Congratulations to our Singapore office for winning a Marketing Excellence Award!


Their Insights work with the Manhattan Fish Markets (MFM) helped with competitive benchmarking, brand auditing, and analysis to help form their overall communications strategy across traditional and social media. Here’s how our team identified and addressed the challenges facing the MFM, and what insights they uncovered.


MFM has been in the Singapore and Malaysia market for several years and is looking to innovate and refresh their brand strategy. The increasing number of affordable premium dining options to already popular value-priced food franchises has seen the dining industry become increasingly more competitive.

The organisation wanted to identify more growth opportunities for the business to increase their market share and presence apart from deal oriented promotions.

  • Competitive benchmarking. Important data such as sales and profit margins of key competitors are not easily accessible. Coupled with the presence of numerous competitors, each with their own franchise of outlets spread geographically across the country, MFM asked Isentia the best way to benchmark considering the many elements of success – customer service, consumer sentiment and engagement as a few examples.


  • Brand positioning. MFM’s marketing collaterals have been consistently aligned with its positioning of being “Fun & Witty”. However, MFM wondered if a communications gap existed between their intention and their customers’ perception of their brand.


Isentia Singapore leveraged data from our Asia-based social media listening tool, 1-Social, to deliver a brand audit report with the following assessments:

  • MFM’s social media value against key competitors
  • How MFM have performed in each element of the marketing mix (aka the 4P’s – Product, Place, Promotion, and Price) relative to its key competitors
  • Brand image affiliation with its desired positioning of “Fun & Witty”
  • The type of dining categories consumers associate MFM with – Fast Casual, Fast food, Casual Restaurant and the F&B brands associated respectively


Here are some examples of interesting trends and insights that the report was able to uncover from an industry and branding perspective

  • Among the identified dining categories, no relevant traction was observed for the ‘Fast Casual’ category, which suggested this is currently not a distinct dining category in Singapore as social media users do not describe or discuss it in this term. This is a potential territory that MFM could venture into and strengthen associations within this space.
  • Brand association in the fast food category commands up to three times more in the social media space as compared to conversations about casual dining brands, such as Watami, Ministry of Food and Waraku.
  • Among the four elements of the marketing mix, Product – the taste and quality of food on offer – were deemed to be the most important consideration amongst consumers.
  • For Promotion, social media users were generally more receptive towards contests or digital coupons that can be shared with their friends and families, while Price was generally evaluated in context of their perceived quality of the food, serving size and customer service.
  • Social media buzz on fun and witty dining was limited, and always referred to in an overseas context. These also usually revolved around themes of innovative dishes and interior décor suited for diners of all ages.

Here are some benefits of using social media data as part of your research:

  • There’s an unlimited sample size
  • The data is unprompted and less biased
  • Specific and very measurable, making benchmarking easier
  • It’s real-time with a faster turnaround
  • And it can represent the voices of early adopters and the overall population

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