Chief creative officer for Auric Pacific

Food company Auric Pacific Group is serious about its brands.

So serious, in fact, that its chief executive officer Saw Phaik Hwa created the role of chief creative officer (CCO) early last year.

"Future growth can only be driven by innovation...I created this role for the CCO to be the creative leader for the whole organisation, responsible for driving new initiatives, new products and services and effective marketing," Ms Saw told The Straits Times.

Filling this role is Ms Michelle Lim, formerly the director of media, advertising and brand management at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.

Ms Lim, who has 24 years of marketing experience, heads a team of 23 staff and oversees 12 to 15 of the company's flagship brands across Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

These include consumer goods Sunshine Bread and SCS, and the Delifrance and Food Junction chains.

Ms Lim's job is not easy. She has to raise the quality and awareness of the company's brands in a fast-moving consumer goods market where tastes and impressions change quickly.

But she has a good headstart.

In Singapore, SCS is the top brand holding 41 per cent of the market share among 15 butter brands today - higher than the 39 per cent share last year.

In Malaysia, SCS has close to 40 per cent share among 23 butter brands.

Despite strong market penetration by the company's brands, Ms Lim remains focused on improving brand equity, she said.

"With all the activities of other brands, we're aware we must consistently rise above the noise," said Ms Lim.

Apart from the usual marketing and research initiatives, Ms Lim has also started to raise the profile of its brands in social media.

In the past year, it has launched the SCS website, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram channels, for example.

The company is also launching new products under the same brand such as a new olive spread under SCS in September.

"Product innovation isn't just about looking at brand-new products.

"There are also existing products that we look at to see how we can make consumers enjoy them more," said Ms Lim.

The company is also organising the SCS Star Baker Challenge, a three-month campaign culminating in a final bake-off in August, as part of its campaign to reach out to bakers.

"We may be top in market share...But we need to keep up with changing times and connect more with consumers and inspire more bakers," said Ms Lim.

The company also intends to expand to other markets in the region.

Ms Saw said there are "great opportunities in the regional markets", with increasing demand due to Auric Pacific's established brands.

"Expansion plans are in the pipeline and will happen in the next two to three years. Some will happen first and others later," she said.

This article was first published on June 21, 2014.
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