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.

Kerbside Gourmet (“Kerby”)

Company Background

 Kerbside Gourmet, known more affectionately as “Kerby”, made its debut on the streets of Singapore in 2013. This environmentally friendly Toyota Hino hybrid truck is also Asia’s first social enterprise gourmet food truck – a vision brought to life by its founder, Luan.  With its strong social outlook, Kerby operates on a BAMGAM (Buy A Meal, Give A Meal) basis through partnerships with other volunteer welfare organizations.

Starting with a simple love for fresh produce and wholesome food, now, Kerbside keeps its customers happy through its 3-prong activation strategy:

  • Brand Activation – where clients can use the truck to promote a brand, message or cause
  • Onsite Catering – where Kerby serves food at a client’s choice of location with a customized menu) and
  • Street Vending – where Kerby serves its gourmet food truck menu at concerts and events around Singapore

Moreover, being nomadic, Kerby does not have a fixed location or operating hours – leaving its fans to search for its whereabouts through the Kerbside Gourmet Twitter page.



As one of the first movers in the mobile food industry in Singapore, Kerbside Gourmet only has two competitors – the Travelling C.O.W and the Coffee Bandits. However, with the Coffee Bandits focusing on coffee, and the Travelling C.O.W serving comfort food rather than gourmet food, we believe that Kerby does not have any direct competitors in the same market space.

Target Audience

While Kerby inculcates an all inclusive and wholesome culture, it aims to reach out to discerning individuals who seek an alternative, sublime dining experience. Being a first mover in the mobile food industry in Singapore, Kerby could potentially capture a large portion of the consumer market by capitalizing on its unique nomadic traits in an otherwise saturated F&B industry.

Our Motivations

  1. Novelty
    The mobile food industry has witnessed great success in countries like the USA and Canada, and has seen significant growth over the past decade.
    However, the mobile food industry is still a relatively uncharted and undeveloped industry in Singapore due to the beauretic red tape and high costs involved. As Kerbside Gourmet is the first mover in the Singapore mobile food industry, we are excited to work on this relatively new and intriguing food concept in Singapore.
  1. Relevance
    Due to the nomadic nature of the food truck business, they are heavily reliant on word-of-mouth and social media in order to establish relationships with its consumers. We want to analyse the importance of social media, and ways to maximize the effectiveness of these social media channels, to drive communication between Kerbside Gourmet and its potential consumers.
  1. Growth Potential
    Kerby has already seen interest and excitement amongst Singaporeans, especially those who actively seek out new eating experiences. This, coupled with the success of food trucks in other national markets, gives us confidence that Kerbside Gourmet can achieve great success with the right social media strategy. If it is able to maximize the use of its social media channels, we believe that Kerby will not only grow its loyal fan base, but it could even kick start the growth of the mobile food industry in Singapore.

Current Marketing Strategies

Kerby is currently active on its Twitter (97 Followers), Facebook (7.6K Likers) and Instagram (997 Followers) social media pages, and has an updated website. It relies mainly on its Facebook and Twitter pages to communicate its whereabouts to potential consumers. However, given its relatively small following on its social media pages, we foresee the possibility of significant growth on these platforms through the implementation of new social media engagement activities.

Main Project Goal

Our main objective is to foster stronger customer relationships between Kerby and its consumers. We intend to do so through the implementation of new initiatives on its social media pages. The implementation of these initiatives will foster a heightened sense of loyalty amongst existing consumers, and attract new consumers to Kerby’s unique business proposition. We believe that strengthening customer relationships will ultimately lead to Kerby establishing a dominant market position with top-of-mind awareness in the mobile food industry.

Research Question


Given our objectives for this project, we have come up with the following research question: “How can Kerbside Gourmet leverage on social media to build strong customer relationships in the mobile food industry”

Method of Research

We aim to gather more data on customer expectations from a food truck in Singapore, their general sentiments on the mobile food industry, and their willingness or interest to participate in various social media led initiatives, to be better equipped to design our strategy for Kerby.

The collection of this research will be done through:

  1. Primary Research
    – Focus Groups
    – In-depth Interviews
    – Online Surveys
  1. Secondary Research
    – Case Studies
    – Online Research

We have chosen to utilize primary research to better understand the attitudes and behavior potential consumers towards the mobile food industry and secondary research to understand the industry in more established markets and understand how we can emulate the success of food trucks in other markets in Singapore.


In conclusion, our proposed strategies will help Kerbside Gourmet establish relationships with their customers and turn them into loyal customers and brand advocates. In addition, this project will also allow us to examine the effects social media has on the consumption choices of Singaporeans and explore the effectiveness of social media as a key tool for the growth of Singapore’s first food truck business. We hope that Kerbside Gourmet will be able to change the landscape of the food industry and the use of social media as it rises in the ranks to become a household name in Singapore.

