Climbing taught me the value of team building which extended well to the corporate world. No simulated soft skill workshop though has come close to the real life situation of group trekking, setting up camp site as a group, cooking in a production line and shared fun and laughter in the night socials. When work calls for shared vision, I just recall these moments.
As a marketing practitioneer, my insight on consumer behavior has deepened making me better understand the driver behind drinking Ginebra San Miguel mixing it with Eight O Clock and sipping Wilkins Distilled Drinking Water in the trail and in the socials. I understood beyond research numbers and discussions why males drink liquor, juices and water. Gin induces openness which is enhanced when in the outdoors and E0C as chaser makes it more delicious. Wilkins prevents dehydration.
In one way or another, I have contributed to growing the business of these brands because of 1st hand valuable experiences. But a concrete testament of the direct correlation of climbing with work is my creation of the brand name of the 2 other important bottled brands in the Philippines: Summit Natural Drinking Water and Absolute Distilled Drinking Water.
My employer in the 90's was investing entry in the bottled water industry with me tasked to handle the initial phase of product development. Two of the brand names I personally conceived and later on designed with a logo and packaging by Competitive Edge (Teddy T.) were selected, registered and launched. Summit refers of course to the peak. Water at the source then was guaranteed untouched by human hands and thus safe for drinking. Climbing was still very exclusive and not popular. Absolute is what you want your water to be when trekking, safe from contaminants and absolutely pure H20.
Decades later, I found myself in the same line building business for other brands: Wilkins and Viva applying the very same insights I learned from climbing. Today, these brands dominate the market.
Today, I no longer handle just water, but have expanded my application to a wider portfolio of international and well-known brand of beverages.
Can business and pleasure mix? Did the series of events place me to where I am now? Applying serendipity, perhaps so.
Composed on board Philippines Airlines, posted at the Davao International Airport.
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