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Behind Every Brand is A Story


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Behind Every Brand is A Story

  1. 1. WHAT’S YOURS?
  6. 6. BRANDING DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM YOUR COMPETITION AND CREATES MARKET SHARE. Branding helps you to express your company’s distinctive essence. Ultimately, it is a long-term strategy that enables you to maintain your lead, regardless of the economic climate.
  7. 7. BRANDING MEANS MORE THAN A FANCY LOGO. IT MEANS ACCURATELY COMMUNICATING YOUR VALUES AND DELIVERING YOUR BRAND PROMISES. A brand is the embodiment of everything associated with your product, service or company. Yet branding is more than just creating a catchy logo, name or slogan. While they are vital components of branding, they are but one part of it.
  8. 8. BRANDING SHAPES YOUR COMPANY. IT INSTILS CORPORATE CULTURE AND VALUES, WHILE FORMING THE FOUNDATION THAT DRIVES PASSION AND CREATIVITY. When properly defined, developed and used, your brand can change the public perception of your company, its value and status. It also changes the way you communicate with your employees and customers.
  9. 9. Each brand is unique and there is no single magic formula to create a successful brand, THE BRAND STEP STEP STEP 1 2 3 TAKE STOCK FIND YOUR FIT BLUEPRINT YOUR IDEA Branding is all about It’s what the experts call Now that you know where perception. Perception is ‘positioning’, and the your brand is and what reality to your customers. reason why Volvo is known you want it to become, Find out what people really for safety and Lexus for you need a strategy to get think of your brand through luxury. Where is the best there. Blueprint the entire a brand review. Don’t be opportunity for your brand? idea to make sure your surprised if there’s a gap How does your brand fit in brand stays on track. between what you think the market? of your brand and how it is perceived by your customers, distributors, suppliers and even your employees.
  10. 10. but there are 6 steps you can take to equip yourself in building your brand with greater confidence. VALUE CHAIN STEP STEP STEP 4 5 6 ALIGN EVERYONE GET YOUR FANS MEASURE SUCCESS Each and every employee Communicate to your You can only effectively is an ambassador of the customers and ensure manage what you brand. Get everyone, top-of-mind recall for measure. So measure from the CEO to the most your unique brandname, the right things to see junior clerk to believe in trademark, slogan, whether you really have it, live it, breathe it, and service, design or succeeded in making that deliver the brand promise technological ability. Some connection with your key consistently. brands have become customers. legendary. Can people remember your brand?
  11. 11. Many SMEs have made that decision to invest time and effort in their brands, and as a result experienced a boost in customer loyalty, employee commitment and business performance. THESE ARE THEIR STORIES...
  12. 12. STEP 1 THE TRU-MARINE STORY Assessing your A BETTER PERSPECTIVE brand’s strengths and weaknesses. INSIDE AND OUT #1 Having been in business since 1977, Tru-Marine Story True enjoyed a healthy trade first as a general ship repairer and later, a specialist for the repair of TAKE STOCK turbochargers, the main propulsion system that enables ships to travel at optimum speed. Branding is all about The company stood out in its industry as a quality perception. Perception is repair service centre with high standards and reality to your customers. sound technical expertise, garnering a place thrice in the Enterprise 50 Awards. Find out what people really think of your brand through To further cement Tru-Marine’s reputation, group managing director David Loke, who was named a brand review. Don’t be Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007, surprised if there’s a gap decided to embark on branding in order for positive brand experiences to become a major driver of the Tru-Marine brand. between what you think of your brand and how it is The first step they took towards building a strong brand was to do a review to determine just how the company was perceived perceived by your customers, by its customers, suppliers and staff. distributors, suppliers and It turned out that Tru-Marine was already doing an effective even your employees. job in the eyes of its customers. “Our customers view us with
  13. 13. confidence,” said Mr Loke. “To them, time is of the essence. The ships need to unload, reload and get to the next port as quickly as possible. Our customers choose us because they know they can rely on us to do a good repair job on time.” The review revealed that Tru-Marine is highly regarded as a reliable brand with a loyal following. Mr Loke explained, “We use state-of-the-art technology to stay at the top of the game. We enhance our customers’ competitiveness by providing them with innovative repair alternatives that help them save on operational and down-time costs.” Taking a look inwards, the review threw up some startling results. “What we ourselves think and feel about the brand is fundamental. It can build or destroy the brand. While Tru-Marine has a rich brand personality from its years in the business, the brand values may not have been consistently projected by every employee,” said Mr Loke. The company set about overcoming this hurdle through training sessions, interaction, communication and giving incentives. “It takes a long time for culture to become ingrained and it’s something that needs continuous effort,” said Mr Loke. “And it’s something we are committed to work on.” The company is all set to grow, and has made moves to extend its reach in the Middle East and Northern Europe. “I would definitely encourage companies to build their brands for growth and survival,” said Mr Loke. “If customers have a need, you have to be the first name they think about. You have to be at the top of their minds. That is why branding is so important.”