How did Facebook beat Google Plus?

Gavin Bellson, CEO of Hooli, the Google-like fictional company in HBO’s hit show Silicon Valley, indulging in invigorating intellectual curiosity and a competitive mind, hasn’t a care about what it takes to buy whatever seems attractive and stock-it-on promising start-ups. Likewise, major turn-ons that motivate most Silicon Valley tech tycoons might not merely be ROI number-crunching like any merely mediocre traders. More exactly, their self-indulgent causes are humane commitment “To make the world a better place” and/or self-righteousness based on an “It-has-to-be-me” mindset.

Their playing with giga-investment decisions on cutting-edge, maybe even game-changing technologies, flying cars, free-internet-distribution balloons, drones and the like, might essentially be the same as that of the show’s Erlich Bachman, self-claiming he did something superspecial and creative with a hell of exorbitant silly parties that represents Hawaii in Alcatraz decorating with real dinosaur bones that cost a fortune for merely a short term rent. They’re all carefree egotripping with all the $$$-tsunami from scalable IPO and corporate shares given to founders and investors, enabling them to wallow in party time atop of insatiable demands for Brain entertainment.

Similarly, our perspective on Google’s recent blunder on Google Plus and its ignominious retreat in the war against Facebook … Actually, it began at the wrong end, clashing with Facebook simply in revengeful reaction to i) some of its skilled workforce defecting in that direction, and ii)  Facebook’s phenomenal growth, a la the slur of “short-lived college-town fever …” Remember? Google believed it had the upper-hand  and that it could leverage on what Facebook does not have, namely search, solid user-base, ultimately-better tech platform, a more-integrated mail-service platform, YouTube, maps, the list goes on … Google carried out the plan to prove its belief they actually perform better than Facebook. Yes, definitely technological determinism, Valley boys’ typical projection of the world around themselves.

But, as we all already know, for Google Plus it didn’t go as planned. Facebook responded vigorously and, to put it mildly, Facebook has a whole lot of vigour, (a whole lot of capital-C Clout). So, no surprise, it routed its contender (as I write this, Russia’s 1812 rout of Napoleon keeps coming to mind). This is a story of a win by the Facebook people despite their technological shortcomings compared to Google Plus. Thing is, the winning team has more Moxie.  That word says it all: They eagerly committed themselves, were determined to win, confident that sheer force of character can achieve the intended outcome.  In contrast, Googlers seemed more relaxed, perhaps intoxicated with their well-established empire, resting on their laurels (so to speak).


Does this view hold true? Does it take into account all factors behind Facebook’s success?

Recently with my husband I for the first time came to an interesting bar: it used drones to serve tables! He deliberately picked it to cover a story on that very topic. Then a surprise: I learned that the bar not only is well known, but also close to my school, literally small-ball-throw close. So it sank in that although I’ve been here two years I never had explored the neighborhood close to campus, never registered its coffee shops, restaurants, bars, museums, bookstores … in a word, its character! Nor had I felt genuine curiosity toward what this city has to offer. I wonder why. Imagine a similar lapse in, for example, Paris, Barcelona, Zurich … in the last two of which, actually, I have been (also in the last two years) and where I did explore. Probably here I simply haven’t been in the mood because this city is for me my workplace where my necessary focus is my career performance. Bottom line: One’s workplace city is hardly where one’s leisure time is given over to relaxing and chilling out. Nor does it necessarily intrigue one’s curiosity.

Invoking the example of my usual look-away from what surrounds my workplace might explain why people have little notion of what Google Plus is all about, or don’t even know it exists. Odd, this, considering that by a simple glance around, a single click on their existing Gmail account, they’d have a sense of it. No doubt Google Plus is a technically well-designed and efficient platform. And, across the board, the Google platform works well for us, especially when we pursue max efficiency in our online behaviors, whether work or leisure, and especially when we Google business websites to prepare a client meeting, check emails needing our utmost immediate attention and reply, share docs with co-workers, need doc-edit tools, navigate fastest travel paths, etc. That said, Google might not be the most convenient or emotionally feel-right option when we want to simply kick-back, chill with friends and colleagues, giggle at selfies, share comments, or just sneak-peep into celeb lives. Those are exactly what we do on Facebook. This might address some part of my previous question as to why people turn away from the feature-laden, fascinating, new, social network platform.

