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every+one, Trends, Featured

The future of business: How progressive are Singapore brands?

In Singapore as elsewhere, a key challenge for brands looking to stand out in a post-pandemic economy is how to meet customers’ evolving values and expectations while remaining profitable.

Indeed, consumers’ habits and preferences have evolved all through the COVID-19 pandemic, with many increasingly leaning towards brands that offer more and point a better way ahead – whether it is digital innovation, environmental responsibility, or inclusive practices.

Blackbox has developed the Brand Progress Barometer, a methodology that measures which brands consumers find progressive (“this brand is aligned with my values”) as well as desirable (“I want to spend my money on this brand”) within a framework of real-word financial data.

Combining six main components – Digital Readiness, Planet Consciousness, Tribal Connection, Authenticity, Reach & Usage, and Growing Revenue – the Barometer provides an invaluable glimpse into brands’ ability to thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.

Our data shows that some companies are better positioned to face the changing business environment, while others look more vulnerable to evolving consumer needs and desires.

With an overall score of 49 and 46 respectively (out of 100), POSB Bank and NTUC FairPrice are two local brands doing better than most. Both are seen as digitally enabled and authentically aligned with Singaporeans’ rising eco-consciousness.

Conversely, luxury travel brand, Banyan Tree and evergreen industrial, Keppel, only score 29 – suggesting they are struggling to capture people’s imagination in today’s market.

But Singapore brands, for the most part, are not keeping pace with top international brands which score well above 50 on our Barometer. These brands are not only attractive to consumers but also to investors and top talent. They perform particularly weakly in terms of driving tribal affiliation, indicating that they are failing to communicate high principles, current values, or a sense of connection with average Singaporeans.

The findings suggest that Singaporean brands may not be doing enough to position themselves as progressive in a business environment that demands much more than simply being a household name. They also reveal a major gap between local brands’ aspirations and their actual impact on increasingly globalised consumers.

As we emerge from the pandemic, the world is going to be very different than it was in 2019. One way to navigate these changes is to examine your business and brand through a data-driven methodology that offers an immediate glimpse of where you sit on the new consumer map.

Looking to understand how your brand stacks up in Singapore or elsewhere in Asia? Contact us at to design a tailor-made study that leverages data in a strategic manner.