Monday, September 11, 2006

Hub is a key word

I was flipping through the papers over the weekend, when an article about Singapore’s upcoming attempt to rebrand itself caught my eye.

Realising it has one too many branding taglines, the search is now on for an agency that can come up with an overarching branding strategy that can encompass us wanting to be the hub of everything: in the air and sea, for telecommunications, BTMICE, financial, medicine, life sciences, retail, healthcare, technology, education…. The list goes on and on. All you have to do is google “Singapore, hub” and look at the results returned.

In any case, the appointed agency is to come up with an umbrella positioning that will serve as a guide for all Singapore agencies in their future marketing campaigns. Before, each government agency used to came up with their own branding of Singapore, which is being put down as the reason for the country’s current fragmented image.

In Saturday’s article, the writer rightly commented the inherent problem with the current branding tagline, which is “Uniquely Singapore”, is that it lacks an emotional resonance as the definition of unique differs from person to person. Just based on the above factors, I can’t help but think a huge task lies ahead for the branding agency tasked with this job: to come out with a branding campaign that will resonate emotionally, but be general and flexible enough to be adapted into each individual government agency’s campaign. So we’d like to throw this open to you: using the word ‘hub’, what suggestions have you for Singapore’s new umbrella brand?


danesh said...

I think generally we can't get our heads around what a brand is and we get caught up in tag lines like 'garden city', 'uniquely singapore', etc...

a brand strategy must be all-encompassing... what the govt is calling for is an over-arching communications strategy.

the difference may be subtle but it actually is not.

the singapore brand is formed over the years, not only by our campaigns but many other events have defined what the singapore brand is to citizens and foreigners; like Michael Faye, ban on chewing gums, the discussions on human rights, MM Lee Kuan Yew, Raffles Hotel, Tai Pan, etc....

The problem is that, unlike corporations, the uncontrollables are many more.

but i didn't answer your question about the hub thing, did i?

Chee Huat said...

WARNING: prepare your own barf bag

one HEART one MIND one HUB

NB: Royalty-Free! No charge for usage on National Day too.

der kamerad eks said...

imho. hub is a dirty word.

a singaporean brand that does not resonate with singaporeans is doomed to a miserable failure.

how can we sell it to others if we can't sell it to ourselves?

and if you're selling to singaporeans... well, hub is a dirty word.

that's not even going into the fact that that green-coloured mobile service provider (also known as the Opposition Telco) has already built a strong brand around the word "hub".

how to share the same word? opposition some more...

you might have more success with a tongue-in-cheek brand that plays on the (already successful) "fine city" idea.

singapore's a great place to visit and do business. it's a damn fine city!

Alfred LARGANGE said...

How about: "The hub of Excellence" ?

Excellence does a better job at describing Singapore than Uniqueness.

"The hub of Excellence" and "The hub by excellence" are one brain strech from each other.