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The B2Bento team was at the Singapore Brand Conference 2010 held on 25th March, 2010 at the Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore. The conference theme was “Rethinking Innovation. Building Borderless Brands.” and dealt with 4 main areas: building a borderless brand, defending and protecting your brand in a borderless arena, the role of media in brand building, and maintaining your brand across diverse markets.
A key highlight of the brand conference was the release of the findings of the recently concluded study by Strategicom (Strategic partners of the Singapore Brand Conference 2010), on Branding Innovation by Singapore SME’s. Interesting to note was that 91% of the SME’s surveyed showed a contemporary understanding of innovation and 21% of respondents were found to have implemented all 4 innovation management tools as outlined by the survey’s framework.
Jacky Tai, Principal Consultant at StrategiCom, brought a refreshing perspective to protecting your brand in the 2nd part of the conference by advocating “Attacking The Enemy’s Strength”. He very rightly pointed out that all strong brands have equally strong competitors and if there is you don’t have an ‘enemy’ then your brand may not have a reason to exist. In the B2B space we may not always face direct competition but certain facets of our business that overlap with the offerings of others often gives rise to our competitors. Jacky, in his presentation, showed us real world examples of companies that have strong market positions by attacking the ‘strengths’ of their competitors, i.e., Coca-Cola’s “the real thing” vs Pepsi positioning itself as the “choice of a new generation”. Granted most of the case-studies to support this are from the B2C arena but there are still lessons to be learnt from this by B2B companies.
The role of media in brand-building was perhaps the segment which was of most interest to us as B2B marketers as many people still view traditional media coverage as a validation of a company. Azhar Khalid, Senior Editor from Mediacorp News Hub, shared his years of experience of what the media perspective is, how to engage the media and build relationships with them, and some tips and tricks on how to get yourself featured in one of the dailies.
The second half of this segment was by Mr Steven Tham, Chairman & CEO of Leeden Limited – a public listed welding, gas and safety company. Mr Tham gave conference attendees his perspective on dealing with the media from the opposite end of the spectrum and in his presentation shared his plans for incorporating social media into his company’s media and communications plans. Leeden, at the time of the presentation, was looking at using Facebook for sharing the company’s information and developments and even included excerpts from the “Social Media Marketing Report” by Michael A. Stelzner. This shows us that the market-place in Singapore is definitely maturing as businesses are looking beyond traditional means and methods of engaging their consumers.
Overall, the Singapore Brand Conference has proven itself as a worthwhile and a great occasion to network with leading brand consultants and give Singapore businesses valuable insight into how to position themselves in the global B2B arena.