  14. 14. STEP 1 2 ry # e Sto Tru THE ACEZ STORY REVIEW, REARRANGE, RESULTS Sometimes, the review process can prove so enlightening that it As it turns out, the review stage of the branding process showed even changes a company’s business model. Such was the case that Acez’s original mission statement, crafted at least 15 years with Acez, a major supplier for industrial and environmental ago, was no longer in line with what the company was doing. measure and control instruments in Southeast Asia. “We were a one-stop shop selling all kinds of instruments,” said Managing director Ricky Yeo first saw the need for Acez to focus Mr Yeo. “We had so many brands and our product range was so on building its brand, back when most businesses thought that ambiguous that there was no focus. Even our sales staff were not branding was for consumer brands only. sure what we did. But the most important thing we realised was that people didn’t think of us when looking for specific products. “With the competitive landscape for businesses changing, B2B We were just a place they called on if they were hoping to find businesses, which serve business clients, are competing head to something obscure.” head with others that seem to offer similar features, benefits and services. By building our brand reputation in our customers’ With that realisation, the company set about streamlining itself. mind, we can ‘close the deal’ before the selling even starts,” Rather than selling a multitude of products that no one could said Mr Yeo.
  15. 15. remember they were selling, Acez began to focus on building brand equity for their key products. “Now, we are the first name that comes to mind when people are looking for top brand industrial and environmental instruments,” said Mr Yeo. With the information gleaned from the review process, Acez has For one who once thought that branding was for consumer brands also redesigned their delivery process to better fulfil their brand only, Mr Yeo now firmly believes that the rigour of undergoing a promise to provide quality, reliability and good service. The brand branding exercise would help to revitalise any business. He said, review also uncovered new markets which Acez had previously “The branding programme has helped us to strengthen and define overlooked, both locally and overseas, including offshore the direction for our business, and we have expanded our horizons industries, pharmaceutical, water treatment and aerospace in looking for new customers.” industries.
