SINGAPORE - Close to 50 established home-grown brands many Singaporeans have grown up with as well as up-and-coming labels have been officially marked as "Made With Passion".
Drinks maker Yeo's and fashion label Charles and Keith were among the first crop of local brands awarded this new national brand mark, which was launched by the Singapore Brand Office and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Friday (Nov 20) to promote consumer awareness and appreciation for Singapore's brands.
"The Made With Passion initiative is a gateway for Singaporeans to discover more of our local brands," said Ms Dilys Boey, assistant chief executive officer at Enterprise Singapore, which supports this campaign.
The pioneer batch of 48 brands represent four lifestyle categories - beauty and wellness, fashion and accessories, home ware and decor, and packaged food and beverages - and will display the Made With Passion (MWP) logo on their product packaging and collaterals, including those in-store and online.
To kick things off, the brands will be showcased on a Shopee microsite from Friday till February 2021.
Shoppers can also discover the stories behind brands like nuts and snacks company Camel, beauty and wellness firm Kinohimitsu, as well as up-and-coming brands like gin maker Brass Lion Distillery and home ware label Commune on Made With Passion's Facebook and Instagram pages, at @madewithpassionsg.
"We wanted the portfolio of brands we chose to range from accessible local brands we grew up with, to everyday luxuries and premium items - to be representative of the fantastic diversity there is in the local brand landscape," said Ms Lynette Pang, adviser to the Singapore Brand Office and assistant chief executive of marketing group at the STB.
"By sharing the stories behind both established and up-and-coming brands, we hope that more people will be able to rediscover well-loved brands and be wowed by the myriad of brands that speak of our passion and creativity," said Ms Pang.
She added that the starter slate of MWP brands showcased resourcefulness, ambition, determination, optimism and were down-to-earth, on top of being of sound repute and having a good customer following.
“Local brands have come of age, and today, there is a vibrant community of brands with unique identities and stories and they deserve to be widely known and supported. The current list of brands is non exhaustive, and we hope to onboard more brands shortly,” she said.
To encourage customers to shop at local brands, some MWP brands will also be carried on online marketplaces such as Boutique Fair's online platform eBoutiques, Singapore Airline's KrisShop and the Textile and Fashion Federation's OneOrchard.Store fashion and lifestyle e-store.
A selection of products from MWP brands will also be available from January at an upcoming pop-up at retail space Design Orchard, which was jointly developed by Enterprise Singapore, STB, and JTC.
Customers can also keep their eyes peeled for other pop-ups around the island over the next few months, at a newly launched Retail Food Hall at Lau Pa Sat, and selected FairPrice Finest stores over the next few months.
Besides promoting the local consumer goods industry, the MWP initiative also aims to foster cross-brand partnerships for a vibrant and supportive business ecosystem.
"Singapore is a tiny red dot, but we are definitely not tiny when united. Singapore brands should come together to support one another, build our national brand equity on the international stage, and strengthen our local brand propositions of quality, safety and innovation," said Mr Ang Kiam Meng, Jumbo Group CEO and executive director, whose seafood restaurant chain was awarded the MWP.
Mr Chris Hwang, co-founder of The Golden Duck, which sells gourmet snacks like salted egg yolk chips, added: "It's an opportunity for us to show our customers how we can band together as a nation."
Trade and business associations also welcomed the MWP brand mark, and said that they would be looking forward to supporting and partnering with local brands.
Ms Chew Lee Ching, vice-president of Association for Small and Medium Enterprises' (ASME) awards and special projects, said: "ASME is very pleased to support this initiative, as we recognise that it takes great passion and commitment to build, nurture and grow a brand. The launch of Made With Passion also reflects a maturing of our market in appreciating homegrown brands. We can be proud of local brands and help them flourish."
ASME and other local consumer associations - including the Restaurant Association of Singapore, the Singapore Food Manufacturers' Association, the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, the Singapore Retailers Association, and the Textile and Fashion Federation - will be involved in further developing the MWP initiative further.
"We hope that Made With Passion will elevate Singapore brands collectively and help them achieve greater success," Enterprise Singapore's Ms Boey said.