July 28, 2005
Marina Bay brand more than just a name
I REFER to the letter by Mr Michael Chua Kheng Hwee, 'Name search a waste of money' (ST, July 26).
Marina Bay is a new area; it is the future downtown of Singapore. It will provide Singapore with the opportunity for further urban transformation and attract new investments, visitors and talent, besides becoming a new destination for the local community.
[Mr Wang: Wah! So exciting. So what's the next step?]
In the face of increasing competition among cities, place branding can help to differentiate Singapore from competitors. A strong, distinctive positioning of Marina Bay can lead to a powerful and distinctive competitive advantage for Singapore. Branding goes beyond a name, logo and tagline. It is about identifying a vision and a set of value propositions we want people to associate a place with.
[Mr Wang: Wah! So exciting. So how will you actually improve the branding?]
A key part of the Marina Bay branding exercise involved extensive research and consultation with various key stakeholders - developers, retailers, restaurant owners, entertainment companies and tourism interests, both locally and internationally.
[Mr Wang: Yes. But how does this actually improve the branding?]
Our stakeholders validated the Marina Bay brand. The brand will drive the planning and design, and activities and events to be held at the bay. It is also a common platform for the various stakeholders to join hands in promoting and marketing the area.
[Mr Wang: You mean you spent $400,000 and didn't actually do anything to improve the branding?]
Marina Bay is attracting interest internationally. Investors have signalled their confidence in Marina Bay, as can be seen in the significant tender interest in the Business and Financial Centre, a multi-billion-dollar project.
[Mr Wang: Ooooor, I see! You spent $400,000 to not change the name of Marina Bay, that's why investors want to invest there, issit?]
Our future downtown at Marina Bay is an exciting and important project. The amount we invested in branding Marina Bay will reap long-term economic benefits for Singapore.
[Mr Wang: Thank you, thank you, URA!]
Director Urban Planning & Design
Urban Redevelopment Authority
A "Before & After" Special Presentation
***Well done, URA!***