Jessica Goodfellow
Jun 24, 2019

Localised communications crucial in Australia

“There are huge opportunities to come to Australia and become loved, but rolling out generic global communications just won’t cut it."

Apple's 'First Dance' campaign celebrated same-sex marriage in Australia
Apple's 'First Dance' campaign celebrated same-sex marriage in Australia

AUSTRALIA: COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES

Putting a microscope on Australia in this year’s Asia’s Top 1000 Brands survey, we’ve established that the Down Under is becoming more insular.

Local brands like Qantas, Vegemite and BHP are taking advantage of this rhetoric, with big splashy ad campaigns talking up their Aussie roots.

Homegrown brands like ANZ and Gloria Jeans also enjoyed the biggest uplifts in Australia’s Top 100 brands, while seven international brands slumped more than 40 places in the ranking.

Global brands cannot compete with the local origin stories, but they can work local nuances into their communications.

Apple and Samsung are profiting from this strategy. They are the only two global brands that have made it into Australia’s Top 10 local brands list this year.

They happen to be the top two brands in the Top 1000 Brands survey overall, but are also some of the best at localising their communications.

AnalogFolk Sydney managing director Matt Robinson explained: “Us Aussies are a parochial bunch, and to gain our trust and preference it’s so important that brands show that they are ‘having a go’ here locally, and not just rolling out generic global campaigns.”

He said Apple’s approach pairs “global consistency with localisation”. He pointed to the brand’s ‘First Dance’ campaign, which celebrated the passing of Australia’s same-sex marriage legalisation, as a prime example.

Samsung Australia has also invested significantly in local brand initiatives, from sponsoring the Sydney Opera House to partnering with local sporting teams and artists. The company even developed a piece of wearable technology, the BrainBand, to help understand concussions in contact sports players.

“They clearly recognise that they need to be seen to be connected to local consumers, while at the same time leveraging their global scale,” Robinson said.

“The lesson here for global brands? There are huge opportunities to come to Australia and become loved, but rolling out generic global communications just won’t cut it,” he surmised. “You need to put in the effort to understand Australia and connect with the things we care about.”

Nick Foley, Landor president for Southeast Asia Pacific and Japan, added that while the likes of Qantas, Vegemite, and BHP are well known amongst Australians and have generated significant levels of trust, “trust alone is not enough to keep a brand in the upper echelons of a brand index”.

“Great brands stand for something whilst never standing still,” he said. “Marketers have to be continually on their game to ensure they are not de-positioned by their competitors.”

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