Being good employers and spending time to do good in society could help Singapore firms build their brand, said Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin.
Mr Tan was speaking to about 800 members of the Singapore business community at the 14th Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) ceremony last night.
He urged the business leaders to consider branding not just from the external "commercial standpoint", but to also look inwards and think about it in terms of the company's values and social standing.
"You should consider branding as an employer," he said, adding that a company's branding in the eyes of its current and prospective employees is just as valuable as how it is portrayed externally to its customers.
You should consider branding as an employer.
MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT TAN CHUAN-JIN, urging business leaders to look inwards
Ultimately, a firm's success in the marketplace is largely driven by the quality of the ideas and innovation conceived and carried out by its employees. So he urged company bosses to think about the welfare of employees as part of branding efforts.
Getting employees to volunteer their time and working with voluntary welfare organisations could be another way to boost a company's internal brand, said Mr Tan at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.
He added that such activities would help "deepen staff engagement" and signal to the employees that this is a company that cares.
The awards ceremony is organised annually by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Lianhe Zaobao.
Pizza retailer Pezzo was the overall winner, as well as the most popular brand for the SPBA Promising Brands category. The company is a first-time participant in the awards.
Another first-timer Yeo Hiap Seng also emerged as the overall winner for its Yeo's brand in the Heritage Brands category.
Orange Clove Catering was the overall winner for SPBA Established Brands, while life sciences tools and medical devices business Esco, and health and wellness company Best World Lifestyle, were the overall winners for the Maybank Regional Brands award.