A creative conversation between Des and Tina, Brandopia's
mythical brand developers
DES:Brand Singaporehas recently moved its positioning from 'Uniquely Singapore' to 'Your Singapore'. TINA: Sadly, in destination branding terms, adjectives such as 'Uniquely' and pronouns such as 'Your' have little or no brand value, they're merely perceived as
either 'bragging' or 'sucking up'.
DES:The recent video 'ADjectiveLand'has clearly demonstrated the folly of using superlatives to position a destination brand. TINA:The irony is that in real terms, Singapore is truly a world-class city-state and doesn't need to stoop to using meaningless slogans.
Absolutely. Witness its above-average performance in infant mortality, life expectancy, literary rates, home ownership, economic growth, political stability and ethnic harmony. TINA: It's time for Singapore to reflect its true world-class status and find a big brand idea to lead Asia and the rest of the world to a bright new future.
DES:OK Tina, let's talk about where we should start
looking for this deserving city-state's big brand idea - but with a
area of promise is the cultural contradiction that as the world's only city-state with no countryside, Singapore is one of the greenest places in the world.
DES:With more biodiversity than the entire continental USA, the 'World's Garden' is a big brand idea with a green future.Validated by 2004 Nobel Prize winner Prof. Maathai who said: "When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of hope and peace." TINA:Hold that thought for a moment as we move from the peace of the 'Garden' to the cauldron of the 'Kitchen', a cultural collision of mega proportions worth investigation and that is the West's fear of radical-Islamism from the East.
DES: Singapore provides living proof that different religions and cultures can co-exist. Witness churches close to mosques and Hindu temples next to Chinese temples. TINA: As Asia's most multi-cultural city, Singapore has the credentials to bring East and West closer together through a multiple-culture of hope.
the Marketect says:
place pioneers enter the murky waters of cultural conflicts and clashes
- because that's where the nuggets of big brand ideas are usually
Note: This post was
inspired by Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean at the National University
A creative conversation between Des and Tina, Brandopia's mythical brand developers
DES: The south Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is home to a number of leading motor manufacturers such as Ford and Ashok Leyland. TINA: Not forgetting the famous Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle company.
DES: In order to strengthen its brand position as 'India's Motor Capital', Chennai needs to develop its skills base. TINA:A strategy which the city of Birmingham in middle England failed to execute when it was riding high at the centre of the world's motoring industry.
DES: The leadership of Birmingham and its region - The Midlands - sat back and basked in the glory of its automotive success instead of building on that success. TINA:Today, sadly, the city and its hinterland, continue to pay a high price, losing its famous auto brands to foreign owners - brands such as Jaguar and Land Rover.
DES: Chennai, as it embarks on its big brand idea, needs to invest in the skills of its auto workers and managers, creating networks linked to private and public venture capitalists as well as key universities and colleges located in its home state of Tamilnadu. TINA:And over time, encouraging the spin out of new and innovative enterprises to meet the demands of a 21st century auto industry.
DES: 'Engineered in Chennai' could become the brand badge for visible exports. TINA:But the destination leaders also have to think about tourism - both business and leisure.
DES: I can see how business visitors can be attracted to the city, but what's your suggestion for leisure tourists? TINA:An 'Asia Festival of Speed', modelled on the super-successful Goodwood Festival in southern England, would bring in tourists not only from the home country but also overseas.
DES:And perhaps an automotive tour of 'Auto-Nadu': India's Motown. TINA: Also on the itinerary, an interactive motor museum complete with hall of fame.
DES: But what about the area's other strengths - its enchanting temples, as well as its surf-friendly beach - arguably the world's longest? TINA: This is where the state brand - Tamilnadu - and the resort brand - Marina Beach - should be developed to complement the city brand, creating a powerful portfolio of brands - in a hierarchy - each focused on their individual and unique strengths.
'Brand' the Marketect says: "Focus on your primary strength rather than on your secondary strengths or your weaknesses, by investing some 70% of your resources to strength-building. Either use it or lose it. Build it or blow it".