The number of businesses registering to use the triangular Australian Made, Australian Grown logo has almost doubled over the past year, according to the latest figures by the Australian Made Campaign, the organisation that oversees the use of the iconic logo.
This should come as no surprise. Used correctly, certification trademarks like these can help support a brand’s identity.
Companies are increasingly realising that they can directly leverage the brand equity of such an iconic logo.
The association with the Australian Made brand can help boost positive perceptions around their own brand.
The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo, with its green and gold kangaroo motif, is the only registered country-of-origin certification trademark for all classes of Australian goods.
While consumers may not necessarily know this, when they see it on a product they automatically trust the quality and production standards more than unknown imported products.
The rising popularity of the certification reflects an increasing public demand for locally produced goods.
This is driven by the impact that buying locally has on the Australian economy, community, and environment.
Companies that use the logo capitalise on this demand and can imbue their own brands with those traits – a classic brand halo effect.
The power of the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo comes from the fact it draws heavily on Australian identity.
Australia itself is a brand - reinforced by the country’s traditional and contemporary community values, shared history, stories, cumulative backgrounds, and shared vision.
While there is no official “brand Australia”, there are commonly held perceptions of the country that the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo can tap into.
These perceptions are enhanced further by the efforts made by government and private sector organisations to perpetuate the Australia brand identity for various reasons like promoting government programs, or selling more products.
The perception of what it means to be Australian exist both locally and globally. In general, these are positive. The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo leans on our reputation for producing high-quality products and ethical working conditions.
This contributes to the perception in the minds of the public that makes up Australia’s brand identity.
Since brands are essentially perceptions in people’s minds, companies that use the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo can immediately increase their brand’s positive perception among those consumers who view Australia positively.
In this way, companies can gain equity from the association with Australian Made, Australian Grown.
Two brands working together build greater equity
Improved brand equity isn’t limited to partnerships such as the Australian Made, Australian Grown certification.
The idea that two well-recognised brands can work together to boost customer perceptions of each brand individually is commonly understood and accepted among many companies.
When any two, reasonably well-regarded brands combine forces, the resulting brand equity can be multiplied.
Examples of these associations can be seen everywhere: Doritos and Pepsi; Uber and Spotify; or H&M and Alexander Wang.
Uber is a great example. By associating themselves with another market disrupter such as Spotify, they are building an even deeper perception with their customers as a modern, cutting edge, innovative brand - further reinforcing their brand identity.
Organisations that recognise the value in partnering with other brands to drive brand equity in this way often look for organisations with which they share the same values or some other linking factor.
However, not all partnership are equal. Sometimes, a well-known brand can team up with a relatively unknown brand. When this happens, the equity from the well-known brand can pass on its equity to the lesser-known brand.
A classic example of this was in New Zealand when Lewis Road Creamery, a boutique Dairy Company, teamed up with Whittakers, a widely known and well-loved chocolate brand, to make chocolate milk. Driven by the reputation of the Whittakers brand, the ensuing success proved the combination highly effective.
At the time, Lewis Road Creamery struggled to keep up with the demand for its chocolate milk. As a result, Lewis Road Creamery has become well known for its fresh, premium milk products.
This type of brand equity exchange is essentially what happens when companies use the well-recognised Australian Made, Australian Grown logo on their product.
By leveraging the existing brand identity, lesser-known brands can use the logo as an effective way of differentiating themselves in an increasingly global marketplace.
Globalisation has also contributed to the value of Australia’s brand. Being Australian made is an attractive feature for consumers looking for quality products in a local market where an increasing number of products are sourced from overseas.
Such associations can create emotional ‘rewards’ for customers. The Aussie logo for example instils a sense of pride in Australian consumers. For international customers supporting Australian made goods fosters feelings of safety and security, knowing their product has been made in a reputable country.
A strong brand, strengthened by another well-known brand can help businesses connect with their target markets, drive engagement and, ultimately, achieve growth. The best brand identities accurately and concisely reflect their overall brand message.
Building associations with other well-matched brands is another tool in the marketing arsenal to help build a stronger, more successful brand.
Dan Ratner is managing director of branding and communications agency uberbrand.