Whoever said that Singaporeans are not creative need to wake up to the reality that Singaporeans are probably the most creative people around. Or, as many Singaporeans will put it, “Wake up your idea!” You need proof? Look no further. One of the malls in Singapore was shut for renovations and will reopen next year with a new look. And a new name. There was a competition to come up with a new name for the mall. And the winner walked away with $1000.
With such a great financial incentive, the creative juices of Singaporeans flowed freely, almost like the mud and debris in the landslide in Shenzhen. With so many creative names, it was difficult for the mall owner to choose the winning entry. But with much hard work and careful deliberation, they finally chose the extremely creative and innovative name: 1 Sengkang Mall.
This isn’t the first time Singaporeans displayed such amazing creativity in naming things. In 2005, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
wasted spent $400,000 on a branding exercise to come up with the right name for the Marina Bay area. It took months. And the final result? The area was named… wait for it… “Marina Bay”. Realising that the nascent creativity of Singaporeans was just waiting to burst forth, another exercise was conducted to name things in 2006. This time, it was for the low cost carrier terminal (which closed down in 2012). With $2,000 and a 3G phone (in 2006, that was cutting edge technology!) as bait, the exercise drew many entries. But the winning entry went to a teenager, Jonathan Sng. His winning entry? Budget Terminal.
I’m sure that this is only the beginning. I’m sure that after witnessing the unbelievable creativity of Singaporeans, more malls will want Singaporeans to come up with award-winning, world-class names. Maybe CapitaLand should take the lead. Because they have so many distinctly different malls all over the island that they absolutely need to have their malls given highly unique and creative names. So Westgate can be renamed 1 Jurong East Shopping Centre. JCube can be renamed 2 Jurong East Plaza. Or something like that.
So. Who says Singaporeans aren’t creative? This bodes well for the future of our economy. Because the future of our economy depends on us being innovative and creative. The 30-member Committee on the Future Economy should really look into this phenomenon and come up with brilliant ways to harness such creativity. Only then will we get to see SG100.
[Featured image: Photo of
Compass Point 1 Sengkang Mall from the Facebook page of the mall]