Does Local Brand Bias Exist?

Interested in Becoming a Member?

An SIM Membership like no other, provides you with an abundance of tools, resources and opportunities to help you achieve your professional and personal success at every step of the way! Be part of our learning community of more than 34,000 corporate and individual members.

For more information about membership, please click here »

Member Login

If u are a subscriber, please use ur subscriber login.
If you are a SIM Member, please use your SIM Membership login.

Forgot your password?

Member Login

Forgot your password?
login  Cancel

Sign Up

If you wish to sign up for a SIM Membership, please click here


If you wish to subscribe to Today's Manager, please click here

If you wish to subscribe to Singapore Management Review, please click here

Website maintenance notice: Website will not be accessible from 27 June (11 pm) to 28 June (9 am) due to scheduled maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Home > Articles > Does Local Brand Bias Exist?

 Does Local Brand Bias Exist?

Shanthi Regupathy | Today's Manager
September 1, 2020

Are you fussed about where your products come from or adamant about supporting local? Either way, read on.

International brands have often been perceived by many consumers as unrivalled in terms of quality and price competitiveness. However, in recent years, there has been a rise in homegrown brands outperforming global brands on other metrics such as customer experience.

According to a survey conducted by ICLP, a loyalty marketing agency, shoppers feel more valued by home-grown brands compared to international brands. The survey, which involved 750 Singaporean consumers, revealed a few noteworthy trends in the consumer market. Firstly, more consumers feel appreciated by local brands as compared to international brands. More consumers also agree that local brands listen to and cater to their needs and preferences, as compared to international brands.

Even more recently, many initiatives have sprouted online, calling upon Singaporeans to support local brands. With local businesses being the most hard-hit due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy, more and more Singaporeans are turning to promote and support their very own ‘local heroes’, spotlighting the quality and value that local brands offer. While it is not foreseeable whether this trend of local bias will survive beyond the virus, it is still heartening to see an array of local brands getting some well-deserved attention. In the spirit of supporting local brands, I have put together a list of my favourite brands which I believe deserve some recognition for their stellar selection of products and services.

Temple Candles
Inspired by Singapore’s lush greenery, Temple Candles offers a series of handcrafted botanical luxury fragrances and candles.

Olive Ankara
Olive Ankara offers a refreshing and creative take on fashion, blending African wax textile prints and Italian craftsmanship.

Ashepa is a sustainable lifestyle brand which retails collections of jewellery, homeware and other accessories, designed and handmade by African artists.

theWYLDSHOP is a fashion and lifestyle boutique which curates Australian High Street, local and other Southeast Asian Brands.

Just Gaya’s
Just Gaya’s is a multi-label boutique which retails artisanal apparel and accessories. Each of their products has a unique handmade element, and many are one-of-a-kind pieces.

Tumbleweed Plants
Tumbleweed Plants brings nature right to your doorstep with various plants.

These highly personalised and localised products, sourced or handmade with much care and attention to details, has certainly earned my loyalty to the brands. It is inspiring to see how these brands have gone the extra mile to communicate with and engage their consumers, and to establish stronger local relevance with customers through tailoring product or service offerings. Such moves have become all the more pertinent in today’s age, with the tech-savvy consumer having access to a variety of choices when it comes to product or service offerings.

While the topic of whether local brand bias exists is quite a subjective matter, the evidence above goes to show that local brands do have an edge over international brands in some aspects, especially since they are often in the position to better understand consumer needs. The COVID-19 situation has also underscored the ever-increasing need to give local brands some attention. It is thus up to local brands to leverage on these biases and opportunities to gain a stronger foothold in the market through customised and localised customer engagement and product development strategies.

With a wealth of industry experiences and a fiery passion for engaging others in meaningful conversations, Shanthi Regupathy, Founder and Account Director of COCO PR & Communications, takes on the world of PR with refreshing insights.




Copyright © 2020 Singapore Institute of Management

Article Found In

Today's Manager Issue 3, 2020

View Issue

Browse Articles

By Topic
By Industry
By Geography