This year, just two weeks back, I had the privilege of being a part of the 99% SME movement to celebrate and cultivate SMEs in Singapore. The event was well organised by SingTel and DBS, attended by more than 500 SMEs. During the event, I had the honour to share my opinions on from a brand’s perspective on what smes should do during this challenging economic environment, extracting a segment of the impending launch of my second authored book, titled as brand bull run-epounding on why some brands grow faster than others.
We had a successful pre-launch of our book, Brand Bull Run, in October last year, in which we raised 500k for Singapore badminton association through proceeds from the pre sales and donation raised from the event. We are excited to welcome the official launch of the book in the next quarter of 2016. The book is spiced with over 50 stories of SMEs drawing insights from our partnership in their brand growth journeys.
At the 99% Sme seminar, I shared an extract from the book, on the three key strategic tasks embraced by brands that consistently out perform their competitors in any economics situation.
The three strategic task are: know your advantage, strengthen that advantage through innovation and then brand around that advantage. By knowing your advantage, you would be able to identify the ways to compete, and strengthen it through innovation to catalyse that advantage. To ultimately win the race, brand it cleverly to allow you to bring out that advantage that will woo your customers consistently.
Over the last two to three years, it was reported that almost 1000 contracting firms in the building industry were closing down. However, one of our client, Sunray, a story featured in the book, emerged as champion in the last 15 years as they knew their advantage, innovated it and branded it successfully around that advantage. Sunray’s vision is to be the most sought after commercial interior fit-out brand. In 2000, when their factory burned down through a raging fire, Sunray, a sub-contractor then, decided to start up from scratch. It was tough but they did not give up. They started to innovate and change their operation process and improved their fabrication competency at the factory so as to cut down installation time on site and speed of execution. With this laser focus on speed, it allows them to move up the value chain to become a main contractor status, by clinching major clients directly.
As they grew bigger, they leverage on software and technology, coupling with their strong culture on team work, orchestrating every steps to deliver every project with precision and speed.
By branding around their core advantage, they have become a sought after brand, known for their speed and precision in execution, counting renowned brand names from the hospitality and retail industry. Sunray outperformed their competitors, growing on an average of an compounded growth rate of 30% over the last 10 years.
By focusing on the above mentioned three strategic tasks and executing it well, we are more likely to ride thru the slow growth environment well.
Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous Chinese New Year monkey year.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!