In looking closely at what Silicon Valley tech tycoons such as Google, Facebook, and MS are doing in pursuit of future long-term business, I claim it is exactly what Gavin Belson does in the show: his driving impetus is insatiable appetite for personal visions and daydreaming. To elaborate, he, Belson, doesn’t, and they, hi-tech giants, don’t, care about what customers want to do on their platform. More indulgent for them than their customers’ wants is technological utopianism dabbling in the anything-everything technically possible. Scents of narcissism and self-indulgence linger in the immediate air of Must-be-I-none-else. In such an ethos are embodied the take-no-prisoners, and the burnt-earth slashes of disrupting competitors by picking fights over issues, or brutal and ruthless buy-outs. Incited by Facebook’s unprecedented success  in social networking, Google launched Google Plus, and MS merged LinkedIn, rather than focusing on what they do really well and in which they have real expertise.

On top of that, the further conjecture that many Silicon Valley tech gurus phase out a good number of unrealized business projects and secret missions being propelled by quiet ambition.A major corporate entity, SamSung, for instance, based in the small-scale thus financially-infertile Korean market (i.e., in comparison to the US), has much at stake when it goes for a new business category. Example: invading the auto industry purely on the CEO’s personal whim and vision. In contrast, Silicon Valley is a flood of money, so once one maintains one’s foothold in the major sector of one’s business, one will be safe in poking around and angling at anything infatuating even beyond one’s core business domain.  Right?

Well, the problem caused at the users’ end is that their core identities, mostly, inhibit their expansion to other domains. When Google wants to act like Facebook, its very being Google tends to disrupt the plan. Likewise for Facebook … Example: Facebook, once endeavoring to go beyond mere photo-sharing and communication, put visionary effort into creating its own economic ecosystem …  But it didn’t work out.

When one wants to share selfies taken by Instagram and manage one’s social identity and relationships, Facebook is the go-to place. But it’s surely not the place where many would go for their commercial transactions with virtual currency like Bitcoin.

Absolutely no denigrations of tech people’s pure intellectual devotion and visionary efforts are intended here.  Nor I am saying all their money games turned out flops or deserved scorn. But the question remains: What did we learn and what should we learn from past incidents? Some other questions as well: What is the true meaning of innovation and vision, and in what ways does technology really help us better the world?. In many cases, clearly observing going somewhere we previously didn’t locate should not be enough to prove we are progressing. Instead, in many cases, those moves turned out to be nothing but self-obsession, a like-we-got-to-do-something-anyways moment.

Thus we move to another angle to answer my initial question; How come did Facebook end up beating Google, the Silicon Valley moguls’ big bro? Maybe we might say Facebook was into furthering its own zone to stay abreast of what it is, while Google tried to be what it isn’t. And the major or minor interface and service improvement Facebook achieved during the rock down period might be the consequence of what we could label truly-practiced innovation, i.e., getting to one’s core competency, enriching what already is inside one, gauging the scope and amount of what one’s box can contain practically.

So, to innovate and grow further, both practically and theoretically, surely our primary ethos should be to master the underlying mechanisms already in our box, rather than lurk at street corners, then sneak into others’ boxes?

Reference: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/06/how-mark-zuckerberg-led-facebooks-war-to-crush-google-plus



Udders Ice cream- Building an ice cream brand community

Screen shot 2013-10-25 at 4.32.36 PM.png

Hi everyone!

PS: Happy Graduation to those who are graduating!

The Title of my individual research report is –More than just an ice-cream parlour: Building an entire ice-cream community on Facebook

My Research Question is: How can Udders, a home-grown ice-cream parlour of 9 years, utilize Facebook to revitalize their brand and build up their brand community by increasing their current engagement levels?

Analysis of Social media platform: Facebook

Facebook is the chosen platform to be examined across 3 organizations namely, Udders, Sunday Folks and Milkcow. Facebook is more suitable for the target group of Udders, comprising both the young crowd and adults because Facebook has a great API and higher following from both groups of target audience as opposed to Instagram which caters more to the younger crowd.

Data Collection Across Udders, Sunday Folks and Milkcow

Tracking will be done for the 3 organizations’ use of Facebook for a period of 4 weeks starting 1st March- 28th March 2016.

Practical Value of this Research

The purpose of this research is to analyze the organizations’ efforts in engaging their customers on Facebook and if their level of interactivity directly translates to a level of engagement which will contribute to having more involved customers and to building brand loyalty and a brand community. Recommendations will be put in place for the chosen organization (Udders) based on the analysis of its own Facebook usage and that of two other competitors (Sunday Folks and Milkcow).

The summarized findings are found in the table below:

  Udders- 16, 453 likes Sunday Folks- 6, 244 likes Milkcow-18, 206
Level of interactivity via A.

