Introduction to Universal Studios Singapore (USS)
Back in March 2010, Southeast Asia’s first Hollywood movie theme park, Universal Studios Singapore(USS) was opened. Located on Sentosa, Singapore’s designated leisure island, it has proved to be a contributing factor to the success of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) which is operated by Gentings Singapore. Resorts World Sentosa’s mission is as follows:
“We come to work everyday to provide the most memorable guest experience with innovative and differentiated products and services.”
In USS, visitors are able to experience cutting-edge rides, attractions and shows based on their favourite blockbuster films and television series. One of its star attraction would have to be Battlestar Galactica which is the world’s tallest duelling roller-coaster. Apart from that, USS also host special annual events such as “Halloween Horror Nights”. In 2016, the theme park was most recognised by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award as the top amusement park attraction in Asia for the third year in a row, leaving Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park ranked as the second and third respectively.
Why did we select USS?
Despite that, Resorts World Sentosa is not doing well as a whole. For the entire financial year of 2015, Genting Singapore’s net profit slumped 85% and its annual revenue fell 16% year-on-year. This is mainly due to the weak performance in its gaming business (casino) with its revenue falling at 38% from the 2nd quarter of 2014 to 2nd quarter of 2015. Growth in non-gaming revenues seem to have increased and help offset some of the declines in the gaming side of the business but it is clearly not enough. The number of USS visitors have increased through the quarters but visitor’s spending has decreased.
Business problem faced by RWS – Gaming revenues are down.
Solution – Boost profits in non-gaming sectors and thus, USS is the centrepiece of their strategy.
Hence, our main project goal is to increase profits of USS. This can be done via 2 ways which is to increase visitors to USS and to increase visitor’s spending in USS. Based on our observations regarding USS social media presence, we believe that USS have not utilise social media to increase its brand awareness as well as increase its competitive edge against other place of attractions.
Therefore, our research topic is:
‘How can Universal Studios Singapore utilise social media technologies to increase its brand awareness to international visitors and increase its competitive edge against other tourist attractions?”
Current social media presence
Universal Studios Singapore currently does not have its own official website and social media page such as Facebook and Instagram. It is featured in ‘Resorts World Sentosa’ official website together with other RWS attractions, hotels and spas and casino. Information found in the website mainly focuses on the rides and shows in USS. However, there is a lack of information regarding other aspects of USS such as the restaurants and gift shops there.
For Facebook, Universal Studios Singapore has an unofficial page with about 97,000 Likes as well as customer feedback/reviews and tagged photos. This suggests that social media users would engage quite substantially with an official page if it were to be created. As compared to its regional competitor, Hong Kong Disneyland, the number of likes for HK Disneyland official facebook page is way higher which is about 10 times more.
Overall, one of USS’s weakness is its inactive and weak social networking and online presence. There is also a lack of exposure in advertising media.
Main messages to be delivered
Going back to the mission of the company, “We come to work everyday to provide the most memorable guest experience with innovative and differentiated products and services.”
USS failed to incorporate this mission in its social media strategies. There are no platforms for visitors to share their memorable experience with USS. Therefore, the main message to be delivered is “COME TO USS TO CREATE MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH YOUR LOVED ONES”
We would also incorporate ‘’Universal Studios Singapore is Asia’s best theme park.” as stated by TripAdvisor in our strategy. This in turn, will create awareness of the recognition held by USS in which many people are unaware of.
In addition, we would also share more on what is available in USS apart from its rides and shows.
Method of research on target audience
As the broader mass market consumer base of USS is nearing saturation, this proposal will focuses on tourists. Through a survey, we aim to discover psychological determinants in regards to theme park, what do they spent on in theme parks other than the rides as well as their media consumption activities.
Method of marketing
Our group will be using a mixed approach in which to allow USS to expand presence and engagement on current platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor etc. We would also explore new venues of localised and popular social media outlets such as Weibo, WeChat, etc. Connecting with users around the region via these previously untapped platforms can connect USS with new consumer bases.
In conclusion, we hope to come out with strategies to bring Universal Studios Singapore to the forefront of tourists’ minds when visiting Singapore, and to expand its regional brand image awareness.