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Moving Singapore

10 facts that can guide your business in understanding Singapore and how to market here. 


Singapore is a country with four national languages, a robust education system, comprehensive housing policies, enforced health and income savings, and a fair split of celebrations between different religions. With such a diverse set of beliefs and values sharing a small island, it could get difficult understanding what connects the different groups of people living here.


Singaporeans are well-connected and always on.
Singapore is one of the few countries in the world where mobile subscriptions are at 144%, which means that a great majority has more than one mobile line and they are almost constantly connected. On public transportation here, you’d see many Singaporeans looking at their devices, seeking new news. It reflects in the country’s internet statistics – 7 hours are spent online daily, and WhatsApp is the second most used platform after YouTube.


Price-savvy and resourceful.
Despite being the most expensive city to live in globally, Singapore ranks 64 in terms of average salaries, showing that it’s not easy to maintain an average quality of life here. As such locals need to pick and choose the experiences they want to invest time and money in, be it the next iPhone, a DSLR camera, or the next getaway from the sunny island. The main thing that drives purchase is the consumer’s belief that they are getting the best bang for buck. So even if it is an iPhone worth $1.7k, if they believe it’ll give them a great mobile experience, they’ll find the $4.65 daily expense on the new device worth it.


Short attention span in the Zeitgeist.
Long queues are frequently seen in Singapore when something new is being launched. The Dessert Museum in Suntec City? Pokemon Go Safari? New bubble tea flavour? These queues represent the desire of locals to remain at the forefront of the trends, and they will have the patience for it, rain or shine.Yet, we also see the rise and falls of these superstars. Hokkaido Cheese Tart, which was so famous a few years ago, just closed their last outlets. Apple, which were the technology brand to own, lost their appeal to locals as more and more consumers switch to Android devices. According to a Nielsen survey, “Value for money” was found to be the Singaporeans’ top reason for brand-switching behaviour at 78 percent, followed by price reductions or promotions at 73 per cent.This means that a strong brand is necessary to thrive in Singapore. A brand that continuously provide new news and innovation, feeding into the need for trends by locals. A brand that resonates to a local living here, experiencing the ebbs and flows of the fast paced metropolitan city life.


Food-obsessed nation.
Lovingly referred to as ‘Bobba tea’, bubble tea has been infused into almost every aspect of Singaporean life. And that’s just one food trend. The city is the proud home of the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant, and boasts of the countless hawker centers and great but cheap food you can find walking throughout the city, no matter which neighbourhood you’re in.The food obsession has led to many marketers using this as a passion point in marketing to the locals. Food bloggers, coverage by the media are on the rise, and this is one trend all eyes should be on.


Game on – everyday, everywhere.
A recent survey revealed that Singaporeans spend the most time playing video games, even more than Korea and Japan. After Call of Duty was launched in Singapore on 1st October, it quickly rose to be the top most downloaded app. Pokemon Go took over the country in 2016 and today has its own real life Pokemon Safari in Sentosa. The gaming culture is so prevalent that a recent dating survey even shows that it has become a turnoff for Singaporean ladies when a man puts it in their profiles.


Data-driven love life makes high success rates.
Amongst one of the top 10 revenue by apps is one named Coffee meets Bagel. A recent study shows that many similar apps (Paktor, Tinder, OkCupid) are gaining traction in Singapore because of a few factors – lack of time to socialise, desire to not ‘waste time’ in dating the wrong match, wanting professional help in recommending a profile that is suitable. In many ways, the way Singaporeans date tend reflect their desire in services that are value-for-money, and helps them become more efficient.This shows that even when it comes to matters of the heart, there is a strong desire to cross check their potential life partners against a list of practical compatibility factors. If even love has such a process, brand love would have a stricter checklist.


Pets over babies.
2018 saw the least number of babies born in Singapore within 8 years. The slowdown in fertility represents a new trend we see in Singaporeans – the desire to remain child-free.On the other hand, dog ownership have been increasing year on year within Singapore, and unofficially so has cat ownership. Pet cafes are common, and pet expos receive great attendance, showing the growing interest in caring for these little furballs. The love for animals is apparently nation-wide, and love for dog and cat videos online reflects the global sentiment.


Ambitious and driven when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder.
Interestingly, in Singapore you can reach more people on LinkedIn (2.6million) compared to Instagram (2.2million). Careers form a strong part of an individual’s identity and is often the subject of conversation. There are many locals actively seeking opportunities to increase their income, do assets planning and climb the corporate ladder. That said, there is a big percentage of expats who just view Singapore as a temporary place to advance their career, which has a spill-over effect on locals who are just as hungry for success.


Seeks adventure that is not just another man-made show.
Being in a country that is an island also means most Singaporeans have island fever. Besides the endless lineup of concerts, events, exhibitions – the country itself has limited variety of natural landscape and different cultures to explore. The great news is that it is very easy to reach other countries from Singapore. Within 6 hours, you can reach almost all the countries in Asia, with a range of affordable flight options. Even further to reach places like London, Norway, Finland and Iceland have become viable travel options to many locals.

As such, this is another passion point that is a great way to connect with the wanderlusting Singaporeans.


A well-rounded society with high internal benchmarks and self inflicted stress.
A recent survey shows that Singaporeans, especially millennials, are stressed over having sufficient income to lead their lives and maintain their standard of living. There is an invisible benchmark set by personal high expectations, and seen especially so in women who constantly prioritize others over themselves.




We Are Social Singapore Digital 2019 Report