Comments plugin

Moderate to High level Low to non-existent Low to non-existent
Level of Interactivity via B. Posts/ Photos Moderate level of interactivity



Low to almost non-existent level of interactivity High level of interactivity



Overall level of interactivity (with more emphasis placed on B. Posts/ Photos due to lack of information for A. Comments Plugin


Moderate level Low Level Moderate to High Level

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in the full version of the data analysis and findings.

Other Significant Findings

Although Milkcow has a low frequency of posting at once every 3 weeks, their visually appealing professional post of the debut of waffles and ice cream garnered 1100 likes and 164 shares. I think that this may be influenced by fans’ prior perceived positive image and brand anticipation of them as they originate from Korea and the photographs of their ice cream looks fun, visually appetizing and are worthy of being shared on social media platforms.

Additionally, it can be observed that Milkcow reposted an article from hypequiva.com on “Top 26 places to have desserts under $9.90” where they were featured as #12. As a result, the article went viral and gained 89 likes and 260 shares. On the other hand, Udders had missed out on the same opportunity to garner more brand awareness by being unaware that they too were being featured in the same article. One should always be on the lookout for reviews about their brand and monitor the social media space for information and reviews.

Proposed Strategy 1-#theUddersStory campaign

#theUddersStory campaign will take place over a period of 4 weeks whereby Udders will publish one video each week with the hashtag #theUddersStory.  Each video will be showing behind the scenes unique stories of how selected Udders ice cream flavours were derived.

To kick-start the campaign, the first video will also reveal the campaign details- in which in order for fans to participate, they have to post an interesting/creative perspective of their Udders’ experience along with the hashtag #theUddersStory on Udders Facebook page under Visitor Posts segment.  Additionally, anyone is allowed to go onto the Visitor Post segment and vote for their favourite #theUddersStory contributed by other fans.

Each week, the top 3 most creative posts/ stories will be selected and winners will gain the privilege of being the first fans to win a special edition Udders Ice cream membership card. The official launch of a non special-edition Udders membership cards for all other fans will commence once the period of 4 weeks of campaign has ended.

An example of a fan’s contribution could be “Just the udder day, my friends and I did not know where to go. We walked around and suddenly found ourselves in Udders. Just about the most “udderly” awesome decision ever. We will not have it any other way but #theUddersStory way from now on.”

Proposed Strategy 2- Employees-generated content- #UddersWhiz

In line with Udders’ aim to be a fun and quirky brand, coupled with their emphasis on employees as brand ambassadors, the second proposed strategy is to encourage employees to generate simple and fun quizzes that can be easily shared on Facebook.

The chosen ones will be published and full credit will be given to the employees who created it.  This will allow employees will feel a sense of satisfaction and empowerment in their jobs. In addition, bonus pay can be given to winning entries to encourage employees to participate. A new entry/ quiz with the hashtag #UddersWhiz can be published once every month for 3 months.

The use of visually appealing photos can be used along with the quizzes to increase fans’ desires to tag their friends and share the post. Moreover, and the sharing of relatable and fun quizzes will go viral easily and help Udders gain brand awareness.

An example of quizzes could be “What ice cream flavour are you?” It could contain 5 short personality questions such as:

  1. Your favourite time of the day
  2. A list of hobbies to choose from
  3. Your favourite colours
  4. Your favourite country in the world
  5. Your bad habits

After fans have done in the quiz, results would be generated allowing them to share their results on Facebook. On the last Sunday of each month, the first 100 fans who have done the quiz and achieved a minimum of 50 likes for their quiz results post will get a free cone of choice from one selected Udders outlet. The Udders outlet will vary each month and will be announced 2 days before the last Sunday of each month.

Thank you for your kind attention. I have provided a brief background of Udders Ice cream company below for reference. Don’t wait any longer, Get your Udders Ice cream today! 

Background of Udders Ice cream company (Udders)

Udders was founded in 2007 by co-founders David Yim with his wife Wong Peck Li and there are a total of 6 Udders ice cream outlets in Singapore (Udders, 2016). Udders have branded themselves as a fun, innovative and energetic ice cream parlour with a cheeky personality that aim to make customers have a fun, relaxed and happy atmosphere at their parlours (The Columnist, 2013). This can be witnessed in their mission posted on their Facebook page which is “To make people high with our liqueur ice cream :)”. Udders’ specialty is ‘adult-rated’ liqueur ice cream, with names such as Cherry Bomb, Lychee Martini and Rum Rum Raisin.


Written by Yang Shuzhen from G2.





