Fighting Off Pretenders

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From locals championing our hawkers to foreigners reminding us of what we have, food is a major driver of Singapore society. But if you can’t keep it fresh, you’ll be in the bin. Danny Loong of Timbre shares his views. By S. Sakthivel

Live music and restaurant concept Timbre has been playing a significant role in livening up the local small music scene in the last decade. Sustained success, however, requires not only invention but also continued evolution.

What started as a fresh and novel concept has since seen many copycats muscling into spaces in Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, says Timbre’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative Director Danny Loong.

Loong identifies the ever-increasing competition and saturation in the market as one of the main headwinds in his business. While satiating the customers’ constant need for “new content”, keeping his offerings fresh, and remaining at the cutting edge of the industry, also present a challenge in staying relevant in the industry.

Loong’s Timbre Group sees engagement as the key to staying in the loop with its customers. Active customer engagement during the heyday of the ‘blogosphere’ in the early 2000s has prepared Timbre for the social media savvy consumer of 2016. While it builds a stronger connection with the audience, Timbre is also striving to create a bond with its content producers.

In a bid to transcend its roots as “just a music venue”, Timbre now also engages and supports the local music community with programmes such as the Timbre Music Academy. Loong says that supporting and growing the local music scene is a logical next step to ensuring Timbre’s own future success.

Loong tells us more about the challenges in his industry and the efforts he has taken to remain relevant.

Danny Loong is a panellist at STORM magazine’s upcoming event, Keep It Going 2016, which brings together leaders and decision makers from various industries. This year’s instalment of Keep It Going will discuss the headwinds we face in our lives and what we can do to lessen their impact.


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