation, where she has been working for 22 years. It was during her term that the corporation won the Agora Award for Marketing Company of the Year in 2013. Prior her work in Alaska, she worked as a marketing practitioner in food and non-food categories for multinational and local companies.
Fernando admitted that she declined offers to be nominated for the Agora Awards on two different occasions before consenting in 2008. After her nomination was filed with the Philippine Marketing Association, the prestigious body which hands out the awards to marketing professionals in the country, she completely forgot about the whole thing.
She could still remember how she wrote her own documentation for the awards. “It was just a simple what-did-you-do-in-your-past-year-kind of documentation. I started from the beginning of my career. They told me afterwards that it was the first time they received a document that was personally written by the nominee. It was really personalized. “
So what piece of advice does a professional like Fernando want to give those who are still starting their marketing journey?
For her, it’s all about integrity. While she agrees that marketing professionals now have an easier time with their work, she stresses the importance of building their own brand as a marketer with integrity.
“Even if you are so skilled and so good you have all the packaging for leadership, it is still your integrity of being a good marketing person and the integrity of being an individual that counts. Your name is your brand name. I still think that’s the best thing you can build together with your career.”