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by Ellis Malovany

  1. Aligning consumer and brand values is a winning strategy

Australians are shopping around and looking for ways to make smart purchase decisions. Consumers are mindful of the fact that the world is an uncertain place that requires a degree of caution when it comes to spending, especially in a country with a high cost of of living. People want to buy the brands that offer the best quality and value. Generally, Australians are loyal to locally produced products but while two-thirds of Australians prefer to “buy Australian”, they will only do so if it is no more expensive than buying global brands. The takeaway is that local brands need to not drop prices below global competitors to succeed, but they must ensure that their brand is strong enough to drive the required premium and maintain resilience.

2.  Beware the innovation gap

Consumers see an innovation gap across local brands. Increasingly, geographic isolation is being flattened by technology and global brands are a click away. Complacency for brand owners is no longer an option. The trend will continue towards favoring brands that are more “tech savvy” and offer greater convenience and efficiency. Brands can apply innovation across business processes to learn more about brand users, promote better communication, stimulate revenues, improve customer service, speed production, etc.

While the historically protected Australian market is currently being infiltrated by global innovators, consumers will continue to expect more from the brands they use, necessitating improvements in innovation. Fortunately, technologies can be acquired and deployed by savvy brand marketers to leapfrog this gap in innovation and quickly catch up to meet the needs of consumers and stymie global competition.

3. The accelerating wave of globalization

Online and mobile consumers are drawing the world into Australia, faster than Australian companies can establish footholds offshore. The influx of foreign companies into Australia, accelerates the associated demand for global brands and services.

The danger for Australian brands across all categories lies in acceleration of these changes. At the same time, the world loves Australia and people aspire to the quality of life that Australians enjoy. For brands that have globalized with Brand Australia as a competitive advantage, the world can be an oyster. For brands with the potential to enter new markets, the associations with the green and gold can be a ticket to success.

4. Eco-friendliness, health, and ethical branding continue to flourish

Australians continue to lead the world in demanding from brands a strategy of benevolence and of delivering products emphasizing sustainability and health - all while delivering at a good price of course Food choices, clothing, even banks and insurance brands are scrutinized for their business practices that promote mateship, social bonds, ethical treatment of animals, and consideration of the environment. Consumers want relationships with brands that share their perspectives. The takeaway, Australian brands can ride the increasing wave of interest in ethical businesses that “walk the walk” when it comes to health and sustainability.

5. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and world of machines

AI, ML, IOT (Internet of Things, connecting a multitude devices together to communicate and gather information) have become ubiquitous. From individualized online and mobile shopping experiences to driverless cars, smart energy meters to weather-controlled agricultural water systems, businesses and people are relying more and more on technology behind the scenes. This doesn’t spell the end of small shops and micro-businesses. Instead, entrepreneurs can match-up to larger competitors by carefully selecting and deploying advanced technologies. Many up and coming brands like Tigerlily, Cotton On, and Roxy, embrace technology to flatten the world, increase speed to market, and drive global demand.