Grab: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram


Grab is a mobile app that links transport options to passengers and these transport options range from regular taxis, private cars to larger vehicles with bigger seating capacity. It is present in many Southeast Asian countires and developed from a simple taxi booking app in Malaysia to a regional mainstay. In 2014, Grab launched its app in Singapore. Its very form as an app makes it necessary for the company to be savvy, especially on social media. This has to do with the demographic of people who are technologically savvy enough to employ the use of this app. Grab’s main competitor is Uber, an American company with an app that essentially has the same function and purpose. Grab has developed in a similar manner as Uber but its localisation has allowed it to take a significant chunk of the market share from Uber.

Research Question

How has Grab capitalised  on their competitive edge as a more relatable brand with a localised presence in relation to their nearest competitor, Uber via their online presence?

Social Media Presence & Analysis

Grab has a rather uniform presence in terms of content across all 3 platforms. While their content on Facebook is not entirely uninteresting, ambient noise from complaints and random enquiries dilute the message impact. On Instagram and Twitter, the content is identical, just tailored to different platforms. The engagement is largely confined to complaints and queries. Often, pertinent questions go unanswered and this goes to show a lack of training and perhaps even protocol in dealing with social media.



Objective 1: Create an online brand community through sustained engagement and interaction.

Objective 2: Create organic brand ambassadors through humanising brand identity.

Proposed Strategies

  1. Feedback Channel

To address the flooding of posts with comments on bad experiences or enquiries, Grab should dedicate an in-app system of automating FAQ answers and providing feedback. Most importantly, the time-sensitivity of certain issues may necessitate speaking to a representative of the company. This can be in the form of an in-app live chat or hotline. This then frees up space on their Facebook wall and does not threaten to derail any messages that Grab is attempting to convey to its consumers.

  1. Diversification of Online Content

In partnership with celebrity food bloggers, Grab can come up with a campaign that engages users to share their favourite food haunts and perhaps even use the app algorithm to schedule Grab ride-sharing for those who would like to try the food that users have recommended. This adds an additional dimension of personality to the brand and contributes towards the creation of a brand community crowded around a common interest.

  1. Building on Existing Strategy

Currently, Grab has embarked on a #herestoourdrivers campaign whereby they feature Grab partners and their unique quirks in the car the operate out of. What is great about this strategy is that it gives a personal and human touch to the brand. What is problematic, however, is that some of the recent features do not have faces to them. It is important that the drivers they feature are humanised rather than just textual description. Next, the voting competition on their Facebook page that started on 13 Apr 2016 is a short term and myopic strategy to encourage interaction with the brand. Beyond this competition, there is no value-add to the relationship between consumer and brand. Instead, they should focus on making consumers organic brand ambassadors through using their partners’ service to win over consumers. This can be done through an extensive employee training programme where every one from drivers to front and back office staff go through a service standard training so that the level of service that Grab claims to offer can be matched and consistent.


In the observation period, it is clear to see that the social media performance is less than satisfactory. Moreover, the exploitation of their localised brand identity is incomplete and poorly sustained. However, it is encouraging to see that Grab has recognised their competitive advantage as a brand ‘closer to home’ and has begun to go about taking advantage of this unique position. In order to fully leverage their unique identity, Grab has to take a multi pronged approach in addressing the poor engagement and interaction levels as well as to build on their position as a localised service. In the future, it will be meaningful to research the effect that such marketing has on brand equity and establishment of a brand community.




Malaysian Airlines Berhad: Social Media Research Report

Hi everyone, my name is De Zhong and my research report is on Malaysia Airlines Berhad!

Photo on 1-23-16 at 3.15 AM #2

Dang dang dang!

That’s right, the airline carrier which unfortunately got thrown into the spotlight after 2 of its planes met with unfortunate incidents. Well, it has been a trying time for MAS (I’m gonna call it that from now) as even before the incidents, they were already in trouble as there are just SO many strong competitors in the region, such as from Singapore Airlines Limited and Garuda Indonesia!

So what happened after is that they basically had to fire staff, hire a new CEO – but he has been doing a rather good job! Just a few days ago, an article has been published stating that they have just profited for THE FIRST TIME since the incidents!

I am very excited to see what will happen in the near future as MAS progresses to become an inspiration to other businesses out there which have met with trials and tribulations.

Alright, but firstly, here’s the two questions I was pondering whilst doing the research report. They are written below!

  • How is Malaysia Airlines Berhad currently utilizing its social media platforms in order to engage with its key stakeholders?
  • How can Malaysia Airlines Berhad, through social media initiatives, reestablish a

reputation of trust and safety for the corporation, and ultimately increasing profitability to pre-incident levels?

