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How to Market Your Business in Singapore

June 3, 2014 | SERVCORP

"Know your enemy as you know yourself," as the saying goes. Your target market might not be considered your "enemies", (it's your competition, you should truly watch out for), but you must also know them like the back of your hand so that you can survive in the world of business. 

For instance, when it comes to marketing your startup or franchise in Singapore, you should be aware of the rich immigrant history of Singapore. They're every bit of a meritocracy and cultural melting pot as Malaysia or some other Asian country, but even then, your approaches to appealing to Malaysians aren't necessarily the same as when you appeal to Singaporeans. 

Singaporeans and the Way They Handle their Meritocracy 

Unlike with Malaysia, wherein their meritocracy is manifested through Bumiputera (Son of the Land) affirmative action in public education to create opportunities for their Malay indigenous peoples, Singapore actually does have an applied and equal-opportunity meritocratic form of governing. 

The more fair and equal-opportunity you present your company, the more you'll endear yourselves to Singaporeans. Meritocratic ideals of celebrating diversity and being unified instead of divided by it are as important to Singaporeans as freedom and the American Dream are to Americans. 

Furthermore, while Malaysian meritocracy is more local and concentrated to accepting its peoples as all sons of the land, so to speak, Singaporean meritocracy is instead about the multiple immigrant culture influences it's had throughout the years. 

In a certain point of view, Singapore is almost like an ASEAN version of the United States of America, which also has a rich history of immigration and adaptation of multiple cultures from all corners of the globe. In the context of marketing your startup company in Singaporean soil, it's all about hitting the multiple market demographics by product and ads. 

Making your every last advertisement, tweet, Facebook update, website content, SEO keywords, events, press releases, and business dealings localized (and even translated) is of the utmost importance. 

Doing Business in Singapore and Appealing to Singaporeans 

It can't be emphasized enough. Singapore is a multiethnic society and a strong immigrant history, more so than any other Asian or ASEAN country. Ergo, you should cater to this multi-ethnicity the same way Singapore does. 

English is a working language, while Tamil, Malay, and Chinese are also spoken. Singapore also has a local vernacular called Singlish or Singaporean English (English with lots of local dialect and slang words peppered in). 

As for religion, the country is mostly Muslim, so as a company, you'll also need to brush up on the etiquette and mores concerning Islam and Islamic practices (from Ramadan or the Muslim fasting month to their aversion to eating pigs). 

Singapore is essentially a mixture of Eurasian, Indian, Malay, and Chinese communities. As far as business dealings are concerned, you might regularly meet with Singaporean Chinese as your business counterparts. 

Furthermore, it's imperative that you have respective partners along with you to guide you when it comes to the intricacies of Singaporean culture and business (which obviously can't be covered with one simple article such as this). 

Knowledge of local customs and your prime Singaporean demographic should allow you to best translate your marketing to appeal to a section (or sections) of Singaporean society—may it be the Eurasian, Indian, Malay, or Chinese community. 

If you want to establish a Singaporean business startup, you can always rely on Servcorp to help. The firm has quality virtual office services and business registration solutions that will give you everything you need to keepyour startup company in Singapore afloat.