  16. 16. STEP 2 #3 Story True Find your unique positioning in the market THE WOOD DOCTOR STORY FLOORED BY LUXURY WOOD FIND YOUR FIT The business of wood flooring isn’t usually viewed as a glamorous one. Yet Singapore-grown Wood Doctor has the likes Now that you know how your of top designer brands like Armani and Versace beating a path to brand is perceived, you’ll need its doors to build the floors of their glamorous boutiques. Not bad for a company started by a pair of army mates who discovered to find a unique position to their dream atop a freezing mountain in Australia during a occupy in the market. In an training stint. endless sea of products and When Mr Zain and Mr Kevin Toh started the company in 2003, it services, standing out from had two staff and made just $1.5 million in its first year. Today, Wood Doctor is a $15 million-a-year business with some 120 the crowd is the only way employees. to ensure that your target The secret of their success? Daring to stake a claim as the luxury customers pick you. Where brand in a market flooded with commodity wood flooring. is the best opportunity for “We both had a dream for a wood flooring company that was better than the rest,” said Mr Zain. “We wanted to offer your company and what uniqueness and quality. We didn’t want to join the price war.” The duo set to work building a prestige brand targeted at helps you connect most upmarket clients and top local architects. This clear focus on their with your customers? market positioning won Wood Doctor the Singapore Promising
  17. 17. Brand award in 2006 and 2007. By then, business was already on Indeed, knowledge and expertise is what has kept them on top. the up and up, as word of their services spread through the upper Wood Doctor stocks more than 50 premium wood species, the echelons of society. largest collection in Asia, ranging from the rich cream Patagonian Amarelo to the dark lustrous Chinese Emperor wood. It also carries Keen to take their brand further to reach both business and a Haute Couture Collection of luxurious flooring where every piece consumer clients here and overseas, Wood Doctor decided to of wood is handcrafted so no two floors are alike. This uniqueness embark on a branding programme. makes the collection the choice of floorings for multimillion-dollar homes, designer boutiques and upmarket hotels. “The brand exercise helped us identify multiple factors affecting our brand,” explained Mr Zain. “It’s not just about changing “Before Wood Doctor, wood flooring was considered a sunset logos, advertising or printing nice marketing collateral. Branding industry,” mused Mr Zain. “It is a dirty business that few scions of encompasses much more. It is a constant communication with wood business families want to take over.” our staff and customers about the passion we have in the quality of our timber, our craftsmanship, and our service.” “But we saw a gap in the market, brought in new products and new technologies, and created a desire in the market for luxury To further entrench their top position in the market, the company flooring.” set up the Wood Doctor Academy in 2007, a school offering courses to timber flooring craftsmen interested in building their Wood Doctor is today represented in nine countries across Asia, knowledge and expertise on wood. from neighbouring Kuala Lumpur to faraway Dubai. From the top of one mountain as young army buddies, to the top of their game as Wood Doctors, Mr Zain and Mr Toh have certainly come a long way.
  18. 18. STEP 2
  19. 19. THE ESCO MICRO STORY FROM ASIA TO THE WORLD Esco Micro was founded back in the late 1970s “We were still seen as an Asian product. The when Singapore’s high-tech industrial and perception in those days was that no high-quality life sciences sector were just emerging. As a #4 products could come from Asia, especially in our S tory True pioneer of clean air technology in Southeast industry,” recalled Mr Lim Lay Yew, Esco’s chief Asia, Esco designed and constructed some of our executive officer. “And so no one looked at us.” first cleanrooms – manufacturing environments in which airborne pollutants are minimised to In order to fix that misperception, Esco embarked prevent product contamination. on a brand re-positioning. This time, its focus was on communicating Esco’s unique experience These clean manufacturing environments and knowledge as a ‘World Class, World Wide’ are critical to developing the quality and solutions provider. processes necessary for Singapore’s electronics, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, food, “This new global mindset flowed into every biotechnology, nanotechnology and other high aspect of our business. It was consistently technology industries. communicated by our staff to our clients. It helped us focus our management decisions, communications, sales and Today, Esco is one of the world’s largest players in clean air marketing channels, everything,” said Mr Lim. “We’ve seen a and containment equipment technology. The company’s leading greater sense of pride in our staff as well as an increase in sales product range for the laboratory and life sciences markets and productivity.” continues to be unmatched in scope and breadth. More than 30,000 of its laminar flow, biological safety and clean air cabinets Esco is now synonymous with innovation, forward thinking are in use in more than 100 countries. design and quality – testament to their 30 years of experience, and an immensely successful branding campaign. Yet its global success didn’t come easily. With a name and clientele firmly established in Southeast Asia, Esco had yet to prove its world-class technical abilities on a global scale.