So basically for my research report, I looked at MAS’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, in comparison to the other national airlines in the vicinity, namely Garuda Indonesia (who actually also suffered from incidents in the past but has managed to become such a respected airline after restructuring), and the one and only Singapore Airlines!

Strong competition aye.

Dolce & Gabbana Candy Apple Red

Alright now to my findings!

I compared the 3 airlines to each other and WOW were they different. For example, Garuda Indonesia posts more commonly in Bahasa Indonesia (they are sure missing out on a lot of people like me who can’t speak Bahasa), and Singapore Airline’s social media is like reading a gigantic “fact-of-the-day” book, its really interesting and filled with little bite sized pieces of information about travel, tourism and culture!

Whereas for MAS, I am quite surprised but elated that they are not doing too badly too – in fact they have more followers on Twitter than SIA! HA!



But back to serious business:

MAS’s social media account is quite unique, focusing on its staff, and peripheral cues such as happy people to portray optimism on its platforms. Yes! On its people. While this may not work for everyone (for example, personally I’m not so interested in looking at photos of the staff and managers no matter how handsome or pretty they are), but it does BUILD PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS with the people who follow the account.


But at the same time, if you look at these pictures of the smiling staff and think to yourself…

“HEY. They weren’t smiling when they served me rancid coffee on the plane.”…

Then you know what’ll happen?

This’ll happen.


Negative sentiment is a major issue, as people are generally critics and only listen to negative stuff most of the time. I bet you’ll notice this a lot more than the usual “Good job posts eh”, coz this is more exciting, ain’t it?

So, if we look at MAS’s sentiment analysis as below:


11.8% is way too much.

Let me give you this analogy.


Let’s say I buy a plate of chicken rice at the hawker centre. And there’s a single cockroach leg in it. I make a big fuss, and a complaint on social media.


Does the public see that the other 10000000 plates of chicken rice are nice and tasty? NO!

So you’ve got my point.

My aim now, is to bring down these little pieces of negative sentiment to 5% (a realistic goal coz 0% is impossible) – How so? I will DIVERT and DETER.

DIVERTING, by putting up call-to-action posts to ENCOURAGE users to give feedback (and hopefully inclusive of the bad ones) via messaging them directly, and not post it on social media and all. BUT this requires their effort to be very consistent and timely in fixing problems as well.

Here’s an example of what they can do!


Yup, friendly language, hashtags and all – I AM CONVINCED AND I WILL MESSAGE THEM.

So what about DETERRING then?

Well, we will be PROACTIVE in engaging in a social media campaign, unified by #TheMASLife hashtag. In essence, they are already posting pictures of their employees (yay!), what I am suggesting is for them to actually make it into a campaign, and build upon it by including inspirational accounts of why they joined MAS and etc.

Here’s an example!


Basically, everyone already knows our sob story. Now’s OUR turn to tell them that WE MADE IT BACK, to serve you guys.

And isn’t that beautiful?


Well of course, on hindsight, these communication strategies rely a little on fate. If MH370 is found, and we know how the plane was lost, then MAS would be better able to tell its key stakeholders that they either have made the necessary changes to prevent such an incident from happening again, or scapegoat someone else.

That’s all folks, and I am so happy that I have signed up for this module with you guys! Till the summer holidays!!!

De Zhong 🙂

G1 – Individual Project: #AnEmbracingOpportunity by American Eagle Outfitters


Hello Everyone! 🙂

It’s been a long journey since we all started out in COMM 346 and it has all culminated in this very project which I’ll be sharing about.

Btw, I hope that provocative image above did not scare you away, but rather, enticed you to want to know more about my project! Either ways, it achieved its purpose of inciting a reaction, which is precisely what a campaign should be all about!

Without further ado, let me bring to you the company, American Eagle Outfitters.


American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) Inc. is an American clothing and accessories retailer with over 1,200 stores worldwide. Since it was founded in 1977, the brand has abided by its company’s culture and core values in shaping its aspirational yet easily accessible brand identity, in an effort to make the world a better place, alongside its customers.

Historically, AEO created a brand community based on ‘inclusionary marketing’, targeting people between the ages of 18-30 years old, independent of size and gender, earning it second spot in the list of “coolest” brands, just behind retail giant, Nike, according to Teen Research Unlimited in spring 2007 (Driscoll, 2007). Its blend of effective marketing campaigns alongside approachable pricing and heartwarming in-store staff has helped the brand to create a relatable and down-to-earth brand experience, which is accessible to all.

Research Question

So with this amount of good going for the brand, the question that lingers on in my mind is WHY is the brand not surpassing its competition (like F21, H&M and the likes). Moreover, as evinced from the social media listening which I conducted, the brand has a strong following and a favorable brand perception going for them.

