Today, January 26 is Australia Day. On Australia Day we celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. As marketers it’s also time to reflect on our best known (and sometimes forgotten) brands: Brand Australia.
Why Australia needs a brand
In 2009 the Australian Government hosted a series of discussions about the importance of Australia’s international image for exporters, and the ways in which industry might benefit from and contribute to updating Brand Australia.
Those conversations led to a commitment of $20 million over four years for the Building Brand Australia Program: a Government initiative administered by Austrade – the agency responsible for promoting Australian trade, investment and education.
The purpose of the Program was to develop a knowledge base, assets and strategies that can be used to help enrich Australia’s reputation over time.
Because lets face it – even the top dogs in parliament understand that without a solid brand, no-one is going to do business with you.
The strategy: telling Australia’s story
Using digital content platforms, the Building Brand Australia Program promotes the nation’s commercial, intellectual and creative credentials. And it asked Australia’s exporters, internationally focused business leaders, one-million-strong expat community and growing alumni around the world to do the same. The idea was to present meaningful, contemporary Australian stories in an engaging way. The focus was on Australia’s greatest asset. Not our beaches, but our people at home and abroad.
More than 400 stories have been published showcasing the work of our world-class scientists, designers, entrepreneurs, artists, humanitarians and internationally focused businesses that are shaping Australia’s engagement with the world. By sharing their stories through Australia Unlimited content platforms, we can show the world that Australia is as clever as it is beautiful, and to create a new Australian narrative based on collaboration, capability, confidence and creativity.
The importance of storytelling for brands
If you don’t have a story you’re simply just a replaceable commodity, with no real way to differentiate against your competition. Creating a brand story is about building something that people care about, engage with and like it enough they want to buy into it. It’s about positioning your uniqueness and communicating your worth. It’s about beyond the “stuff” you do and creating loyalty, engagement and connection with your customers. Your brand story is the foundation of what makes your brand different and a strategy for future growth.