  20. 20. STEP 3 True Story #5 Delivering on the brand promises — the substance THE AALST CHOCOLATE STORY behind the name A STRATEGY FOR SWEET SUCCESS BLUEPRINT YOUR IDEA Young start-up Aalst Chocolate had successfully cornered a large slice of the quality chocolates market within a short Now that you’ve identified your three years, able to name top food factories among its clients. desired position in the market, Their main strategy was to compete on price and quality in those initial years. it’s time to draw up your gameplan. This is the vital step Planning the next big step for Aalst, founder and chief executive officer Mr Richard Lee envisioned bringing his delicious chocolate that guides how, what, where, products into the lucrative food service and retail markets, and when and to whom you plan expanding the brand’s global presence. to communicate and deliver “To make this big leap, we needed to enhance our image and your brand messages. It will work on getting people to recognise our brand,” said Mr Lee. “We needed to aim for top-of-mind-recall.” define your brand, support your Their strategy was simple: Create unique products and introduce positioning, and drive the clear product lines with swish packaging that would appeal to way your brand is managed their target markets. and perceived. Two new product lines emerged, each with strong and distinct identities. Aalst Patissier, offering a wide range of gourmet
  21. 21. chocolate products, suited the exacting needs of professional chocolatiers and pastry chefs. Aalst Chocolate Line, which included party paraphernalia like chocolate fountains, was for people like you and me to make tasty treats for family and friends. Not surprisingly, the Aalst Chocolate Line range found huge success in the retail market through the chocolate fountains and the dark, milk and white chocolate couvertures which went into them. Aalst quickly became a much-mentioned brand name on the lips of chocolate lovers here and retail sales reached $1 million in 2007. “It was a unique product combination that Singaporeans fell in love with after enjoying them at hotel buffets,” said Mr Lee. Much of Aalst’s focus, however, still remains on the export market, which accounts for about 90% of its sales revenue. Its brand strategy was crafted at creating the greatest impact in this area. With clear identities for separate brand lines, Aalst was able to distribute their products much more effectively overseas. “We can now appoint multiple agents within the same market, while still being able to give exclusive rights to the different sub-brands,” Mr Lee explained. As a result, revenue has expanded six-fold since the company’s first year, and Aalst is exploring plans to establish a direct presence outside Singapore at the right opportunity, in order to get closer to its customers. Indeed, success is sweet, and the possibilities remain endless. Said Mr Lee, “We know that branding is an ongoing process. But now that we have our strategy right, we are confident that we are heading in the right direction.”
  22. 22. STEP 3 True Story #6 THE GREEN ART STORY DIVIDE & CONQUER If you appreciated the well-designed signage pointing the the opportunity to create three unique brand way to a restaurant or pub at one of Singapore’s hotspots, names – D’Adze, which provides media admired the unusual serving counter when you bought snacks at consultancy in advertising design; D’Spaze, which specialises the food court, or took pleasure in the soothing atmosphere of a in the environmental branding of events, exhibitions and retail shopping centre while out doing some retail therapy, you might space; and D’Printz, which produces the large glossy banners just have come across some of the work that Green Art is proud and displays seen in shop windows and transforms vehicles into to put its name to. mobile advertisements. The company has built a shining track record and reputation as With the creation of these new subsidiaries, the company can a specialist in designing and developing the advertising, visual now channel their innovative juices into projects that truly play communication and environmental branding needs of its clients. up their competencies and allow them to shine. Mr Lee says that though they are so new in their brand journey, they have already With its own business founded on media strategy and branding, seen an improvement in sales and public awareness. Green Art keenly understood the importance of having a strong brand strategy. Hence, it was only a matter of time before “On top of being more focused about the work we take on, business development manager Mr Lee Chong Han took the we have discovered more marketing channels to enhance the crucial step of embarking on a branding exercise to revitalise the recognition of our brands. Also, there has been better customer business founded by his father, Mr Lee Yock Peng, close to 30 retention. We now enjoy better growth by working directly with years ago. our clients, instead of being a sub-contractor,” he added. Key to Green Art’s branding strategy was separating the company Having won reputable multi-nationals like global human resource into three specialised divisions, so that each could focus on agency Manpower, Giordano and SingTel as their clients, Green building a strong brand name in its target market. Green Art took Art’s new brand strategy has certainly helped them capture new markets and build the foundation for their next phase of growth.
