Marielle Reussink believes in the power of the individual and that entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses hold the key to the future!
Since leaving the corporate world, she has focussed on helping fellow entrepreneurs realise their vision – from broader business needs to developing goal-oriented communication solutions. We check in on her to see what she’s been working on.
We hear you’ve been busy on a special project. What is it, what are you trying to achieve, and why?
For the past several weeks, I’ve been very busy working on a personal project that’s dear to my heart: The Singapore Wishlist. It’s a platform to showcase some of Singapore’s best artisanal businesses to help them get their product offers in front of a greater audience this festive season.
I’m very excited to share more about it with you today, because I love Christmas. I also love supporting local businesses and everything artisanal and custom-designed; but, being time-strapped, I also love to do my shopping online. So, bringing all that together this year to help small businesses make the most of the Christmas season has been a wonderful pursuit!
At the same time, for many expats (including me!), being in Singapore at this time of the year will be a first. So, I hope this will be a useful resource for everyone to find unique gift ideas and everything festive in one place to create a magical Singapore Christmas.
Sounds great! What inspired this idea?
My day job is heading up The EMMS, a marketing company specialising in branding, websites, campaigns and consulting to support entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups to achieve their goals. As part of that job, I have daily conversations with artisanal retail brands. Speaking with them, I realised that there is an immense pressure to find creative ways to make the most of the festive season – especially this year. At the same time, customers seem to have a greater desire to support local businesses than ever before.
So, I really wanted to create a platform to help facilitate both by creating The Singapore Wishlist, because, although customers may wish to support more local brands, the challenge remains how to find them – especially if you don’t have time to go to the fairs.
What makes The Singapore Wishlist different?
That’s a great question! There are of course other platforms out there with similar goals.
It’s different for businesses, because we’re not only offering them a listing on our platform, but also the opportunity to be part of our ongoing digital marketing campaign, through which we’ll reach both expats and locals. With the budget we’ve put aside, we’re on track to reach 150,000 people over two months. That’s new exposure for these brands at a fraction of the cost. Above that, they’ll also have the opportunity to acquire new customers.
For customers, on the other hand, supporting independent brands online can sometimes feel tricky. How can you be sure of the quality? As part of curating the businesses featured, I wanted to make sure that we create a quality resource by only featuring items that are ready to gift and that are perfect for the festive season, to take the guesswork out of your holiday shopping.
Also, many of the businesses featured have won awards for their great products and services. I’ve tried quite a few of them myself and I absolutely love them! In addition, there’s a whole array of offers and promotions exclusively available on The Singapore Wishlist to make it just that little bit sweeter.
Plus, we’ve got such great variety of products and services all in one place. You can really complete a lot of your Christmas shopping just from the comfort of your sofa!
Is it different working with such businesses?
Before founding The EMMS, I worked with many corporates, including Unilever, GE, EY and many more. Sometimes I still do. The biggest difference I find working with this profile is how much meaning is attached to every single project or activity.
Working with this target group, you really do feel like you’re making a difference in someone’s life – helping them succeed with their business. Although I work very hard, it makes it all so rewarding. I genuinely feel proud of every triumph we achieve together.
Is it different working on this kind of project compared to a client’s project?
In some ways it is; you can test out ideas that you don’t always have scope for in normal client work. In digital, you’re always learning, because it’s always changing. So, it’s nice to have some space to play around with things. We can then bring those things we’ve learnt back into our day-to-day work. Besides curating the list, I’m really enjoying this aspect.
What have been the difficulties and the successes?
Interestingly enough, not everyone believed that it’s possible to reach 150,000 people with our digital campaign in this timeframe. However, that’s the beauty with digital. If you know what your budget is and have a benchmark for how your campaign is likely to perform, you can get quite a clear estimate of how many people you’re likely to reach with your communications.
It’s been great to see that we’re on track so far to achieve our estimates. Overall, the site’s been well received. Brands are reporting that they are seeing high-quality traffic come through with sales too.
Is it still possible to join The Singapore Wishlist?
Yes, we’re still accepting brands. We’re also looking at possibly keeping the site live beyond Christmas; of course, this would be in a different format. If people would like to find out more, they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything else you’d like to share today?
The current crisis poses many challenges, but I like to think that with that comes an opportunity. In this case, it’s an opportunity to discover new businesses here in your community. I hope you’ll enjoy this resource – and I do wish you a wonderful Singapore Christmas!
Read her recent article on how to create a nimble marketing plan in times of crisis.
For more information, you can call her on 8522 1874, or follow her at the-emms.com/blog.
Marielle Reussink is a marketing professional, entrepreneur, advisor to start-ups, and founder of The EMMS.
Follow her at LinkedIn, Twitter and Medium.