Malaysian brands top the list in Singapore when it comes to the latter’s favourite Asian brands, according to a study by brand leadership platform Influential Brands.
The list is based on consolidated research conducted from 2013 to 2015. The study covered more than 4,000 consumers nationwide and fielded brands from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia.
Brands from Malaysia that topped the list were observed to be largely from FMCG such as Julie’s Biscuits, Ah Huat White Coffee, Hup Seng and from the food and beverage industry such as The Manhattan Fish Market and PappaRich.
In addition, Singapore consumers also named AirAsia (low-cost carrier), Royal Selangor (luxury pewter), Resorts World (integrated resort) and Hatten Group (property developer) for their leadership positions within their respective industries regionally.
Other regional brands which topped the minds of consumers in Singapore included Samsung, Watsons, Din Tai Fung, Toyota and Uniqlo, among others.
Because of the close proximity and free trading efforts between Singapore and Malaysia, most companies in Malaysia penetrate into Singapore as its first overseas market as part of its growth plans. Moreover, Malaysian brands are also able to leverage the overlapping heritage and culture of the two countries.
Consequently, Malaysian brands have gained strong brand recall among Singapore consumers for their nostalgic attachment, strong branding and exposure in Singapore, the study said.
Malaysian brands also capitalise on their shared culture with Singapore as their branding strategy. Brands such as Ah Huat White Coffee and Hup Seng emphasise their tradition and origins and market themselves as a “go-to” brand for hearty and comfort food.
On the other hand, Julie’s Biscuits adopts a modern, yet vintage look to better differentiate itself in the market. While classics such as the brand’s Cheese Sandwich and Peanut Butter Sandwich remain staples of Singapore consumers’ snacking habits, the brand has built a goodwill of trust and loyalty which has spurred the brand’s next growth of development to unveil new and healthy options.
With the management’s clear objective to achieve 100 countries by 2020, Julie’s Biscuit will continue to expand aggressively by putting an emphasis on growing in ASEAN countries this year.
“We established our first biscuit factory in Malacca 33 years ago and today we are the single largest biscuit exporter in Malaysia, offering a wide range. We are proud that our biscuits have been ‘baked with love’ for many years and we want to share them with the rest of the world,” said Julie’s director Martin Ang.
Jorge Rodriguez, director of strategy at Influential Brands, said there was still an appeal for Asian brands despite the influx of international brands in the region as a result of globalisation and internationalisation.