Yeo's, Chop Wah On bag branding awards

Winners all (from left): Mr Jate Samathivathanachai, director of beverage company Allswell (heritage brands category); Mr Francis Ng, chief executive of restaurant House of Seafood (promising brands category); Mr Tong Kok Kai, director of Chop Wah On
Winners all (from left): Mr Jate Samathivathanachai, director of beverage company Allswell (heritage brands category); Mr Francis Ng, chief executive of restaurant House of Seafood (promising brands category); Mr Tong Kok Kai, director of Chop Wah On (heritage brands category) and Mr Ho Chee Hon, chief executive of AP Oil (established brands, regional brands categories).PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Food & beverage giant, medicated oil company among 53 local brands honoured

Local food and beverage brand Yeo's may have been around for some 115 years, but this year was the first time it has won the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA).

It was one of the 53 home-grown brands from the education, healthcare, manufacturing and food industries recognised for their efforts in branding yesterday.

"Being a brand that has been around for quite a long time, it's good that we get affirmation from credible and reputable third-party sources like the SPBA," Yeo Hiap Seng group chief executive Melvin Teo told The Straits Times. Yeo's is the company's main brand.

The evaluation process also gave the company, a first-time participant in the awards, a chance to learn from industry practitioners and experts.

"We view this as a way to rejuvenate the brand in order to stay relevant," said Mr Teo.

He added: "We are in a sweet spot with the middle-aged and older generation; they have grown up with the Yeo's brand. The key is to refresh our image and packaging to make it more endearing to the younger generation."

It won the SPBA in the heritage brands category for brands older than 25 years, along with 12 other local firms.

Another first-time winner for this category was 100-year-old medicated oil firm Chop Wah On.

"In Singapore, there are some jewels around - good companies, and good brands that a lot of Singaporeans don't recognise," said Mr Tong Kok Kai, director of Chop Wah On.

By taking part in the awards, he hopes to get the Chop Wah On brand "known regionally as a Singapore brand having the trust of people". "We have worked very hard for a long time - in fact, we've existed for a century. It's not something that you see in this region that easily," Mr Tong added.

Started in 2002, the SPBA is jointly organised by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao.

Chairman of the SPBA 2015 organising committee Chew Lee Ching said that she is heartened to see these notable Singapore brands taking part in the SPBA.

"Having stood the test of time, these brands have developed into household names that embody the characteristics of a Singapore brand, quality and credibility," she said.

The SPBA has five categories - a promising brands category for young firms of three to eight years, an established brands category for firms of six to 30 years, a heritage brands category for firms of more than 25 years, as well as a regional brands category for firms with a presence in at least three foreign markets, and a special merit category for government agencies and not-for-profit organisations.

Lubricants and speciality chemicals maker AP Oil was also a first-timer winner in both the established brands and regional brands categories.

Chief executive Ho Chee Hon hopes that the awards will help further enhance AP Oil's brand equity to help the firm stand out in the "crowded and fiercely competitive" lubricant oils industry.

"It's not just about delivering the goods. Having the reputation of being a well-trusted and reliable brand is also very important," he said.

The winners were chosen from some 120 entries and 22 of them are past recipients of the awards.

The overall winners and the most popular brands of each category, with the exception of the special merit category, will be announced on Oct 30 at an award ceremony.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Yeo's, Chop Wah On bag branding awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe