>MFC, being branded as “Sais’s Best Business Address”, represents the consortium’s vote of confidence in Singapore economicfuture. Branding and Positioning efforts of MFC MFC enjoyed strong political support from various ministers and government agencies, notably the Urban Redevelopment Authority (AURA). Upon completion, MFC won various awards attributed to its flexible design, state-of-the-art specifications and green features. At the developers level, various tools and methods such as press release and show suites are adopted to portray Miff’s image as a global financial centre.
Positive responses was gained from tenants, creating a feedback loop to attract more tenants in compatible needs. Analysis Miff’s strong brand awareness is evident from its premium office rental and high ointment rates. A survey survey was conducted to compare the traditional CAB with the new downtown in order to gauge the effectiveness of Miff’s branding efforts. Survey results revealed that 95% of the respondents are aware of Miff’s presence, indicating that MFC is successful in its branding. However, majority of the respondents gave only neutral feedback on factors such as accessibility, prestige and brand.
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Thus, more needs to be done to enhance the branding of MFC that encompasses all factors. Recommendations In response to the survey feedback and the overall branding process, commendations are made at two levels to improve the branding and positioning of MFC. Overall, the report provides groundbreaking research on successful branding achieved by public-private development while providing areas for improvement for future similar developments. MFC has great promise and definitely will set Singapore as one of the world’s leading financial hub.
We believe our findings will set a precedent for future Joint developments in and beyond Singapore through increasing the understanding of the effectiveness of such efforts. 2 Introduction With the vision of making Singapore into a leading global city and a global financial pub, the Singapore Government has initiated large-scale plans of developing the city new Central Business District (CAB) within Marina Bay. Some of the most prestigious new developments include the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MFC) and Marina Bay Sands (MBPS).
This report examines the overall branding and positioning of the new CAB within Marina Bay, together with its key developments. This report focuses on MFC in particular because it is one of the foremost developments within the new CAB symbolizing Singapore drive to be a global financial hub. Due to Miff’s strategic importance, efforts are Jointly spearheaded by the Singapore overspent, which includes the Urban Redevelopment Authority (AURA) and relevant authorities, and private developers.
As MFC was fully completed recently, the total impact and success of Miff’s branding and positioning efforts have yet to be fully determined. Thus, this report examines the branding and positioning successes of 2. 1 Objectives of study With MFC being a cornerstone of Singapore future financial aspirations, investigating the results of Miff’s branding and positioning efforts, both locally and globally, will greatly contribute to the general understanding of the effectiveness and efficiency of such efforts.
The recent completion of the majority of MFC will hence provide fresh inquiry towards the perceptions of MFC and the new Downtown. We will also consider how successful the branding and positioning of Marina Bay and MFC are from the perspectives of the different stakeholders, as well as provide recommendations to improve branding and positioning. In addition, we will be examining how the public-private partnership between the Singapore Government and private developers could be improved and replicated for future developments both within Singapore and in other countries. 2.
Methodology In this project, we began by collecting secondary data because it was more readily available and it provided us with the necessary background information. The preliminary background research took advantage of both online and offline information which includes media reports, newspaper articles, websites and case studies. Next, primary data was obtained through a survey# which is designed specifically for the aforementioned objectives and thus is more relevant and accurate 3 Background of the New Downtown The new downtown in Marina Bay is envisaged to be a place where people live, work, and play.
It is also one that encapsulates the essence of Singapore vision of becoming a global city. The new downtown is a seamless extension of Singapore flourishing CAB which signifies urban progress and prosperity that will support our continuing growth as a major business and financial hub in Asia. To realize Marina Bays vision, the land parcels at Marina Bay were planned based on a gridiron pattern which extends from the existing road network within the traditional CAB to facilitate seamless connectivity.
This not only creates a flexible layout with a series of land parcels, which are zoned “White” sites, that can be amalgamated or sub-divided, but also caters for new requirements and changing demands of future well-integrated developments. To enhance accessibility in the New Downtown, the upcoming Downtown Line, Thomson line and Circle Line Stage 6 which are slated to complete in phases between 2013 to 2021. Although more than a decade is required for the new downtown to be fully developed, a wide variety of projects that will offer people live, work and play are already in progress.
Today, Marina Bay is one of Singapore most popular and prestigious residential addresses and home to upscale developments such as Sail @ Marina Bay, Marina Bay Residences and Marina Bay Suites. Furthermore, recreational developments, for instance Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, cater to both tourists and locals alike. Next, commercial developments, which include One Raffles Quay, Marina Bay Financial Centre, Asia Square and One Marina Boulevard, contribute to building up the critical mass of office space in the Marina Bay area and developing the precinct as an international business and financial district.
The combination of developments have contributed significantly in branding Marina Bay’s petition as a tropical living environment among lush greenery, a bustling global business hub and a lifestyle locale presenting a wide variety of entertainment and leisure choices. 3. 1 Branding Marina Bay from Aura’s Perspective AURA is committed to Singapore long-term and strategic plans, which are to meet Marina Bay’s future development needs by adopting a holistic and integrated approach.
This approach includes designing the area with people in mind, working closely with partners and communities to implement key infrastructure, and carrying out active promotion and place management activities. Furthermore, AURA also engages investors to garner more interesting business concepts and ideas. This will take Singapore closer to the vision of making Marina Bay a choice destination for all, one that promises Singapore and visitors alike a brand-new, live-work-play experience (AURA, 2008).
Moving forward, Marina Bay will continue to be the centerpiece of Singapore urban visitors and talents. Part of the attraction of the New Downtown lies in its proximity to the waterfront, allowing people to enjoy all the associated perks of a waterfront view. Seen in this light, the AURA espoused Marina Bays excellent location and availability of rime office space, and marketed it as an integrated working and living environment. Furthermore, the AURA has released numerous press releases documenting the progress and development of the New Downtown, as part of its branding and marketing efforts. . 2 Political Support and Marketing Political support from various ministers has contributed significantly to the branding of the New CAB through endorsement of the venues, including MFC and MS. For instance, Mr. Thurman Augmentations, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Mr. Limit Hang Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry and Deputy Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, made major speeches and held conferences at the Marina Bay Financial Centre and Marina Bay Sands.
Furthermore, as Mr. Amah Bow Tan, then Minister for National Development, described “MFC is a milestone in the realization of our vision for Marina Bay”. It is a strategic step to ensure that Singapore remains a major player in the global banking and financial arena. ” In 2012, DUMP Mr. Thurman Augmentations made a speech# about the successes of the New Downtown, along with the Singapore Government’s plans for it. From his lowing praises, it is a clear indication that the Government clearly plans to develop Marina Bay into the new downtown that is a global financial hub, leisure destination and a sustainable urban area.
The Minister also describes plans to boost the recognition and accessibility of the New Downtown by building the International Cruise Terminal. Moreover, Prime Minister Lee Hussein Long (2005) termed Marina Bay “the centerpiece of our redevelopment of the city’, demonstrating the tremendous importance of the New Downtown and showing that the Government will spare no effort in branding and marketing the New Downtown in the best possible light. . 3 Aura’s efforts to brand MFC With the concept and vision, the early stage of planning for the new Downtown at Marina Bay was already completed.
In particular, AURA had carefully monitored the site tendering and introduced attractive incentives to build Miff’s brand. As Miff’s conceiver, AURA paid attention from the very beginning of the project regarding the tendering. In order to be in line with the integrated live-work-play environment concept for the Marina Bay area, “the site… Must come with purpose- built features catering to the specific needs of financial institutions and global businesses. With its prime location, it would become the business hub of choice to meet the complex and demanding needs of businesses. (Chosen, 2004). Meanwhile, facilities for the Marina Bay area. In addition, the Government introduced a flexible payment scheme, which enabled investors to phase the development according to market demand, and also lowered upfront costs and risks (AURA, 2004). AURA, as the development agency for Marina Bay, adopted an all-compassing approach to the Master Plan by implementing key infrastructure and endorsing investment opportunities. In 5 October 2006, MFC was officially unveiled by then Minister of National Development Mr. Amah Bow Tan.
Furthermore, at the topping out ceremony for MFC (Phase 1) Commercial Tower 1, Minister Amah stressed again that “the MFC represents the consortium’s vote of confidence in Singapore economic future” (Amah, 2009). It exemplifies the vision of a sustainable business district and shapes Singapore investment edge. MFC is not only a centre of prime office units, but an essential ingredient to fulfill the vision of Marina Bay and to strengthen Singapore position as a global financial centre. The frequent emphasis of the significance of MFC is another method used by the Singapore Government to increase its brand awareness. Market Positioning of MFC In 2001, a consortium comprising of the three developers – Chemung Kong Holdings, Honking Land and Keeper Land Limited – incorporated Raffles Quay Asset Management Pet Ltd (IRAQ) to manage One Raffles Quay and is now also responsible for MFC today. Keeper Land Limited takes on the major role as it is the only local developer among them who is familiar with the Singapore market. With its local expertise and wide marketing channels, appropriate and comprehensive branding tools can be used by Keeper Land to attract and secure high-quality tenants. 4.
Type of Tenants The tenant mix of MFC is shown in the pie chart below. Financial institutions account for a large percentage of occupiers. Apart from financial institutions, which account for 65% of the tenant mix, MFC also accommodates a wide variety of other uses such as healthcare, legal service providers and insurance firms to create the total ‘live, work and play’ environment concept. 4. 2 Complementarily and Compatibility Among Tenants The designation of Marina Bay as a business and financial centre by the government brings about a coveted prestige for financial institutions to relocate and agglomerate in MFC.
Some big brand names who chose to relocate in MFC include Standard Chartered Bank, American Express, BP Billion, DB’S Bank and Barclay. Businesses might not Just be those from the financial sector. The tenant mix in MFC has been carefully selected to brand the development in the prestigious manner while achieving optimal compatibility among tenants. For instance, Homeownership is a legal firm that has moved to MFC due to its ideal location and for its proximity to 4. 3 Occupancy Rate Since the official completion of MFC in 2012, Towers 1 and 2 have been fully leased to multinational banks and financial institutions.
In addition, according to IRAQ, the commitment rate in Tower 3 has reached 83. 6 per cent by February 2013. Marina Bay Link Mall, the retail component of MFC, is also 100% leased. This is a strong indication that MFC has been successful in branding and marketing themselves. 4. 4 Rental Prices visa-a-visa Traditional CAB The rental prices in the table below reflects Miff’s positioning as an upscale development. Despite commanding premium rental rates relative to the traditional CAB (refer to Table 3), MFC is still able to achieve near-full occupancy rates.
This demonstrates Miff’s ability to carve out a market share of its own. Table 1: Miff’s Office Rental Per Square Foot as of March 2013 Property Name Price ($/soft) MFC -rower 3 13. 27 MFC -rower 2 & 3 11. 00 MFC -rower 2 11. 91 MFC -rower 3 13. 11 MFC -rower 3 12. 00 Average Price SSP 12. 26 Table 2: Average Selling Price Per Square Foot in a District 01 Office as of March 2013 Property Name Price ($/soft) The central 9. 80 KGB Obligating. 50 Straits Trading Building 1. 00 sunset City Tower 10. 00 central south 15. 0 Average Price SSP 10. 76 Table 3: Comparison of Average Selling Prices between MFC Office vs.. Other District 01 Offices MFC Offices ($/soft)Other District 01 Offices ($/soft) 2. 26 10. 76 4. 5 Positioning Strategy of MFC: Product Leadership 4. 5. 1 Location Modeled after Loon’s Canary Wharf and Shanghais Pudding district, Miff’s close proximity to the waterfront allows global businesses and their visiting clients to be treated to an exciting mix of lifestyle choices, leisure and cultural experiences.
A business hotels such as The Fullerton, Raffles, Conrad and Mandarin Oriental, as well as facilities for the arts, culture and recreation including the Esplanade, Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Golf Course. These developments not only enhance the value of MFC, but also complement the positioning of MFC by portraying a sense of superiority that creates long-lasting impressions on both companies and visitors alike. 4. 5. 2 Design and Environment The MFC building is an efficient building with a well-planned, column-free internal layout that maximizes floor space and creates large floor plates.
It is also supported by state-of-the-art specifications and green building features. Comprising three office towers with close to three million square feet of prime Grade A office space, additional retail space of 176,000 square feet and two residential towers with 649 usury apartments, MFC was designed to be an impressive structure which exudes image and status. The development was designed by international distinguished architects Cohn Peterson Fox, under the Master Developer Concept initiated by the AURA.
The concept provides the developer with greater flexibility in designing the layout and mix of uses to suit the needs of modern business and financial firms. With its multiple environmentally-friendly building and design features, MFC has won numerous awards from various organizations. MFC was awarded the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Gold award for its office towers 1 & 2, Marina Bay Residences and Marina Bay Suites as well as the Green Mark Gold Plus for its office tower 3.
Furthermore, their successful planning and design have led them to clinch the top award in the Office category at the “ABACI PRI declensions Awards 2012, which is the most prestigious international real estate award that recognizes distinctive projects for their excellence in overall concept, architecture and design, development and construction, community benefit, environmental impact, financing and marketing” (MFC, 2013). The design and construction of the office towers acclimates ease of communication, interaction and management for the tenants.
With a combination of prime location and world-class facilities, MFC has rapidly built up its position as a provider of quality spaces for tenants. In addition, it aims to deliver superior value to its stakeholders. Hence, MFC is well-positioned to compete and achieve resounding success in the international arena. 5 Branding 5. 1 The MFC Brand In creating a special MFC brand, developers put forth a slogan as follows: “Sais’s Best Business Address”. The combination of high-profile and prominent tenants makes MFC the leading commercial development in Singapore.
MFC has also remarkably demonstrated that mixed-use developments can the development. This continually evolving concept of urban design has been brought about by Joint cooperation among realtors, government, architects, planners as well as the tenants. While Singapore is yet to be recognized as the world’s most competitive financial hub, this development is a step in the right direction as an extension of the developed CAB. 5. 2 Tools and Methods 5. 2. 1 Press Release Albeit traditional, press release and printed advertisements via mediums such as newspapers and magazines is still a popular option to reach out to a large target arrest.
MFC has achieved its popularity through advertising selectively in printed materials like The Business Times, which is targeted at professionals. The public is kept updated of MFC through a newsletter publication by IRAQ named “By the Bay’ which documents highlights of the quarter. Some of these highlights include the relocation of new, prestigious tenants to MFC, demonstrating MFC as the choice destination for reputable companies to locate in within Asia. 5. 2. Billboard Advertising Other than newspapers and magazines, billboard advertising is another tool employed by the marketing agent of MFC. Along the underground walkway from Raffles Place Mass Rapid Transit (MR.) to I-JOB Plaza 1 Centre / Boat Quay, billboards advertising Miff’s office spaces are prominently and strategically displayed, with words such as “dream office”, “fully equipped” and “perfect price” being displayed. Naturally, such an advertisement raises the exposure of MFC to the general public, and also creates an impression of well-designed office units. . 2. 3 Business-to-Business (BIB) Marketing In addition, BIB marketing is also being carried out to facilitate social networking between prospective tenants and MFC. Transmittal of information is made easy and readily available on the Internet. Meanwhile, credibility and competence of MFC is established by proper branding and viral marketing in the digital world. The presence of Miff’s corporate website, Youth, Faceable and various property marketing websites are some examples of Miff’s BIB tools.
Essentially, such an outlet has allowed the development to actively engage its prospective tenants and to forge long-lasting business ties with them. 5. 2. 4 Show suite In order to simulate a pleasant work experience within the towers, IRAQ has astutely opened an office show suite on Level 30 of Tower 3. Using interactive computer software, prospective tenants can customize its office space to suit its needs. By doing so, it creates an experience that leaves a good impression on prospective tenants by showcasing the office layout. Photo credit: IRAQ, 2012 5. Case Studies With reference to the case studies# provided by IRAQ, existing tenants gave positive feedback about MFC. Starting with American Express, the company recognized MFC as “a clear choice” (American Express, 2012) arising from factors such as location, safety and security, facilities with latest technologies, flexibility and environmental sustainability. Subsequently, BP Billion mentioned that “building on the prestigious location is the unparalleled waterfront views and the affront experience – instilling a strong sense of belonging for the employees” (BP Billion, 2012).
Furthermore, Homeownership highlighted that “the manager for Marina Bay Financial Centre, also worked with the law firm to install a staircase connecting all three levels of its new office space, thereby promoting ease of flow for everyone” (Homeownership, 2012). The fact that DB’S Bank shifted from their former headquarters in Shoshone Way to MFC is an indication that MFC is regarded as a preferred location to do business. Jackson Tat, CEO of DB’S, described MFC as “first-class space for our employees” which allows the company to meet their expansion needs throughout the region.