Marketing shift, incentives, people carry firm to successBy Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
They started as a dealer of multiple brands of tires until in 2000 when they decided to shift to being an exclusive distributor of premium Taiwanese brand of tires known as Maxxis.
North Trend Marketing Corp. started as Cebu Trend Marketing in the early 90s selling tires of different brands in Cebu. Until in 2000, when company officials decided to focus on selling Maxxis.
Though not known in the country, in Taiwan it was the leading tire brand.
North Trend officials – Ronald L. Ang, chief operations officer, his brother Jeffrey L. Ang, chief executive officer, and sister Emely Jane Quilacio decided to invest on Maxxis and became its exclusive distributor in the country.
After nearly a decade, North Trend made headway in making the brand known in the market.
They focused on their target market and aggressively promoted the product by giving incentives to their dealers.
Since they couldn’t compete in the premium brand market – the company instead targeted the “replacement brand” market.
The premium brand market involves those tires that are installed in brand new cars.
The replacement tire market involves those clients who buy brand new replacement tires for their premium brand tires.
Ronald Ang said that it was a challenge promoting Maxxis because of the premium brands but with their strategy, they were able to survive, compete and grow.
They also identified qualified dealers to carry their brand.
“For one the company has to have the financial capacity because we are talking about premium brand of tires,” said Ang.
They then encouraged these dealers to really make sales.
“We give incentives. We help them with promotions, customer retention programs, we also do sponsorships to promote the brand as well as our dealers and we do product training and seminars as well,” said Ang.
The incentives include travel abroad for their top dealers.
“We’ve already gone to many countries with our dealers like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United States (of America) and this year we will be going to Spain. They really like this program and it encourages them more to really perform and push our products,” said Ang.
To date Ang said that they have already over a thousand distribution networks which they support for various programs that would help promote their brand more all over the country.
They also have setup depot centers in Manila, Cebu and Davao to support their distribution network and make stocks easily available in the areas.
This was important because they carried the full product range of Maxxis from bicycle tires to industrial tires.
He said that they practically had everything for everyone.
“We have tires for SUVs, sports cars, truck tires, for elf, for buses and industrial tires used in mining operations,” said Ang.
In terms of sales Ang said that all their product segment are performing well and that they are now also selling two other brands still under Maxxis – CST and Presa.
Ang said he’s confident of the market for these tires in the country because cars were becoming more accessible to many people.
“Based on statistics we got from LTO (Land Transportation Office) there is an increase in number of cars registered every year growing at an average of 10 percent annually,” said Ang.
Ang said they planned to make their tire brand the most preferred brand of automobile owners.
“According to a survey released as of 2001, Maxxis is ranked number 9 among all tire brand in the world and we hope to bank on that to continue and strengthen our brand here in the country,” said Ang.
But aside from the marketing and focusing on their target market, Ang said the true foundation of their organization were the people.
“I think without our people there is no Maxxis and no North Trends Marketing. They are the true foundation for the success of our company,” said Ang.
Because of this, Ang said they had invested a lot in their people through their incentive programs and giving them improved benefits.
“We are proud to say that we always see to it that our people are happy with us. Recently we have included an HMO (health maintenance organization) program for our people and we started with our car assistance program which we hope to extend to many of our people,” said Ang.
All these resulted in North Trend Marketing Corp. becoming the Distributor of the Year for Southeast Asia in 2011.
While the Maxxis exclusive distributorship in the country is their core business, Ang said they were not closing their door for opportunities to expand and diversify their business.
“We can expand and diversify our products because we are into importation but we want that movement to be something that will compliment the business that we are doing now,” said Ang.
In 2010, North Trend added Trend Performance, a car service center in Iloilo, to their fold.
“That is an example of the kind of expansions that we can do in the future. Or we can also start distributing accessories,” said Ang.
Another service center is set to be setup in Bacolod next year.
North Trend Marketing Corp. headquarters in Cebu is located in Juan Luna Avenue, Mabolo, Cebu City.