Hence, I wanted to explore how AEO could leverage on its existing and extensive social media presence to create endearment and buzz for the brand so as to capitalize on the massive opportunities that abound in the Singapore market and stand out from the cluttered local retail scene. In doing so, an actionable strategy via the social media vehicle will be laid out so as to address the following broad ideas:

  • How is AEO making use of its social media platforms to sieve out what its target customers really want?
  • Building upon that collective knowledge, how can AEO foster a deeper relationship with its customers so as to develop brand retention and loyalty with this group of people?

Analysis & Findings 


1.Crisis Management

What AEO has going for itself is the ability to manage a crisis, and work a negative event to its advantage. Its #AerieMAN campaign was one such example whereby it evolved into a disaster after it was announced to be a parody. What was to be a refreshing celebration of a man’s true self and an introduction into a new era of body positivity became a lackluster joke and this became the center of conversation among its fans on its various social media platforms.

However, AEO was active in its social media scanning and picked up these negative sentiments and responded almost immediately (on 1 Apr 2016) with a statement that was underscored with an apologetic tonality.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 6.06.44 pm
Good job, AEO! (Y)

2.Wide Exposure

Riding on the popularity of its global social media pages, AEO’s local Instagram page also shares in this pie of fame. It has amassed a strong following of close to 3,000 followers within a short span of 47 weeks (when the account was first created) and has had about 1000 user-generated pictures posted and tagged with their exclusive #aeosg.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 7.42.55 pm
Once again, a pat on their back!

Additionally, similar results could be found on their local Facebook page, with traffic of close to 300,000 users.


However, similar to any human being, a brand cannot be rid of flaws. And the same can be said for AEO. Despite a large following, AEO fails to engage its followers meaningfully by inviting comments, creating buzz-generating alternative content or featuring UGC.Furthermore, when offered an opportunity to engage in a collaboration, the brand cursorily passed it off with a generic response.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 8.39.38 pm
What are you thinking AEO? Or why weren’t you??

And hence, this led me to my recommendations for the brand as it was apparent that the brand’s social media content strategies had significant gaps that had yet to be plugged.

Proposed Social Media Strategy (for a target audience between the ages of 18-30, no discrimination allowed!)


In keeping with the overarching brand campaign objective of establishing brand resonance in the hearts and minds of its customers as well as positively influencing its brand identity, the following strategies deliver the key message via two prongs – a CSR-style and an influencer-based campaign. They focus on the brand’s promise of ‘celebrating real individuals’ wherever, whenever.

The campaign message will be communicated via the hashtag #AnEmbracingOpportunity (See what I did there? A.E.O?? Haha). It is also a collaboration with Support for Eating Disorders Singapore (SEDS), a support group for those coping with eating disorders, and all proceeds generated through this campaign will go to the organization to fund their operations.


This campaign involves the brand’s social media followers posting videos of themselves in their truest, rawest state. By doing so, it challenges them to accept their flaws and who they really are, without any pretense or cover-ups. In this present age, with media’s distorted perception of beauty (hello, not everybody has to look like Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid?!) , this campaign stands out, as it is one that reverses this order of thinking and educates the brand community that it is perfectly fine to stand out, because there is beauty in being raw and untouched. (Of course, there will be prizes involved to entice these people into participating!)

Furthermore to enhance the reach of this campaign, AEO will invite local social media influencers such as Andrea Chong (241K Instagram followers), Christabel Chua (98.2K Instagram followers) and Dee Kosh (60.8K Instagram followers with a strong following for his YouTube channel) to participate and endorse this campaign.

Facebook and Instagram will be the primary platforms for this campaign (which was expounded in the report, but I’m sure all you tech-savvy millenials know why 😉 )


The proposed campaign aims to associate AEO with compassion and authenticity, which is the driving philosophy of the brand, while engaging the brand community across a variety of platforms and encouraging them to create buzz-generating content for the brand. These strategies were specifically constructed to capitalize on each individual platform’s strengths and aimed at consolidating AEO’s brand identity as one that is authentic and relatable with its target audience. With that, it is of my hope that AEO is able to establish a long-lasting and endearing relationship with its customers.

So long, my friends of COMM346! I hope that this was worth your time and that it was an interesting read for all! 🙂 We all need a break from studying for exams don’t we?!



