Friday, March 17, 2017

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness


This was the conclusion of the 75 year Harvard Study of 724 men from their younger years up to when they got older. The study consists of annual interviews, medical exams, and observation of these 724 men, 60 of who were in their 90s at the time of the video.

When the men were younger, most replied that they wanted money, fame and success in work.

But the 3 key lessons that were distilled from the study are these:

1. Social connections are good for us. The more connected with are with family, friends and the community, the happier we are. (My note: Hmm... so thats why social media works!)

2. It is the quality of the close  relationships and not the quantity that really matter. (So, having 2 good, real life-long relationships is better than having 1,500 virtual social media friends!). And the effects transfer to the physical as good relationships are able to buffer the physical challenges as we grow old. The study showed that the quality of the relationships were a better predictor of quality of elderly life than cholesterol at age 50.

3. Relationships just have to be good and not perfect. Conflicts may happen but if the relationship allows one partner to be assured that the other will stick by the relationship thru thick and thin, then that is enough. (Hmm, so that is why happy though imperfect marriages are also the healthiest!)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Choose Your Path

Here is Marketing in Real Life!

Instead of insisting on one path for the grading system for the course, marketing students are allowed the option to choose.

Which Route?


In the end, the proof of the cake is in the pudding.

This assignment requires the learner to list the top 10 market-based things that the learner will apply after the course.

For the top 10 things, pls. the following categories
1. Professional- 5
2. Personal -3
3. Promote the AGSB and the MBA program -2

You may ask whyinclude 2  things you can do for the AGSB and the MBA? The answer! You have invested a lot of your time and money, sweat and tears to have the AGSB MBA program as part of your competitive advantage. By promoting the AGSB MBA brand, you are also indirectly benefitted if the market sees how good that brand really is.

Here is the downloadable template

Friday, February 24, 2017

Why Linked In?

Linked In profiles are a  part of the mandatory requirements for completing the Marketing Management course which I coach at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.

In a way, this is a higher level version of the traditional "Introduce yourself to your classmates and to the professor" activity at the start of every class. A student recently asked why there was no formal introduction by coach on the first day of the trimester- this is why.

More importantly, this exercise is an immediate and practical application of marketing in the real world to the most important brand in the world for you - the brand with your name on it. So why not use effective marketing principles that we learn in class to promote your personal brand and get higher returns for doing so? Why confine your brand to the classroom when you can get a google result at the top of the google page with your name on it, for free?  Why let other people determine what others see on the web about you when you can have relative control over it (as my marketing class will learn later in the course, this is your brand identity- what you say to the world vs. brand image- what the world thinks of you).

Want proof? Do a google search of my family name- "de ungria", what do you see? Try other search engines- yahoo, bing, and what do you see? Then do a  google search for your "family name"  or even of your "whole name", and what do you get? I rest my case, or in this example, I rest my link...

Here's how to create an effective Linked In profile:

Hypermarketing3 MBA Students: This is an example of a correct submission of this personal brand-building assignment.

This is a snapshot of the correct post. 

Note the following key elements: (1) recent, smiling, colored picture (2) customized url or weblink (3) one word descriptor (“vcoach”) and (4) elevator speech. The details of what all these mean are in the explanatory powerpoint below (Creating the Professional You via Linked In)

Once you make your profile,  you have to do 4  things:

(1) post the url to Facebook page with the ff. link…
(To be able to post on this page, you have to apply as a member of the group. This is not automatic. I will approve your membership)

(2) post the url to our class FB page as a comment on the linked in assignment.

(3) While in Linkedin, export the file as a pdf, then email the pdf to Here is a snapshot of how to export your profile as pdf. Simply click on the down arrow beside "Edit" as shown below.

(4) Post a comment by clicking on the following link:

This is the comment portion  at the bottom of this blog. Include the following elements in your comment: your name, your 1 word descriptor and elevator speech.

Here is how it looks:

Pls. follow the submission deadline as there is an automatic 0.5 grade deduction for late emails and posting. (The deduction increases over time!).

A lot of correct and incorrect examples are on the Primus InterPares Online page on Facebook ( 

Here's why joining Linked In is a great idea.

What should be in your linked in profile?

What is linked in?

Here's a sarcastic take on why not to join...

New User? Here's a User's Guide

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Convince like Steve: Secrets to Effective Business Communications

Steve Jobs has been unofficially proclaimed by many business experts as 1 of the best presentors in this tech-savy age.

In the video, here is what I got as tips for my next board presentation...
1. Set the theme
2. Outline
3. Demonstrate enthusiasm
4. Wow your audience
5. Sell an experience
6. Make numbers meaningful; use analogies
7. Paint a picture; Make it visual
8. Give a show
9. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! This is the updated version of "Convince like Steve". In 2011, the value of Steve Jobs' communication effectiveness was valued at $6 billion which pushed Apple as the world's most valuable brand at $153 Billion. Want to know the other 21 secrets to effective communications? Hereunders is the first version of that lecture. Some of it have been carried over to the updated version but there are some guidelines which are still worth following:

Friday, February 17, 2017

3M: Making Marketing Memorable

Let's make marketing memorable!

Unleash the Super-brands with Marketing

Z: The Outcome

Unleash the super-brands inside of us.
Superheroes  and famous artists are really ordinary people doing extraordinary feats when the need or opportunity arises.

Y: The Reasons Why

Many of us may have settled to living ordinary lives doing what we are good at. We may have forgotten that once upon a time, especially when we were children, our imagination was unconstrained by the limits of time and space and reality.

This simple exercise of choosing and visualizing the famous artist (that sounds or looks like us) or the superhero that we can best identify may be a good trigger to allow us to re-discover and develop the real famous and superhero brands inside each one of us.