  23. 23. STEP 4 When every part of an organisation holds and lives up to the brand’s core values ALIGN EVERYONE True Story #7 A successful brand is everything you do as an organisation and every action taken internally and externally that shapes the perception of the brand. In fact, each and every person working in the company is an ambassador of the brand. When every ambassador holds THE bYSI STORY to the brand’s core values and consistently delivers on its THE PEOPLE BEHIND brand promise to customers, THE FASHION they create a competitive Offering affordable luxury to trendy women is brisk business. With new merchandise expected twice weekly at bYSI’s 12 differentiation that is truly stores all over Singapore, operations are streamlined and staff impossible to copy and a long- are self-driven to work together seamlessly and intelligently. Retail assistants mix and match eye-catching pieces on lasting brand that is worth the displays daily to give customers fresh ideas on creating every valuable investment of different looks. time and money. This did not come about overnight.
  24. 24. bYSI director Mr Tan Yew Kiat founded the brand a decade ago after he was inspired by the fashion industry in Italy and how it offered myriad fashion options so that its women could always dress in style. He envisioned bYSI as a fashion label that would provide every woman with access to the latest luxury fashionwear and accessories for every day and every occasion. The business grew quickly, and as Mr Tan sought to expand his empire, he came across the concept of branding. That was the turning point. “In the past, we were just selling fashion. We didn’t realise how crucial branding was until a brand consultant told us that bYSI had good growth potential. Then we took a second look and started believing that we could really grow into a global brand.” As part of the brand journey, intensive sessions were held to align all staff with the brand’s core values and attributes. In the process, the bYSI staff forged a strong bond through the shared experience of creating a brand together. “Everyone was encouraged to contribute their ideas and views about the brand’s attributes. Because when the ideas come from our people rather than the consultants, those are their ideas that are being adopted and they are that much more passionate about it,” said Mr Tan. Today, bYSI’s vision is for every woman around the globe to have access to a chic, functional and fashionable wardrobe. And of course, its staff fully understand bYSI’s brand promise, and are able to deliver it impeccably to customers amidst a fast-paced environment, because they played a part in creating it. “One lesson we learned from our branding experience is that our people are very important,” said Mr Tan. “We had a good brand, and our people brought it to life. If your staff don’t embody your brand promise, it will never become memorable to people outside the company.” Inside and out, like a reversible jacket, bYSI’s branding has indeed been a success.
  25. 25. STEP 5 A strong identity unique enough THE MR BEAN STORY for people to remember and EMBODYING LIFE’S choose. SIMPLE PLEASURE For the longest time, think ‘soya bean milk’ and you’ll think of buying it at a hawker stall. But ask any Singaporean to name GET YOUR FANS their favourite soya milk drink today, and they’ll quite likely say ‘Mr Bean’s Super Soya Milk’ or one of its many Your brand is your most True Story #8 variations. powerful differentiator. This now-iconic Singaporean brand had its humble It is the sum total of your beginnings in 1995 as a hawker stall too. But its products, services, brandname, founders Mr Kang Puay Seng and Mr Loh Jwee Poh had bigger dreams for their business. To bring trademark, slogan, heritage, their delicious food and drinks to more people, they design and technological adopted a fast food concept for Mr Bean, opening stores throughout the island to serve not just fresh abilities. Whether you are a soya milk, but also tasty soya bean-based snacks like consumer or industrial brand, pancakes, biscuits and even ice cream – perfect for people looking for fast and healthy treats to enjoy on you need a strong identity that the go. is distinct and unique enough The concept proved so successful that other for people to remember, and to businesses began following suit, flooding the market with similar products. So to maintain their lead and choose, time and again. distinguish themselves further, the founders decided it was time to embark on a branding exercise.
