As you embark on a branding campaign for your company, it’s good to know that there are grants you might be eligible for with the right creative agency in Singapore. Particularly for branding, Enterprise Singapore supports local brands with the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) under the Core Capabilities pillar of Strategic Brand and Marketing Development. There’s a lot of pillars under EDG and you should definitely check out an EDG guide for businesses to better understand the others. We’ll only be covering the branding aspect of it.
When you successfully apply for EDG, you could be subsidised up to 80% for your branding project. CHA-CHING 💰 Sounds good? We think so too, which is why we applied to become one of the approved creative agencies for this grant. But to properly apply and obtain EDG, ample groundwork and information gathering are necessary, especially if you’re afraid of rejection (like us 😢).
What do I need to prepare? How do I fill in the application proposal? Relax, we’ll get to all of these by the end of this article. First, you should pull up the Core Capabilities proposal template and follow the requirements stated within it. Got it? Good, now let’s delve into each requirement and go through your burning questions together:
Can my company apply for the EDG?
Right out the gate, we need to talk about the qualifications to apply for EDG. Before you even start filling in the proposal template, make sure your company meets the following criteria:
- Registered and operating in Singapore 🇸🇬
- Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
- Be financially viable to start and complete the project
You’ll need the documents to prove the above, such as ACRA information and audited financial statements. Other information required will be a quotation/proposal, the scope of the management consultancy, and their Enterprise Singapore-recognised certification. Better get them handy!
What kind of progress and milestones do I have to include in the proposal?
Yes. now we move into the proposal for real. It’s best to provide a timeline of the growth in your company, which demonstrates how it has grown since its establishment. Remember, you want to show your company as one that is financially viable to complete the project and yet, in need of some support from the Enterprise Development Grant.
We find it best to cover the entire spectrum, from when the company first started to the major success points. Here are some guiding questions to help:
- What are some of the key clients you’ve acquired and when?
- When did your company achieve its first S$1M in revenue?
- Was there any team expansion that occurred?
- Did your company introduce any new products or services, or upgrade any existing ones?
- Were there any enhancements to operations or workflows?
- Did your company receive any awards or certifications?
- What are some of the major projects your company has completed?
I have a lot of products/services. Do I list them all?
Not necessarily. It’ll be best to group them into categories and list a few examples within each category. The main purpose is for Enterprise Singapore to understand what your company does and how it potentially contribute to the economy, which will help them decide whether to award you with the subsidy from the EDG grant.
Add in your Unique Selling Point (USP) or Competitive Advantage as well! It gives them a better understanding of how your company can go further with a new branding and support from the EDG grant, showing them that their investment in your business would not go into waste.
My company has many clients/customers over the years. Do I have to include all of them?
Once again, no. We’ll recommend that you focus on the main clients or target customer segments (i.e. middle-aged men in Singapore or mothers) who contribute or have contributed the largest percentage of your annual revenue. Have a minimum of 3 segments if possible.
For companies who’re more on the Business-to-Business (B2B) side, you can focus on industries and provide a few examples instead. It’ll be good to include any major names you’ve worked with. Looks good on ya. 😎
What constitutes an ‘overseas presence’?
Besides an overseas office, revenue from foreign clients and customers are part of your overseas presence. Having strong relationships with partners abroad who facilitates your operations or provide qualified leads counts as well.
What kind of growth and internationalisation plans are we talking about?
With a new brand identity, how would your company grow in the next 3 to 10 years? It’s best to include any team expansion plans you might have, projected growth in revenue and estimated increase in clients/customers/leads. On the other side of the equation, reduction in cost (hint: digital marketing budget) to increase your profits is also fair game here.
International plans are not a necessity but they’re good to have. Perhaps look at how your company will expand into an overseas market or acquire new international projects/partnerships as a result of this new branding.
What type of challenges or opportunities do I need to include?
Focus on why you need this a new branding overhaul/branding identity . What are some of the issues your company has been facing or opportunities your company couldn’t obtain due to a lack of brand identity? This could range from brand perception, inconsistent visual identity, lack of brand strategy, or a lack of brand recall/awareness. All of which can hinder your audience from remembering and choosing your company.
I don’t know enough about branding to describe how it will help. How should I fill it in?
Generally, we recommend a sit-down with the creative agency you’re partnering with to go through this portion. You should look at tackling the existing issues described above with the new branding and include the deliverables your partner offers.
Perhaps an enhanced logo, an improved tagline or a brand new set of corporate collaterals? Or it could be a branding guideline that ensures every communication channel is consistent and memorable for your target audience? The more the merrier. Like we said when in doubt, discuss with your partnering creative agency.
What should I include in the reasons for choice of consultant/solution provider?
Why did you pick them, out of all the available creative agencies out there? Think back as to what led you to this point. Do avoid only having price as the main and only factor for your choice though. It’s not a great idea when you’re applying for a subsidy.
Consider any recommendations, portfolio or the relationship (past or present) you might have with the agency/consultant. All of which can play a part in your choice.
How will branding help my company? What are some of the quantitative and qualitative outcomes?
Go back to your growth and internationalisation plans as well as the existing issues your company face. Now, how will branding help you achieve your goals and eradicate the existing issues? That’s how you can fill in this portion.
Some of the common quantitative outcomes include an increase in revenue/profit, number of leads/customers, and team strength as well as any estimated cost reduction. As for qualitative outcomes, we’re looking at brand awareness/recall, brand image, perceived brand value, and brand preferences.
It’ll be good if you can at least do an informal survey with your existing customers and any new ones you’re in talks with.
I’m done with the proposal template. Where do I submit it?
You don’t have to go through this alone, especially if you’d like to partner with an award-winning creative agency that has outstanding and friendly consultants to help you ( Read: us). We’ve helped many of our existing clients with the EDG proposal submission in the past year and we’ll be more than happy to help you with it.
Save yourself the hassle and focus on getting that new branding your company deserves. Contact us instead.