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?