The Inquirer features the launch of CIA Bootleg Manila

Posted on
May 29, 2020
(From left) Aaron Palileo of Bootleg Innovation Design, CIA senior managing partner Shogo Yoshihara, CIA CEO Sy Chen and Bootleg partners Paolo Abella and Jay Amante

In a world that is truly becoming more connected, where products are becoming more homogenized and brands becoming all too familiar, it is difficult for a product to stand out among the crowd.

This is where the power of branding comes in. Branding enables a product to have a distinct look, a unique proposition and a deeper purpose that eventually translates to a compelling customer experience and cultivates brand loyalty.

Japan is an inspiration when it comes to great brands. The clean aura and elegant lines of Japanese design is seen in products, packaging and architecture, influencing a lifestyle that is neat, organized and sustainable. More importantly, Japanese brands are known for giving its customers engaging and memorable experiences.

One Japanese company has made branding its passion and lifelong mission, making it the most prominent, credible and longest-running in the industry: Creative Intelligence Associates (CIA).

CIA was founded in 1984 by its chief executive officer, Sy Chen, who has over four decades of experience in branding, architecture, space and environment design. Chen is joined by senior managing partner, Shogo Yoshihara, an architect who now leads business development and strategy. Completing CIA is an international team of brand strategists, designers and experts in marketing and innovation.

Some of CIA’s most successful projects and brands are familiar to Filipinos: Uniqlo, Mitsubishi, UCC, ANA, Nike, Gap and Aoyama Flower Market, among others. In the last 35 years, it has revitalized brands, designed new products, stores and environmental spaces, innovated business models and even restructured organizations.

CIA’s works for their clients regularly win awards and accolades in and outside of Japan. Today, CIA expands its footprints first in the Asean region, and soon in other parts of Asia, via its partnership with Bootleg Innovation Design Philippines, a company formed in 2013 by Aaron Palileo, Paolo Abella and Jay Amante, three entrepreneurs with a reputation for their innovative take on consumer insighting, brand building and designing experiences.

Bootleg has done innovation research and brand strategy projects for Ayala Malls, Carmen’s Best, FWD Insurance and Serenitea, aside from running innovation workshops and bootcamps for Ayala Land, Unilab, URC, Servier and Wyeth.

This groundbreaking partnership, which is now known as CIA Bootleg Manila, will make it possible for companies in the Philippines and other Asian countries to experience the best branding consultancy from both the Philippines and Japan.

The emergence of CIA Bootleg Manila could not have come at a better time.

“I think the Philippine market is more sophisticated than ever. People are mindful of great branding, quality products and how they’re presented. The expectations are a lot higher than before,” Abella says.

“We’re sure that the market is hungry for a different form of business consultancy. Traditional approaches heavily dependent on the consultants’ previous experiences and the company’s framework are no
longer enough. A multidisciplinary team able to adapt to every client’s situation is more suited in today’s complex world.”

With the fusion of two companies “ahead of their time,” innovative things are expected to come out of the partnership, Amante says. “Partnering with a Japanese company is already a feat in itself, but doing so with Japan’s most prominent and successful brand consultancy is a momentous event. We are hopeful that Filipino companies can benefit from this and level up their branding to become part of the world’s best.”

Source: Business Inquirer

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