The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) held a Go Lokal! event in Makati City on Friday to help bring local products closer to Filipinos.
Go Lokal! is a free marketing avenue provided by the DTI and its retail partners for the incubation, marketing and branding of Filipino entrepreneurs’ products.
“It is about new products that are created by our designers, mostly micro and small entrepreneurs’ products that they want to test in the market,” said DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado.
“And the way to execute is with our memorandums on agreement with retail stores such as SM Kultura, Robinsons, Ayala Malls [and]City Malls. We bring their products into the mainstream market and for a couple of months we test it kung mabebebenta [if they will sell]without any investment, without them spending money,” Terrado added.
At present, Go Lokal has 500 products from 200 micro and small firms. The brand is being popularized with several mall and stores like SM Kultura, Robinson’s, Glorietta, Rustan’s and Enchanted Kingdom, which are retail and mainstream stores that have partnered with the agency through memorandums of agreement.
Go Lokal! products include journals, notebooks, trays, wine holders, wall arts, furnitures, shawls, hats, bags, purses, board games, jams, coffee, fruit wines, chocolates and many more.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said most micro, small and medium firms face challenges on how to make their products accessible to mainstream markets because malls charge expensive rentals.
“If you go to the mall site, they will charge you rental, they will ask for six months, 12 months rentals,” he said.
“When you showcase your products in malls you have to pay something, very big. Here, with our partnerships they can bring their products similar to that one, and then you will be able to determine kung alin ang patok [which are very acceptable],” Terrado said.
Go Lokal! also has products made from indigenous materials that underwent extensive product development assistance by product specialists from the Design Center of the Philippines to make them suitable for the retail, export and souvenir markets.
Lopez said that before products are displayed, they will be curated and selected.
“That’s the system. We want to really highlight the best of micro small entrepreneurs’ products. Remember they will compete with the mall products,” he added.
Suppliers who would like to join the Go Lokal! brand must meet the following criteria: can supply unique and quality products with good design and packaging; have little or no access to mainstream or retail markets; are highly innovative and adaptive to evolving market preferences; and must be duly registered with the necessary business permits, licenses and certificates.
DTI is also eyeing an online store that will showcase the Go Lokal! brand and products.