Through this marketing class, the use of marketing principles and branding may be the triggers or catalysts or secret powers that can make a difference in the quality of life of the students taking this class.

This is very aligned to the Ignatian standard of Primus Inter Pares, being First Among Equals.

X: What We Do

Upload a picture consisting of 3 elements. Element 1: Your recent, solo, professional photo (center), Element 2:  superhero you most identify with (left) and Element 3: the famous artist or singer (preferably local and living) that you look like or sound like. If you can, pls. put text under each picture.  See the sample below.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Create Your Personal Brand's One Pager Logo

The key objectives of this brand exercise are:

1. Make students aware that they are professional/personal brands that can succeed or fail like any other brand and that it is their urgent and personal responsibility to make their personal brands more successful using marketing principles

2. Inspire students to align their professional and personal brands to what they want it to be in the future (vision/mission), and not be limited by what they are doing or where they are right now.

3. Make students determine their unli-rice that 1 thing that differentiates us in a customer- relevant and superior way vs our peers and competitors in the minds of our target customers,

The key messages from the coach to the students are:

1. The most important brand in the world is YOUR brand as your brand has the largest impact on your quality of life (and the lives of the people who are affected by your brand's success or failure).

2. Marketing principles that are applied to common brands like Colgate, Ateneo or President Duterte , Trump or Aquino also apply to your personal brand.

3. The time to start building and adding equity in your personal brand is NOW. Just like what I did to my brand, You can choose to adjust the various elements of the brand in the future.

Submit your assignment in 2 mandatory ways: First, as a comment on the appropriate post on the class FB page  and Second, by emailing me the picture file and the comment at vcoach.serves@gmail. com. 

Pls. follow the format of my sample comment below (Adjective, Noun, Your Name, Verb plus a description of your brand elements and the logo itself).

Samples of Adjective- Noun- Name combinations

Unli Rice Mang Inasal
Vision-Driven Coach Bong
Adventurous Creatives Reyn

The following statement is the text comment that must accompany the picture logo...

Vision-Driven Coach (VCoach)  Bong Serves. The logo is an image of a person in a service motion. The blue and white of the person symbolizes that he is an Atenean, the green ball and ground represents business or professional goals (money) while the red racket and red ground represents personal goals (heart). The stings on the racket which have the atenean, professional and personal linked to one another are what actually hit the ball and not the racket itself. The power of service is made so much stronger when there is an intersection of timing and direction of personal and professional goals aimed at service. Hyper3- High performance through highly personal, hyperlinked service. An additional brand element is the website.

Below is the picture of the 1 Brand One Pager which includes the logo and other brand elements...

Here are sample brand logos from past classes. (Please note that instructions may change from one class to the next so pls. check with your specific class' instructions on the class FB page).

Pls. click on the Facebook logo (right side below) and it should bring you to the sample brand logos... Reminder: Pls. follow the specific class instructions posted on your class FB page...

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Lights, Camera, Action (Directing Marketing Strategy)

After 22 years of "coaching" marketing classes, it is still a pleasant surprise and a real privilege to get invited by a world class company to facilitate a module of its marketing course.

December 1, 2016: Day 2 of the Century Pacific Marketing School with around 35 of the best marketing and sales practitioners in the country... The activities are chronicled on-line at the Class FB page...

How much can you discuss about “Directing Marketing Strategy” in an 8 hour session. Given the time constraints and the very clear objectives from management, the most essential concepts were summarized and integrated in 4 separate lectures.

I promised that I will share the lectures we used on-line... Here they are...

Lecture 1 of 4.  Prequel- Research

Key concept:  Correct strategy comes from understanding the customer through various methods. Actionable customer insights are critical to creating and driving a winning marketing strategy.

Lecture 2 of 4. Concepts and Structure for Directing Marketing Strategy

Marketing concepts and structures provide quick reference points as to default or initial options for marketing strategies.  A brand’s market position (leader, challenger, follower, nicher, loser), product life cycle (intro, growth, maturity, decline) and market life cycle (emergence, growth, maturity, decline) have time-tested, theoretically sound strategies of do's and don'ts that provide first options for your brands. The applicability of these concepts will vary on real-life marketing situations but these are useful guides. Why reinvent the wheel? Adapt the wheel to your brand’s specific needs.
Group exercises and a series of videos (downloaded from youtube) focusing on the 10 year tuna wars (and the collateral reactions in the corned beef segment) were also used to demonstrate and apply the concepts.

Lecture 3 of 4. Unconstrained: Unlimited Strategy with ZYX

Strategies are great. Knowing what the correct “marketing” term for these is even better.
But many a successful marketer, unconstrained by formal theory and structure, have created and sustained dominant brands with just this- focus on the end, knowing why it is important and then learning what to do along the way.
It has some parallels with “Management by Objective”. Streetsmart pundits call it ala-hoy or bara-bara bay. But not quite...
The best term I have found is ZYX... (good luck explaining this to others who did not attend the module...)

Lecture 4 of 4. Marketing Stethoscope for Quick, Valid Diagnostics
As marketers, we need and want information and insights about customers and markets. But the reality is we will have to make decisions based on incomplete and imperfect information. Despite this limitation, we can be masters of the process ie. Like doctors following a proven system of asking information as a way to diagnose and eventually treat all types of customer challenges...

Here is the marketing stethoscope I have developed for a quick but valid diagnosis of almost all types of marketing problems.  I really believe that the marketing stethoscope’s advantages and user-friendliness far outweigh its limitations. Due to time constraints, this was discussed very quickly and only up to the 23rd P but is shared here for easy reference...

54P Marketing Stethoscope and Diagnostic Toolkit: Paradigm Shift from Traditional 4Ps of Marketing from Remigio Joseph DeUngria

At least for that one day of December 1, we were superheroes training to make this world a better place...