SINGAPORE: Electronics giant Samsung, the OCBC bank group, and Fraser and Neave (F&N) are regarded by Singaporeans as the most innovative brands in their respective categories of technology, finance and FMCG, recent research has shown.

A survey of more than 2,000 consumers conducted by research agency Incite Singapore, working in partnership with regional research firm AIP, attributed their success to having met five key levers Incite identified as drivers of consumer opinion.

Incite described these key drivers of innovation – an essential purchase consideration for consumers, it said – as leadership, product relevance, product vibrancy, communication and approval.

These attributes did not form a uniform pattern across all the categories and brands in the survey, but underscored how innovation is the number one purchase driver after essential "hygiene" factors, such as value for money or trust.

Each key lever contained at least two or three statements of approval, Incite said, that taken together drew consumers towards a particular brand.

For example, leadership statements included the perception that a brand "has been making great products for a long time" or "is years ahead of its competitors" – and leadership proved to be especially important in the technology category.

A statement supporting product relevance included "products that make my life easier" and, at 46%, was by far the most important key driver of innovation in the finance category.

Similarly, at 40%, product vibrancy – "makes products that are very new and different" – mattered the most in the FMCG category.

Statements supporting communication included "inspiring advertising", which the survey showed to be more relevant for the FMCG and technology sectors than finance.

The survey also took a specifically local perspective and asked participants to identify local companies they regarded as the most innovative.

Creative Technology topped the list, followed by bakers BreadTalk, Singapore Airlines, OSIM, the electrical goods firm, with NTUC FairPrice, the co-operative supermarket chain, rounding out the top five.

Data sourced from Incite; additional content by Warc staff