Building an Aussie Brand: The Special Challenges Down Under

Can you name a few of the iconic Aussie brands? Vegemite would have to the first cab of the rank, when it comes to true blue, Australian through and through, brands. Holden cars, used to be a pretty close second on the list, but is, now, tarnished by GM’s decision to pull out. Qantas are still going strong. Weet-bix are for Aussie kids. Arnott’s biscuits, Uncle Tobys, Bushells and Golden Circle are all owned by international concerns. Actually, Vegemite has only just been bought back by Bega from a US company. Foster’s lager, once associated with the worst kind of ocker image, is owned by the British.

Building an Aussie Brand: The Special Challenges Down Under

Which goes to show that successful brands and their owners, often, show less loyalty to their home country than they should. So, what does it take to build an Aussie brand from the ground up? It used to take time, of course, but, these days, in the age of the internet, blink and you can call yourself The Iconic. Branding decisions in the marketing department of some companies can fast track this process. Bunnings is an example of this, with the flavour and message of their marketing ‘sausage sizzle’ Aussie.

Handmade Australian Products

Appealing to nationalistic and patriotic leanings within the population can be a pathway to success; just ask Dick Smith. Handmade Australian products, if promoted as such, and if well made, can find favour with certain sections of the community. Price will win out for the poorer members of our population, but if price parity is present, many Aussies will choose the home-made brand over the import. It could be argued, by manufacturing unions especially, that it is an ethical decision to buy Australian.

Ethically Australian?

Ethical products promote themselves as such for the environmental and humanitarian stance of their manufacturers and corporate owners. Not hurting animals and the ecology of the planet are two hot buttons in this regard. The whole globalism versus localism argument is currently being heard in markets around the western world. Australia is a small market, when compared to the US and China. Our brands must extend their reach overseas if they are to grow and prosper economically. The special challenge for Aussie brands is to become bigger than the nation that birthed them and, yet, remain Australian in spirit and in reality. Ethically Australian?

How Do I Start a Home Handicrafts Business Successfully?

I had a friend who began crafting a few chopping boards from Camphor Laurel, which eventually turned into a substantial business. These attractive and naturally hygienic chopping boards were perfect as gifts and fulfilled their role in the kitchen. What does it take to turn a hobby into a successful business? Many attempt the journey and very few end up mastering it. There are so many steps to climb in this process from dabbler to entrepreneur. Economies of scale become very important as a business endeavours to grow. Meeting demand can be harder than first thought and, often, requires injections of new capital.

From Hobbyist to Handicraft Business

In the beginning investment is usually small, when making a few handicrafts and, possibly, selling them at a market stall, for instance. However, as demand increases the amount of materials required and labour, also, increase, usually substantially. Then, questions of whether it is more cost effective to have the handicrafts made offshore, where labour is cheaper and more abundant, become pertinent. Suddenly, it is no longer just your hobby, but, now, involves many other concerns. The simplicity, often, goes out of the project at this point in time.

Handmade Businesses are Legend

Success stories do abound; and many of us devour these entrepreneurial triumphs like news from the promised land. The tech business that is purchased by Google for squillions of dollars, springs to mind here. Crafty businesses, which turn to gold, are like music to our ears in this private enterprise land. Handmade businesses are legend in the annals of attainable dreams. A lot goes into those that succeed on this long and challenging journey. All those who have been ultimately successful have been changed by the experience. Their naivete has been deflowered by the market.

Naivete Deflowered by the Market

Price for profit, becomes a mantra heard in the bathroom and the shower. Losing the rose-coloured glasses along the way, when it comes to customers and humanity, more generally, is pretty much par for the course. Planning and strategy take over from inspiration and blind luck. Hard work becomes a discipline, rarely, put aside for the rest of their lives. Cutting to the chase during negotiations; and learning to spot the tyre kickers from the genuine shoppers – become important aspects of running a business. There is no room left for naivete in the handmade business world.


DIY Kitchen Handicrafts to Add Spice to Your Kitchen

Did you know that psychologists consider that the kitchen is the pumping heart within our homes? It is this room, within the body of our domiciles, which is primarily concerned with nourishment. Food is love. Good food is the best medicine. Homey kitchens confer warmth upon those who inhabit and visit them. Domestic kitchens cry out for individualised handicrafts to adorn their walls and benches. A kitchen cannot be too daggy, too kitsch, or too reflective of the members of the household that commands it. These nourishing spaces are home to DIY decorating ideas like no other room in the house.

DIY Kitchen Handicraft Ideas

What are some great DIY kitchen handicraft ideas for your home? Hokey signs writ with kitchen lore are a must in my book. Colourful messages reminding us all that this engine room is fuelled with love and warmth. Families, often, gather in the kitchen in the morning and after work or school. It is a relaxed cantina to breakfast in and a staging post before dinner. Mum or dad might be cooking up a storm for the nightly meal and offspring gather to share the news of their day.

Interior Decorating Bent

You might want a few icons about, to encourage great inspiration in the culinary spheres. These might be folky spice racks hanging from a peg on the wall or a few chopping boards hewn from some suitable timber and prepared accordingly. Artfully designed teapots and trays are another must have in the crafty kitchen. Crocheted tea towels tell stories to the discerning listener in the right frame of mind. Café style inspiration can be another narrative to employ within the hallowed walls of your gastronomic temple. Doing these things, yourself is, of course, the crowning point of difference in this whole interior decorating bent.

Imbue Your Kitchen with Something Uniquely Yours

Don’t do your back in, by taking on too much with your DIY kitchen handicrafts. Avoid building an entire kitchen bench or cupboard, unless you are a cabinet maker by profession. These things we are talking about, are little touches of yourself, to imbue your kitchen with something uniquely yours. Kids art and craft is perfect to adorn the shelves and fridge door of your culinary space. Hand painted coffee mugs and dip-dyed wooden spoons are great ideas to brighten up your world.  Kitchen walls are there to be decorated with all sorts of possibilities; only your imagination can limit you.