They called me “Alfred” when I was in Grade School, “Alps,” when I was in High School and College, “Miguel,” when I was in Unilever, and “Migs,” (save for “Migz” when you want to ask a favor) when I was in GlaxoSmithKline. And, hey, I’m also called “IG Boy” in our family. There’s a fun story behind the etymology of my “different names” but the primary objective of this What Do I Call You game revolved around the concept of personal branding.
At last, I already finished reading Mansmith and Fielders’s Marketing Breakthroughs: From Trials To Triumphs. It contains 10 articles (1 being a summary) that present frameworks and real-life examples of how a marketer or an entrepreneur can transform a brand or a business from either a mediocre or troubled one to success. I already blogged about the first article “From Market-Driven to Market-Driving: Cracking The Code of New Market Demand” by reviewing other literature about Market-Driving. Anyway, here are my favorite snippets from each article that took my attention because it gave me a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. Aha! I just gave the definition of an “Aha! Moment.”
I’m currently reading “Marketing Breakthroughs” published by Mansmith & Fielders. It’s a collection of articles by different authors who tackle different topics about sales and marketing. The first article is about “Market Driving”–a young marketing strategy concept (at least a decade old, I believe). However, the literature seemed to be known by traditional marketers already. It’s actually reminiscent of Kim and Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy (2005). I haven’t read the latter yet so I cannot determine a stark contrast between the two marketing strategies. Anyway, I decided to “take notes” and provide initial analysis through a writing a blog entry for, hopefully, every article in the book. I also searched for some related literature in order to self-check my understanding of the concept.
When we end the second quarter of this year, a bunch of college graduates will be joining the country’s workforce. I crossed the border between theory and practice more than two years ago, and I can say that I had some difficulty finding out which behaviors of a student should I leave for me to adapt the behaviors of a professional. Honestly, I still acted like a grade-conscious student. I had my fully furnished pencil and stationery case, my planner which I update every night, a universal notebook, a backpack or a messenger bag (with file case, yes), and several more things you can see in a packed student’s bag.
I first encountered this book when my previous boss in my previous employer handed out a book summary to our team. He told us that our planning session would revolve around the framework presented in it. I’m not a big fan of books but if I felt a spark and if it was strong enough to make a fire, then I would read it. “How to transform from being good to great” was a spark, but not strong enough since I thought that, as a young joiner of a big company, I’m still not good enough. Then came the planning session and the national sales conference. The Customer Development Director went on stage and began his speech by saying: We are number 1. We are on top. Our profit is as big as another multinational company. Climbing to the top is hard. But staying on it is harder. Then, that very moment, I felt I was good enough. There was a spark again. And it caused fire.
When I was still in college, signing documents, aside from the ones I get during enrollment, felt like being an empowered kid signing a blank check. I wrote, received or signed “documents” before–for or from my college organizations and “mock consultancy firms” we formed during group presentations. I get my Fine Tech, pretend it’s a fountain pen, and start wiggling the tip to form powerful strokes. Bam, I just signed it, it becomes the law, citizens of the world! Not until I get a job that I realized how serious signing a document is. Not that I discount the importance of signing something before, but signing something now, in the professional setting that is, takes a lot (or more) of privilege and responsibility, knowledge and practicality, and authority and honesty. Lives are at stake, almost literally, when you do or don’t sign something.
When I was still in school, I was told to be creative all the time. The way I write, draw and present should have a tint of creativity for me to get that most-coveted teacher’s praise. Since “creativity” is a term used all the time, it becomes the most overrated academic term for students; at the same time, it becomes the most underrated technical term because no one has really defined “creativity” for them. At the very least, context clues and trivial dictionary definitions have provided some meaning to the term but its subjectivity and highly-contextual meaning will let you succumb to its default definition: the skill to produce something new. Moreover, and more importantly, how creativity works, how it is fostered and how it should be lead are not included in the urgent academic agenda. Since school dwells more on the theoretical side of reality, being creative on your own creative definition and process of creativity seems to get the job done–creatively. However, when a student enters the practical world–where creativity is also underrated and overrated at the same time–being creative becomes a challenge.
Sometimes, when driving, I reminisce the days when I was still learning how to handle the wheel. The past two years of driving spree were not glorious ones. I had my first car accident (with two damaged panels), learned how to live with a clutch, tamed the stick and pathetically cheered for myself while parking in reverse. I guess I am not a Master Driver yet who can drive, windows down, and let the public know how great, and good looking, the driver is—but I’m about to become one, with the good looking measure, at least. Haha. Driving can be a life skill, if not yet considered as one. As a skill considered as a necessity when I started working, I had no choice but to engulf good driving skills. Fortunately, I have been driving with confidence without worrying about the slippery flyover in Magallanes, swerving in the deadly roads of Commonwealth and taking a U-turn in Katipunan. Moreover, the car that I am driving now is automatic so I can temporarily forget my clutch magic tricks.
You opened the windows and grabbed a stick. It is a time to reflect about life and check if you still have that grit. You stood still and looked above—there goes the first string of smoke. You smirked, smiled and smelled; good thing you did not choke. Feeling rebellious, you inhaled another. For a change of view, you looked down under. Here goes the second string as you feel your right lung sting.
Some gadgets kiss him, some toys hug him–he thinks they’re okay. If they don’t have the proper price tag, he will just walk away. ‘Cause we are living in a material world and Alps Aguado is a Material Boy. /what. Anyway, “Material Boy” documents Alps Aguado’s recently bought investments (“investments”) and rationalizes his purchases. If you think the Material Boy is commendable for his material choices or is already overspending in a Material World, please materialize your thoughts through leaving a comment below.