SingTel builds brand love using social media

Low Lai Chow

"People think we are a little bit cold; a little bit unfriendly. We do a great job delivering telco services, but they don't love us." So lamented Johan Buse, SingTel's vice president, consumer marketing, at the two-day APPIES 2013 festival, held in Singapore in August 2013.

For the telecommunications company, an incumbent operator in the industry, awareness is hardly a problem. When it comes to emotional resonance, however, Singaporeans aren't exactly feeling it. After all, SingTel delivers something rather different than the brands they are truly attached to, like Apple and Facebook. "(It) is a bit of a challenge for companies like SingTel. We sell communications, which is intangible. Intangible products and services are always a little difficult to love," said Buse. It also doesn't help that "telcos are probably the most wanted target for online venting – we, in particular," he added.