  26. 26. A review of their brand showed that Mr Bean needed to build a stronger brand personality so that customers could identify it immediately among a host of similar products. One of the first things to go was the brand’s original logo, which was perceived as too old-fashioned. “We wanted a more vibrant and refreshing image. Our smiling bean logo fits that image perfectly,” said Mr Kang. Mr Bean also improved its packaging and store displays. With the smiling bean in all its designs – from the cutesy illustrations of the bean playing on a swing, to a drawing of colourful flowers in the grass – everything to do with Mr Bean thoughtfully evokes a sense of happiness. These designs tug at the heartstrings of Mr Bean’s customers so well that there is even an unofficial fan club, who make collectors’ items out of everything, from the quirky cookie boxes to the limited edition discount coupons. Each Mr Bean stall also boasts its own unique touches as Mr Bean staff are encouraged to decorate their stalls. So the Eunos outlet boasts a seven-metre long mural of Mr Bean enjoying a ride on the MRT train! Certainly, appearances alone are not enough to sustain a brand’s success. Mr Bean’s promise of ‘bringing you life’s simple pleasures’ is embodied in its friendly service and rich variety of products that are freshly made at each outlet daily to ensure ultimate freshness. “Every transaction has to be of the best quality and service,” explained Mr Kang. “The customers get a great experience and our staff feel good that they’ve made and served something of quality. That’s enjoying life’s simple pleasures.” Mr Bean has certainly connected with its customers. As a measure of success, Mr Bean scored 100% brand recognition among Singaporeans in a survey conducted by Nanyang Polytechnic earlier this year. Put simply, everyone immediately recognised the Mr Bean brand. Their proudest moment came when Mr Bean was asked to be the drinks sponsor for the 2008 National Day Parade - which they were glad to do as a truly home-grown Singapore brand.
  27. 27. STEP 6 “Because of our branding programme, our staff handle customers better. As a result, the number of complaints has decreased. Our principals are also more impressed with us. They’ve seen our growth and they’re pushing our targets too!” Mr Ricky Yeo, managing director “There are no specifics to measure Acez Instruments Pte Ltd brand success, it encompasses all areas. We have definitely seen an increase in sales and profits. I would encourage brand building – it promotes growth, business and Monitor progress survival.” regularly to move David Loke, forward group managing director Tru-Marine Pte Ltd MEASURE SUCCESS Looking forward requires looking back. Monitor how your brand is doing and how well “We’ve seen remarkable changes after our branding you are connecting with your efforts. Our staff are better customer. Make it a regular part informed and more aligned with our goals. Wood Doctor of your business process. Only has also become a global brand.” then can you know what you’ve achieved, which will spur Mr Zain, managing director Wood Doctor (Far East) Pte Ltd you on to attain the next level of success.
  28. 28. “Branding has helped us create an international product. Sales and productivity have increased and there is a new sense of pride among our staff.” Mr Lim Lay Yew, chief executive officer “We are so new in our brand Esco Micro Pte Ltd journey, yet we’ve already seen improvement in sales and public awareness, and we’ve captured some new markets as well.” “We’ve seen an increase in sales Mr Lee Chong Han after our branding exercise, and business development manager market recognition has also Green Art Design & Products (S) Pte Ltd improved. Because of good branding, our staff are more committed – they have a better sense of belonging and pride.” Mr Kang Puay Seng, managing director Super Bean International Pte Ltd “In all, you could say that in one year, we sold 680,000 Singaporeans 100g of Aalst Chocolate each.” Mr Richard Lee founder and chief executive officer, Aalst Chocolate Pte Ltd “Besides better customer satisfaction, which shows in our increased sales figures, the proof of our brand success can seen in our gaining greater popularity with the banks and even other retailers, who have asked for exclusive tie-ups with us. We enjoyed $15 million in group sales in 2007, up from $9.7 million in 2006.” Mr Tan Yew Kiat, director and founder bYSI International Pte Ltd
  30. 30. BRANDPACT was launched by SPRING Singapore and IE Singapore in April 2005 to promote branding as a capability for companies. It creates platforms for companies to equip themselves with branding knowledge. These include brand exploratory workshops, expert help from brand specialists and online resources. For more information, visit our website