Singapore’s SWEE!

With all the buzz around Crazy Rich Asians, Swee! the new private brand from, Singapore’s premier online grocer represents the flip-side of Singapore – a nation of thrifty shopping aficionados, who won’t part with a cent if they can find a better bargain.

Swee! is a private brand of everyday cupboard items created for RedMart, owned by Alibaba’s Lazada). Branding agency Anthem created a brand that connects with Singapore’s cost-conscious shoppers, to answer their need for a range of simple, fit-for-purpose items from Soy Sauce to Sausages and Scouring Sponges. The line is sold exclusively online, so on-screen presence is paramount.

The challenge was to deliver no-frills value with a locally relevant (and chirpy!) story. Designers drew inspiration from Singapore’s heartland, with a nod to the utilitarian aesthetics of high-rise housing buildings and the unpretentious language of the neighborhood wet market. Anthem also coined the brand name ‘Swee!’ – a Singlish expression that roughly translates as ‘Works Perfectly!’.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.