National University Polyclinics

As the oldest university in Singapore, the National University of Singapore, needed to review its competitive position in an increasingly competitive local and global arena. In 2007, NUS approached Activiste to work with them on this. The activation of the original strategy work continues.



A previous branding programme to address key issues had no traction internally and the NUS leadership was keen to rectify this.

Faced with increasing competition both within Singapore and overseas, for the best and brightest students; as well as competition for private funding, NUS needed to identify its Brand Opportunity and define its value proposition more coherently.


External research and a review of past market research revealed that whilst quality standards at NUS were perceived to be high, it lacked emotional resonance and distinction in the minds of stakeholders including potential students and scholars, academics, the alumni, and the wider corporate community.

Through a systematic process of gathering insights into NUS, and the competitive environment, Activiste then organized a series of NUS focus groups and Brand Opportunity Workshops to identify a brand position that would help differentiate NUS from other tertiary institutions locally and on a regional and international level. Positioning NUS as “a leading global university centered in Asia that enriches and challenges you to make a difference” provided a common platform to inspire and engage with students, faculty and the business community.


The 2008 brand programme was activated through a series of recruitment campaigns over several years, a new employee orientation module, and Living the Brand workshops for staff. The activation of the strategy continues today.

"When I first approached Activiste in 2007, we were struggling to bring the various elements into a coherent whole. ..what I found most alluring about Kim and her team was that they could see beyond the ordinary, put meaning into the mundane and inject pride into what had become jaded. They truly know what makes a brand."

Bernard Toh, Office of the President, National University of Singapore


“Kim Faulkner and the Activiste team have been invaluable in helping us get to the core of the NUS brand. Their efforts to encourage consistent brand messaging have had a positive impact on some of our key publicity campaigns.” 

Ovidia Lim-Rajaram, Director,  Office of Corporate Relations, National University of Singapore, 2010