Ho Kay Tat (left) and Tan Boon Kean speaking at the launch party of The Edge Singapore in March 2002. Photo: The Edge Singapore

Nearly two decades ago, marketing strategy gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout published a book on successful Asian companies and their brands. The duo’s earlier groundbreaking 1981 book, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, had sold more than two million copies, been translated into more than 20 languages and became required reading for MBA students.

In 2003, they focused on Asia. In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing in Asia, Ries and Trout, with the addition of Paul Temporal, had this to say about The Edge: “There was no newspaper in Asia that catered for readers who wanted some local general news and lots of specific financial news … until The Edge created that category in Malaysia. Now it has entered the Singapore market.” Believe it or not, we did not pay for that endorsement or buy them lunch. In fact, we did not even know they were in Singapore.

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