Amor. Spanish (noun) love.
Her name truly resonates her passion in what she does. Globally-award
winning brand architect Amor Maclang is and has always been
championing marketing as a force for good. Her projects demonstrate that
you can hit your business goals while still doing good for the country. The
Philippine Retailing talked with Amor to learn about what she does as a
leading communications, marketing, and public relations forerunner, and
more about digital transformation and how companies should align their
advocacies with their brands.
Philippine Retailing: Why did you decide to go
into marketing and brand crisis management?
As a nationalist, the most important brand for me is
brand Philippines. Our reputation is in many ways
the reputation of our national brand. I want the
world to see us, from the perspective of investment,
tourism, and opportunity, as a resilient nationalistic
company who deals with issues effectively. This was
what first pushed me to do marketing and brand
As a brand architect what do you exactly do?
The first step to being an effective brand architect is
to understand that using brand architectural jargon
actually gets in the way of creating an effective
brand. Brands are collaborations between the
company, its employees, its customers, and the
public. No one makes a brand by themselves. A
brand is an agreement. To help bring clarity to
management about what they’re trying to secure in
terms of brand reputation is an important step in
ensuring a brand can actually generate equity.
There are many ceremonial brands out there that are
simply names and logos, and mission-vision value
statements that nobody actually cares about. They
are there to simply provide the veneer of
professionalism. But that’s not what an
equity-generating brand is. Equity-generating
brands create value, create real returns of
investment, and make a huge difference in terms of
the company’s ability to do business.
While we know that the digital transformation
has brought a lot of benefits in marketing? What
is/are the biggest challenge/s for businesses
today in terms of marketing in the digital world?
The biggest challenge in marketing in digital today
is cut through. Most data now is received through
the small screen of the smartphone. There are so
many data and entertainment options available. So
many things to read, so many things to watch. So,
creating access and penetration required is more
challenging today than it has ever been before. This
is why the future of marketing is not going to be
what you would call a "simple technological play."
But it is going towards technology, combined with
networks and partnerships that create integrated
communities that you can communicate, which will
become the real power in terms of creating
perceptions, circulating promotions, and building
We’ve noticed that a lot of brands today are
incorporating advocacy with how they market
themselves to the public. Is it necessary, and what
tip/s would you give brands in terms of choosing
Yes, it’s more critical now than ever before. What
you would choose is what you call a
‘business-aligned advocacy.’ This is an advocacy
that’s directly connected to your brand’s purpose. If
you’re a sardine company but you plant trees, it’s
misaligned with your brand and, therefore, wouldn’t
be remembered by the public very easily. On the
other hand, if you are a sardine company and you’re
practicing ocean clean-up and sustainable aqua
culture, then that’s something you can include in the
can. It should be part of your brand, not just simply
something you do.
In your website, you mentioned about thinking
transformatively as one of your thrusts? How are
you able to do this, can you share some of your
past works as examples?
To think transformatively is to come up with insights
that reimagine the world. Everyone thinks that
transformative creativity comes from trying to come
up with a new way of doing things. But you can’t
come up with a new way of doing things if you don’t
come up with a new way of understanding things
first. This is where we the imagination takes place.
How do you see brand marketing transform or
evolve through the years? What are the
opportunities for brands in relation to these
Brand, in some ways, was hijacked by people who
design logos and taglines. And somehow people
thought that was a brand. But that’s like saying the
wine bottle is the wine. It’s not. Brand is reputation,
and brand is reputation into revenue. The
Philippines is trying to catch on to the idea that your
brand needs to have a monetary number attached to
it. Otherwise, why bother having a brand? It’s no
longer a discussion about what your logo looks like,
or what your tagline is. It’s about how much your
brand is actually worth. If you can’t have that
conversation, then you need to get off the stage.
Everyone thinks that
comes from trying to come up
with a new way of doing
things. But you can’t come
up with a new way of doing
things if you don’t come up
with a new way of
understanding things first.
This is where we the
imagination takes place.