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An australian logo

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Wouldn’t an official country of origin symbol be a great asset to your business when tackling the global marketplace? As a nation we have a lot to be proud of. The products and produce we manufacture and grow are renowned worldwide for being innovative and of a high quality. Our produce is fresh, clean and great tasting. But we tend to hit a snag when it comes to promoting `brand Australia’. There is a lack of visual synergy between public and private sectors in promoting Australia to the rest of the world; this is having a detrimental impact on the connection people overseas have with Australia. You may recall when last year UK nation brand expert Simon Anholt compared Australia’s image to that of a dumb blonde- "attractive, but shallow and unintelligent". He went on to explain that Australia has a one-dimensional image, partly due to what he described as Tourism Australia’s "unbalanced view of the country". "What you have is an image of a country that is considered to be very decorative, but not very useful," he said. Now, the Australia Unlimited brand which the Federal Government unveiled partly addresses these issues. Its main objective - to provide Australia international recognition of its achievements in areas like technology, pharmaceuticals and medicine-is long overdue and it does provide a much wider and deeper message about Australia than just its attractiveness. But wouldn’t it be more effective for the associated visual branding to be consistent and synergistic between the public and private sectors? B2B marketing specialist and RMIT Adjunct Professor Kimmon Lycos questioned the logic behind the Government’s introduction of the Australia Unlimited logo, which just presents yet another image for people overseas to recognise and connect with Australia. "Do we really need to create yet another symbol for people to associate with Australia?" Professor Lycos asked. "What’s wrong with something similar to the AMAG logo for example?" If Australia is simply viewed as a dumb blonde, as Anholt suggests, and people are less likely to connect with Australia Unlimited’s boomerangs, as Lycos points out, then we’re placing a greater burden on exporters trying to leverage Australia’s good reputation. As Canada consistently uses the Maple Leaf, adopting the AMAG logo as Australia’ official country of origin symbol would make sense. The stylised kangaroo, with its 25 years of market capital, is already used by over 1700 businesses - more than 40% of which export - on more than 10,000 products sold here and around the world. It has been specifically promoted in export markets for the last six years with direct financial support from the Federal Government, clearly identifying Australian products and produce to consumers from Singapore to the US, China to the UAE. Research shows the stylised kangaroo is Australia’s most trusted and recognised country-of-origin symbol compared to maps, flags and pictures of animals. It’s an established symbol that connects effectively with Australia and it would create an important link between Australia Unlimited and the thousands of products and produce Australian exporters are striving to sell around the world.

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