Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Trade Simon Crean that the Government will be investing $20 million to develop a powerful global brand for Australia. This is very much what AMAG called for in its submission to the Mortimer Review, last year's Government review of Australia’s trade policy, and in subsequent submissions to the minister and his agency Austrade, on the important matter of a national brand for Australia. Australia has for too long promoted itself to the world only as a tourism destination. The time is long overdue to broaden and deepen that message, to include that we are a sophisticated and innovative economy, one that produces world quality manufactured goods and also delivers world class services in areas such as education, health, project management and engineering. Many things will contribute to the building of Australia’s national brand - clear and consistent messaging will be an important foundation, and that is what the national brand project must focus on - what ‘being Australian’ means around the world. As for the symbol to be at the centre of the new program, the AMAG logo is extremely well-placed to be endorsed as that: there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Just as the maple leaf effectively connects with Canada, whatever being ‘Canadian’ then stands for, so too does the stylised kangaroo in the triangle effectively connect with Australia, whatever being ‘Australian’ then stands for. That is the simple but very important job of a country of origin logo, establishing the connection. The AMAG logo has been doing this for Australia very effectively in global markets for more than 20 years. An important issue is the process the Government will be following in the national brand project. It is understood that a major ad agency will be retained to assist the Government with this project. This is probably a good idea but unless guided appropriately, it would not be surprising for such a process to result in a new symbol being recommended; after all, that’s a significant part of what ad agencies do and the attraction of an addition to the corporate CV will not go unrecognised. But the collective investment by the private and public sectors in the AMAG logo over the past 23 years, which runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars, coupled with its massive market capital, extensive global use and enormous trust and recognition, must not be undervalued. The green and gold Australian Made, Australian Grown logo not only has a strong history of helping Australian businesses sell Australian products domestically but has a marked presence in global markets with 44 percent of all AMAG licensees currently exporting and another 16 percent intending to export over the next 12 months. The AMAG logo is truly Australia’s global product symbol. -Ian Harrison is the CEO of the Australian Made, Australian Grown campaign (www.australianmade.com.au)
Making business sense
Using the stylised kangaroo logo makes business sense. The benefits of promoting products as Australian are many: from marketing directly and effectively to the 67 percent of domestic consumers who prefer to buy Australian products and produce, to giving international buyers a chance to get a taste of Australia and leverage from Australia’s strong nation brand. The stylised kangaroo in the triangle is administered by the not-for-profit Australian Made, Australian Grown Campaign. The AMAG logo is currently being promoted in selected export markets in partnership with Austrade and with help from the Federal Government. Export activities include in-store promotions, participation in trade shows and supportive PR in markets such as the USA, Middle East, Canada and Asia, including China in particular. Exporters are strongly encouraged to get involved. To learn more about participation in export promotions and how to register to carry the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo, visit www.australianmade.com.au or call 1800 350 520.