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Aussies are ‘trend followers, not setters’

Idea surrounded by lots of questions

Many Australian firms can achieve greater success overseas than domestically because Australians are more interested in following foreign trends, a high-profile business owner suggests.

“I think Australians actually look up to what’s happening overseas more than what’s happening here. And because a lot of our brands are cannibalised by global brands, we actually put them a few notches above,” says aussieBum founder, Sean Ashby, while speaking on the My Business Podcast.

“When you see an Australian brand successful overseas, thats when an Australian accepts the brand as being theirs, and it starts to get a name of being recognised as iconic.”


It sounds like a strange observation, given that many Australians say they like to support local businesses wherever possible.

However, given that aussieBum’s range of men’s swimwear and underwear is stocked by some of the world’s most prestigious department stories – think Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols – but local retailers rejected his products, there is merit in Sean’s comments.

For a whole range of businesses and industries, Sean’s experience suggests that closing the door on exports or offshore sales may inadvertently be capping the growth potential of your business.

“I didn’t realise that the world was so in love with Australia and they just wanted a piece of it,” he says.

Tapping into this foreign demand for Australian products, particularly those that play up the ‘Aussie lifestlye’, has helped aussieBum achieve global sales in excess of $150 million since the business was established in the early 2000s.

Check out more insights from this globally renowned brand on the My Business Podcast below:



Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Aussies are ‘trend followers, not setters’
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