The RISIS orchid - Singapore’s national flower, gold-plated and therefore immortalised using a locally-developed patented technique - was once the definitive souvenir and symbol of Singapore. That was when nation-building was foremost, with Singapore emerging as a developing nation in a region of relatively slow growth. But its glow dimmed with time as other gifts and items, both locally and abroad, began to outshine it.
To revitalise the brand, its new-generation management decided to design and produce a range of items that reflected contemporary trends. To appeal to the younger generation of Singaporeans, they needed to put out the message that the company creates not just gold-plated orchids, but has begun to design gifts for all occasions; and that its product range could suit any budget.
The company shifted focus from manufacturing to design, with a heightened awareness of its target market. To that end, their designers undertook detailed visualisation exercises where they would picture the lifestyle of a typical RISIS customer, including how they dressed, the car they drove, the music they enjoyed, and even what their homes might look like. Once they had a clear picture of whom they were selling to, the theme could be agreed on, initial drawings prepared, samples shortlisted and a prototype made for testing. If satisfactory, the prototype is then sent for manufacture.
Using its founding principles and qualities as a springboard for new ideas and concepts, such as rhodium plating, RISIS is ensuring that it continues to be a source of pride to Singapore and a source of pleasure for Singaporeans.