P.S (Helloooooo SUMMER 😀 )

G1 Individual Project – Mi Singapore

Hi Everyone,

For my Individual Social Media Research Assignment, the company I chose to examine was Mi Singapore and its use of social media. A technology-focused company, Mi Singapore is the Singapore wing of Xiaomi and its aim is to bring high-quality technology to consumers at an affordable price. As the company prides itself on incorporating customer feedback into the product development process, I thought it would be interesting to analyze if Mi Singapore’s use of social media does indeed succeed in engaging and satisfying the needs of Mi fans. Following that, I aimed to explore how the company can better leverage on social media to increase brand loyalty.

To do this, I looked at 4 of Mi Singapore’s current social media platforms – the Mi Community site, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I found that on the Mi Community page, a platform unique to the company, members had moderate to high engagement with the brand and the platform provided members an avenue to share information and ideas on Xiaomi’s products, participate in contents and share their feedback with fellow users and the company. However, over the month of March where I tracked the site’s activity, I found that there was a low incidence of content creation by members. This did change during the “Mi Fan Festival Singapore”, demonstrating that members were probably not inactive, but were mainly watchers instead of commenters or content creators and needed specific incentives to create content.

Through my examination of Mi Singapore’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, it was evident that Mi Singapore’s Facebook page has the widest reach out of all the other social media platforms and was also the company’s main platform for product announcements and launches. However, followers did not engage much with the content on these sites and Mi Singapore’s posts on Instagram and Twitter were rather irregular.

Following this analysis, I suggested 2 main strategies for the company to adopt in order to address the issues identified. The first was implementing a ranking system on the Mi Community site, where members could earn badges according to the number of posts they created or commented on within the month. This would act as an incentive for members to create content as it gives them a sense of pride and position within the community. These badges would be displayed together with their username when they posted or commented on the site. The second strategy was to build on the existing #MiExplorer program by engaging social media influencers as participants of the initiative, in addition to their current method of recruiting #MiExplorers.

Just a quick note on the #MiExplorer program, it is a initiative where participants get to try out Xiaomi’s latest products before they launch and post about their experiences with the product. However, recent posts from #MiExplorers have been met by skepticism from some of the fans on the trustworthiness of their review. Therefore, the engagement of social media influencers as part of this campaign would help boost the trustworthiness and increase audience engagement in this initiative.

Overall, Mi Singapore is largely effective in utilising social media to engage and satisfy the needs of Mi fans, however there is room to improve in these aspects and the use of these strategies could not only address these issues, but also increase loyalty to the brand.

Thanks for reading and comment below if you would like to find out more about my research!


G2 – Individual Research – Haagen-Dazs, Kit Kat and Oreo


Hi everyone,

For my individual research, I have chosen four things I love: chocolate, ice cream, cookies and Facebook, and the brands are Kit Kat, Haagen-Dazs and Oreo (I don’t think they need further introduction, right?). For the assignment, I analyzed their Singapore’s page, except for Oreo, that only have a global account.

My research question was “How effectively Haagen-Daza, Kit Kat and Oreo use Facebook to engage users in order to maintain them as loyal fans in Singapore?”. I chose that because they are the top brands of their category, but I wanted to understand why and how they keep that level, specifically in Singapore, since that’s where we live.

After that, I went to the Data Collection, which was from February 28th to March 28th. During that period I could notice a lack of engagement from the brands followers, so with the objectives of generate WOM effect and increase the level of engagement, I came up with three strategies specifically for Kit Kat.

The first one was to create a contest on Facebook with the hashtag #mybreakSG, where people would post a picture or video of their break from studies or work and share with their friends. The winner would get limited edition flavors of Kit Kat.

The second strategy was the Break Day, an event which the public would pick up the attractions based on a survey on the Kit Kat Facebook’s page. On the day, besides those attractions, there would be F&B with Kit Kat products.


The last strategy was to “promote” their loyal fans as Brand Ambassadors. Through the #mybreakSG campaign, Kit Kat would track the consumers that post pictures or videos even after the contest is over, showing their continuous love for the brand. They would be invited to share their experiences with the chocolate, but they wouldn’t know the criteria Kit Kat used to pick them, so there wouldn’t be spam.


Miriam S. Hirano

G2 Individual Project – Rebecca Minkoff


Rebecca Minkoff is a premium global lifestyle brand founded by Rebecca Minkoff and Uri Minkoff in 2005 (Rebecca Minkoff, 2016). The brand, based in New York, carries a wide range of accessible luxury bags, accessories, jewelry, footwear and apparel. However, their core business is bags. They have three domestic retail stores and two international retail stores in Hong Kong and Seoul, Korea. Their products are also distributed in over 900 stores and shipped to over 46 countries worldwide.

How can fashion brand, Rebecca Minkoff drive brand awareness in the Asian market with the use of social media?

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