International Business & Economy Our local talents must be better supported by professional brand managers

Our local talents must be better supported by professional brand managers

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By: Ben Matchap

When it comes to developing local talent one important point that no one seems to be talking about, is that of businesses managing them. For the sake of keeping things simple I will be using the music scene as a case study.

We do have really talented creatives here in Singapore. Every time you go to Baybeats – an annual 3-day alternative music festival organized by Esplanade – there are always new local bands that you never heard of who are really good. But the problem is in the record labels.

Let’s face it, we cannot blame local artist for not being able to market themselves properly, because aren’t cut out for that. If they manage to do it, hats-off to them, but I think that a band would be more successful if they were able to focus on their music and have a professional music marketing promote them.

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It is already a struggle to be a creative talent in Singapore with our rigid education system. Most booksmart students pride themselves in being able to shut up, sit down, and in memorising. Local creatives have to unlearn many of these things our education system prescribes in their quest to make a name for themselves.

The talent management business over here need to step up and learn to identify talented individuals and learn to develop them, instead of waiting for them for “make it” on their own, before whoring them out and putting them in every influencer inspired campaign. This is not a stab or pot shot at “influencers”. I think companies giving them gigs is great, but maybe the support should come when they are budding talents?

Before you think I am expecting companies and business to bet on the wrong horse before seeing promise let’s take Joseph Schooling winning the Olympic gold as an example. He didn’t really get much sponsorships before winning the medal, but afterwards – all of a sudden a bunch of companies wanted to congratulate him and offer him stuff while promoting their own products.

I am sorry, but that is not how sponsorships works. The whole point of sponsorships is for business to put in support for people they see promise in and take risks. If the person you sponsored succeeds, then you have every right to put up as much promotional material using that person. You are entitled to it because you shared in the risks of the talented individual, and made his or her life that much better.

Our talent management companies need to step up and take more risks in helping to better develop our local creatives talent and not wait for them to do all the hard work, clawing their way to the top before slapping your brand over them.

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