Australia launches new ‘Brand Australia’ concept
Since July 2009, influential actors of the Australian business community have been calling for the creation of a Brand Australia Council, mixing public and private influences, to put forth the country on the global stage and capitalize on the already positive image the country enjoys worldwide.
In September 2009, the government announced its attention to allocate $20 million to the creation and launch of a new “Brand Australia” campaign meant to rejuvenate the country’s image. The final campaign was presented in May 2010 by Australia Trade Minister Simon Crean during a presentation at the Sydney Opera House. In the minister’s words “Brand Australia is about selling Australia to the world and demonstrating the full versatility and diversity this nation has to offer. We need to market ourselves better. Australia is known as a great place to have a holiday, but it is also a great place to do business. We should be better regarded as a dynamic and creative nation, a good global citizen and a strong business partner.”
To design the new nation branding strategy, Australia conducted extensive research about its current image and the way it is perceived by foreigners. Using the Nation Brands Index and data provided by a market research firm, the government came to the conclusion that while Australia was seen as a great place to live or go on vacations, its standing on the business stage was less impressive. All in all, Australia was seen as a place to live less than a place to work.
To address these shortcomings, the government adopted the tagline “Australia unlimited”, which is meant to convey the idea that Australia has more to offer than beaches and sun. While economic recession hit most western nations hard, Australia stood out as one of the few developed countries that did not suffer greatly, thereby generating increasing attention from the business community. Recessions and crisis can hold opportunities for nations and brands that are able to spot and pursue them. They often allow underdogs to challenge market leaders or enter markets that were previously monopolized by a handful of well established actors. The current crisis opened a window of opportunity for Australia and the country has used this to communicate its new brand message.
The new logo supports the message: it represents the ambition and dynamism of the nation. According to Mr Crean, “the next step will be to begin work on brand architecture and to encourage co-branding by Australian government organisations and businesses. This could include Australia Unlimited branding of overseas scholarships and selected exports.”