Books
Koh Buck Song

Brand Singapore. How nation branding built Asia’s leading global city

    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    In the global nation branding game, there is no such thing as “job done”, only an unending effort of branding, brand management and rebranding. In Singapore’s case, the city state – politically conditioned over the years to keep running an endless marathon of self-improvement – has already achieved a remarkable amount in what has often been called its ability to “punch above its weight”.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    What governments actually do, instead of what they say, is the key to a successful nation branding effort.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    The underlying nation branding wisdom here is that, for global brand perceptions about a country image to really change, the reality has to change first, such as South Africa abolishing apartheid. If it had not done so, no amount of advertising would have made the soccer World Cup Finals in 2010 the success that it was in enhancing South Africa’s nation branding, and then the “waka waka” in the theme song by the singer Shakira would have remained just a song and dance and no more.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    The extent to which Singaporeans are willing to buy into the new “Spirit of Singapore” nation rebranding will also go some way to sustain or subvert the latest country branding efforts. The trouble with the four new key brand attributes proposed – transforming, daring-to-dream, nurturing and collaborating – is that they seem to be couched in, and culled from, the lingo and worldview of civil servants whose job is to market Singapore to high-priority, high-value foreign audiences, rather than aspects that gel and connect with the experience of the man in the street.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    To combat these negative perceptions, the government – through the inter-ministry National Marketing Action Committee – is mulling over implementing six new initiatives:
    Creating narratives on the lifestyle, culture and entertainment in Singapore;
    Getting Singaporeans to be ambassadors to market the country;
    Having a panel advise the government on how to brand Singapore better;
    Identifying an X-factor;
    Cultivating the foreign media; and
    Raising Singapore’s voice on global issues.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    The aim of the nation branding game now, therefore, is to counter what recent public surveys have shown since the current rebranding effort first went to the drawing board in 2006. Locals and foreigners believe that Singapore has four major minuses: The place (1) has no “X-factor”, (2) is one-dimensional with a focus on the economy, (3) does not contribute to global issues, and (4) is not well-known to an international audience.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    If Singapore manages to reap the economic benefits of having two casinos while keeping at bay enough of the social ills that inevitably accompany gaming, it might succeed in creating a kind of new country sub-brand – a country that is able to absorb high-stakes gaming into its system and yet maintain a branding for wholesomeness. The metaphor for this kind of filtering process is a scientific one, which is perhaps not surprising coming from Singapore’s minister for community development, youth and sports, Vivian Balakrishnan, a medical doctor by training: “That’s part of the secret to our success: maintaining this semi-permeable membrane. Make it permeable to success, impermeable to the unsavoury elements.”
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    negative branding perceptions can stick as “brand keloids”. So entrenched is the term “nanny state” that attempts at variations of the nickname do not have much success, even if the writer is a noted one, such as Seth Mydans of The New York Times: “Sometimes called a nanny state for its smothering top-down control, Singapore might also be called a macho state, in which government warriors of social engineering and economic development command the citizenry.”3 The “macho” aspects of social control – the social engineering and the behind-the-scenes steering – evoke less obvious characteristics of a nanny and much more of another type, like an architect or engineer. But in the fight for negative branding dominance, the nanny has beaten the macho male, hands down.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    SOME OF WHAT Singapore has invested in nation branding over the last few decades has actually been spent not on brand consolidation so much as on brand recovery. In other words, any additional input to the store or score of branding is mainly helping to close a deficit rather than to gain ground. This is mostly the “nanny’s” fault.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    Nation branding through foreign aid and philanthropy is an example of how much a country can gain by becoming more active in its fulfilment of its corporate social responsibility, or just “social responsibility”, as a nation.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    Perhaps more importantly, in nation branding terms, the focus has always been more foreign than local. Brand propositions have typically marketed Singapore much more as a five-star location or host for foreign companies, rather than as an attractive exporter through its independent homegrown enterprises.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    One visitor, Craig Arnott, who travelled from his home in Gloucester, England to attend the 2010 race, told the media: “When I saw the backdrop on television last year, I told my kids that we’ve got to see it in person. Now that we’re here, it really looks like one giant postcard.”31 To have this kind of magnetic effect, and be on people’s “bucket list” of must-visit places, is a prime example of nation branding’s power.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    This was also the case when Singapore hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders Meeting in November 2009, which saw nation branding efforts extend far beyond trade, such as in a video titled “Singapore: Where the world meets”.26 For these events, Singapore was practising one of the most elemental principles of branding: Doing well is great, but to do really well, it is necessary to let the right people know that you’re doing really well.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    Branding is nothing if not a long-haul effort, especially for small countries.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    With Singapore’s increasing cosmopolitanism in recent years, the kaleidoscope has turned to reveal even more sparkling dimensions than ever before. Likening Singapore to a kaleidoscope would at least give its brand identity some specific substance. It is this substance that has proved to be elusive over the years, replaced instead with abstract notions such as “surprising”, “new” and “unique”.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    To reach the widest audience internationally, the tourist platform remains the most powerful.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    the key success factor that any branding campaign needs: a good story.
    Margarita Minasyanhas quoted5 years ago
    As a country, you can be paradise on Earth, but it’s no good at all if no one knows.
fb2epub
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)