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What We’re Willing To Queue For

15 Dec 2014

Many cultures hate queuing, but there’s no moans and groans being heard from Singapore. Some may think we’re crazy, but there’s a few things in particular that get us hyped up and ready to camp out. But why? Well, it’s not because we’ve never tasted a doughnut, or have no idea what a Hello Kitty toy looks like (quite frankly we’d be worried if you didn’t know about Hello Kitty). Put simply, it’s our craving to be cool, have our finger on the pulse and be seen as leaders of the pack.

What we queue for
If you ever spot a sea of Singaporeans patiently waiting in line, you’d be right to assume they’re queuing for one of the following:

1. Fashion – In particular, the inexpensive Swedish variety that is H&M. Yep Singaporeans go crazy for the styles hitting stores from Europe and we’ll happily camp overnight to be the first to get our fingers on the latest collaboration collection.

2. Technology – The god of all gadgets, Apple, will forever pull in the biggest queues. If you’re trying to purchase a new iPhone in the days after a new release, have your pillow at the ready. The mall floor will soon become your bed!

3. Food – Whether it’s a basic iced Krispy Kreme, some free McDonald’s Egg McMuffins, Cheap Ikea meatballs or the best bowl of bak chor mee, we’re always hungry for a taste of the latest food craze to hit our city.

How the hype begins
Social media has played a strong role in driving our queuing craze, enabling us to brag freely and publicly about our successful quests. But how ahead of the game are those at the front of the queue? The brands that desire your time in line know all too well the power of marketing, and have plenty of tricks up their sleeve to get the latest promotion or product on everyone’s lips.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but creating a sense of urgency drives mass fear of missing out. If a product is scarce, limited or set to sell out we’ll be quick on our heels to queue so we’re not left out in the cold. The way things are worded counts for a lot when a new product is being launched.

Bizarrely, those at the front of the queue are very rarely the first to try anything. Why? They’ve read about an opening, launch or promotion through social media or in a blog. Yep! Before the queues even begin there’s hundreds of press contacts enjoying free deliveries. They’ll write a skilful post that sends the public into a frenzy and hanging on the brand’s every update.

Tim Ho Wan played a blinder by inviting every influential food blogger, radio presenter, reviewer and influencer to their opening. The media’s enthusiasm lasted a couple of days before the public even got a look in. We bet that wasn’t on Instagram. Krispy Kreme also sent out tasty boxes with their press releases, making sure all the right people were pumping out their launch news.
Although it’s borderline insane that we queued for hours for some meatballs, we’re sure to convince ourselves it was worth it and move on to hunting down the next craze. It’s one big fanfare, but its human nature.

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