#MUNIonThis: It was in the early to mid 2000’s that we began to see the rise of movements, such as Yabang Pinoy and Team Manila, that encourage a greater sense of pride and love for country, in a way that appealed to the youth especially.
In the past few years, we’ve seen this Filipino pride heighten more and more, in a trajectory more dramatic than in the past decade. A lot of this can be attributed to the rise of world class Filipino brands, like Human Nature and Rags2Riches, which have served as examples to many young and aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs to create products that really aim to showcase the best of the Philippines, in a socially and environmentally conscious way.
Embracing Your Homegrown Roots
One brand that has really stepped up to owning its homegrown origins, and is actively supporting local products with global standards, is Bo’s Coffee. Earlier this year, CEO Steve Benitez announced its rebranding, now celebrating all things homegrown, beginning with the beautiful, new Bo’s Coffee in Glorietta 5 (truly the perfect venue for MUNI to brew conversations on Women Weaving Change).
Every detail in the store speaks of Bo’s unmistakably homegrown origins – from the artwork on its walls, lighting fixtures by world famous Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue, seating upholstery by Anthill Fabric Gallery, products from other world-class local brands like Theo & Philo and Bayani Brew, and even the uniforms of the staff.
This new branding is so brilliant, and my only wish is that they came out with this branding years ago. Although timing couldn’t be better, and I’m sure that more Filipino brands will take the world by storm this year and the next.
Having once been a startup himself, Benitez now wants to use Bo’s as a platform for selected Filipino startups or SMEs to grow with them, through distribution at Bo’s 60 branches nationwide.
“All of us have a place in this world, you can be a writer, you can be a blogger, but I think, what is important to me, is that in everything that you do, you contribute to nation-building. My place, I find myself in the world of coffee, and whatever I do in coffee, my vision is to make this in every way, in any way that I can, contribute to nation-building. This is where I find myself, this is where I’ve been put by divine intervention, and this is my way of giving back to the community,” shared Benitez.
So what makes a Filipino brand stand out? Heart. And the Bo’s Coffee brand, led by Steve Benitez and his marketing team, obviously have lots of love and passion for their work and what it stands for.
Conscious Consumption of Filipino Products
Much has been said about supporting the local industry, buying local, and so on and so forth, but not all local products are created equally. You’ll have some apparently Filipino brands whose production is largely, if not purely, done abroad. On the other hand, you’ll have a lot of brands that are purely made in the Philippines, except that its offerings may be quite limiting, and quality is far from world-class. This is something that Bo’s addresses by upping its own standards as a coffee chain, staying true to its homegrown roots, and supporting other promising local brands.
As a consumer who can choose where my money goes, I think it’s not about subscribing to the “Buy Pinoy” mentality just because. We all have this place in the world, this power to create a culture where artisans and entrepreneurs push themselves to innovate and develop more beautiful, functional, impactful, eco-friendly, and long-lasting products, if that is where we choose to put our money.
I believe that purchasing power lies not in how much money you have to spend, but in how you can influence how products / brand experiences are made (both locally and abroad) because of your choices as a consumer.
So, where will you choose to put your peso today?