Image: Photo by arif khan
- October 14, 2023
How to Build a Brand With No Generational Wealth
Remember: the path to a successful, shining cult brand is never paved exclusively for those with generational wealth.
Generational Wealth refers to valuable resources, be it financial and/or tangible assets, preserved and handed down from one generation to the succeeding one.
Starting a business often seems like an elusive dream for many. There is a common misconception that it requires generational wealth, an extensive network, and exclusive resources, which can be discouraging for aspiring entrepreneurs.
While it is true that some successful brands benefit from generational wealth and family legacies as they have everything served on their plate, it is also important to remember that the path to a cult brand is not exclusively reserved for those with hefty inheritances.
In reality, anyone, regardless of background or monetary advantages, can establish a successful, marketable brand.
“Go all in” is advice that comes from privilege.
⎯ Dileepan Siva, CEO of Upscribe
Why this conversation is important
In the Philippines, 99% of enterprises are MSMEs and 98% of the population does not belong to the upper class. Hence, the need for strategies to build a brand in the absence of generational wealth is more pressing than ever.
Which also resorts as to why building a marketable brand without generational wealth is not just a challenge, but a necessity. On top of that, marketable brands thrive through reach & channels, product development, massive PR, scalability, operational efficiencies, and research. But where do we get funds for these?
In this article, we’ll explore how to build a marketable brand, without relying on generational wealth by focusing on various approaches and real-life business cases.
1. Take a stand.
One way to create a marketable brand is by taking a stand on a meaningful issue. Brands like Frisky Ultd. have successfully promoted sex positivity, sexual health, and self-exploration. Their strong message resonates with audiences who appreciate their commitment to positive change in how the country views Filipinos and their sexuals health.
It’s not enough to take a stand; you must also encourage action. Brands like Colourette actively promote body positivity and work for social change. By involving their audience and encouraging them to join their mission, they create a brand that’s not only marketable but also impactful.
2. Find or create operational efficiencies
For those without generational wealth, owning two or more brands that support each other can be a game-changer. Take, for example, queer barbershop Barbierro Barbershop and Studio Hibang. These two businesses create a symbiotic relationship, sharing insights and resources that enhance each other’s operations and branding efforts. Read about Barbierro’s brand marketing triumphs through inclusion with the help of Studio Hibang here.
3. Ask the audience, always.
When research budgets are limited, you can still gather valuable insights by engaging with your audience. Surveys, phone calls, and social media interactions can help you better understand your customers’ needs and preferences. Colourette Cosmetics has excelled in this aspect, utilizing audience opinions to shape their brand identity.
Read more about consumer sentiments in 2025.
4. Build a network
Building a community of partners, mentors, audiences, and brand friends can be a powerful strategy. Neil Dimapilis and Social Media Marketing Philippines started as a Facebook Group and have now evolved into a full-grown entity that promotes professionalism among freelance Social Media Managers. Such networks can provide valuable support and resources, even in the absence of generational wealth.
"Before you listen to the urgings of privileged (brand) founders, see if it makes more sense to accumulate social & financial capital first."
⎯ Dileepan Siva, CEO of Upscribe
Building a marketable brand without generational wealth is undoubtedly a challenge, but it’s not impossible. It could even lead to a more authentic and resonant brand. By taking a stand, encouraging action, finding operational efficiencies, involving the audience, segmenting products or services, and building a network, entrepreneurs can create brands that not only succeed in the market but also make a meaningful difference in the lives of Filipinos.
As Dileepan Siva, the CEO of Upscribe, wisely suggests: it’s crucial to accumulate social and financial capital before following the advice of privileged brand founders. Building a brand is not just about the product; it’s about the values, actions, and relationships that drive it forward.
With these strategies in hand, you are well on your way to building a successful brand without the need for generational wealth!
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