CMO Diaries: Brand Workshop in Singapore

Last week I went to Singapore for a brand workshop with my Australian client, Emvisage. I’m their Contract CMO through the CMOwashere network. Singapore was the obvious choice since it’s half-way between Helsinki and Melbourne.

Tuesday night, Ari from CMOwashere and I boarded Finnair’s A350-XWB (my favourite plane, btw) and arrived safe and sound on Wednesday afternoon at Singapore Changi Airport (12h flying + 5 hours time difference). Surprisingly, no jetlag.

Singapore skyline

We bumped into Emvisage’s founders Cam and Marc at the reception of our hotel. After one month of talking to each other only via Google Hangouts, it was great to finally meet them in person.

The next day we woke up to a cloudy, but hot & humid day. Singapore is close to the equator, so this weather is the norm.

Cam rented a meeting room in the co-working space “The Working Capital“, which was in 20 minutes walking distance from our hotel. The people and staff were very friendly. Our meeting room was “charmingly small”. 😉

Workshop Day 1: “Discovering the Value”.

Inside the Working Capital

What generates value NOW and NEXT and how can Emvisage deliver it to its customers?

Part of my work as the CMO for Emvisage was to prepare and research this part in advance.

The past 3 weeks I’ve been talking with current and potential Emvisage customers in so-called empathy chats. I wanted to get to know these field service professionals better; their viewpoints, feelings, challenges and what influences their work.

Another part of my preparations consisted of extensive market research and competitor analysis. I studied white papers, read Gartner reports and analysed the online presence and communication of big and small players in the industry.

The results of these research were the basis for our discussions and our work during the workshop.

Workshop day 2: “Designing Uniqueness”.

Biz Lunch Singapore Style

This part was all about Emvisage’s brand core. How can we integrate our values and the values of our customers in our story and stand out from the masses?

Talking about a “brand” can become quite abstract. Ari introduced a tool with 4 different rumbles that help you to get to the core of the most important aspects of your business: Emotional Brand, Culture, Product/Business & Communication.

Here it’s essential to ask the right questions in order to dig deep into the company’s essence. Why are we doing what we’re doing? What difference are we trying to make in our customer’s lives? How do we work? How do we want to communicate? What is the one word that describes us? The list goes on.

I can’t write about everything we did and discuss, but I can say that we mutually agreed that those 2 days in Singapore were a big success.

3 things I learned from this workshop

  1. If you’ve got a remote team or you’re working remotely, it’s really important to meet face to face from time to time. Technology and video are great, but there’s nothing like a personal meeting. It’s fertile soil for creativity.
  2. A change of scenery is as important as sticking to routines. It’s invigorating and it gives you a fresh perspective on old problems. It doesn’t need to be a trip to Singapore, it’s as simple as changing your work desk from time to time.
  3. Listening is way more important than talking. Even though I had a fair share to say about the results of my research at the beginning, it was still way more important to listen to Cam and Marc and their opinion on their industry, company and their team. After all, they know it best. All that Ari and I did was listening, putting into a framework and providing guidance on how to proceed further.
Dinner by the bay

What’s next?

This was just the beginning of my work with Emvisage. The next months will be all about refining our marketing strategy and getting high-quality content out there. It’s fun to work with clients that are committed and trust you with what you’re doing. I’m excited about the next weeks and months to come.

I’ll keep you posted here on

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