When the humble budgie, only native to Australia, was first introduced to the world, the demand went off the chart, initially to the elite of England, then soon to the masses. Prohibited from export since 1884, the native budgie has continued to flourish in the harshest Australian outback. Rebranded as the 'parakeet' in the US, there are now hundreds of millions of budgie lovers globally. Richard Branson's first business was breeding and selling budgies, and famous fans include Winston Churchill, JFK, John Lennon, James Dean, Queen Elizabeth, Paris Hilton, Drew Barrymore and Britney Spears. Cute, even pretty, and highly intelligent. Celebrity budgies include Sparkie Williams (advertising icon, released a record and inspired a 2009 opera in Berlin) and Puck (Guinness Book record holder, speaking 1,728 words).
So much to love about the budgie.
In recent years there has been a greater intent to encourage shoppers to buy local, and even pleasing reversals of manufacturing being exported, and ownership of icons of Australia returning to local ownership.
As one of our recent research participants noted ...
“We all knew those [local] companies were actually there, we just needed a good slap in the face to remind us that they are there and available.”
For others they are not shopping local due to price, inability to find or a better offering from a non-local alternative.
“So many people that I talk to are saying, ‘We need to buy Australian products.’ I agree, 100% agree. But it all comes down to price." (research participant)
There are many wonderful Australian products, yet they can struggle to stand-out from shelves and shelves of local and non-local alternatives, often with uniqueness indistinguishable to the shopper. Australia has more than 700 craft breweries, growing from around 200 in 2011. Only the rare few will be the next Pirate Life or Coopers. We are a country with more than 2,300 wineries each typically selling a good range of quality product, but for shoppers too often .. "same wine different label."
Cheap imports undercut quality Australian products. Without a strong brand, local can be viewed as too expensive. "I know you hear stuff that the big global brands are not doing great things. But, I still buy their products.” (research participant)
More alternatives allow consumers to ever explore and a new product. From our research in high choice categories consumers are more brand agnostic, less loyal and not habitual in repeat shopping. Competition is fierce.
Without a strategic focus on brand growth and new markets, many local brands may not survive. The only way to survive in such a stormy market situation, is to increase the volume of sales or offer something customers are willing to pay more for than alternatives.
Even with the call for 'buy local,' the reality is the dominant global brands triumph and attract the majority of preference and sales. They systematically and strategically invest in brand growth, ease of availability and new markets over long periods. The big global brands are marketing powerhouses.
In much of our research, via our parent agency Square Holes since 2004, the predominant deficiency in small to medium sized business and brand performance is low to no awareness. Marketing often does not work, or at least does not work to build brand equity, and grow the customer base.
There can be lack of growth due to misdirected product design, pricing, distribution and marketing. It can be difficult to innovate and even survive.
Australia has a healthy trade surplus, largely underpinned by old sectors such as mining and banking, and there is a slow changing of the guard of our largest businesses. With a relatively small population of just over 25 Million, only 0.33% of the world's population of 7.7 Billion live in Australia, and many key sectors need the world to grow. With a strong economy supported by the rewards of mining, there can be complacency, relying on the comfort of home.
There are many iconic brands in Australia, and with the country's pioneering spirit going back to the world's oldest culture, a focus on quality products and ingenuity, it makes sense that we would have more global brands.
More Australian beers in Belgium, and wine in France. More Australian tech in the US, Europe and beyond. More of Australia's best top of mind and in shopping baskets. That's what we dream! More Australian brands growing and going global. Budgie Love is here to help.
Budgie Love is hatched by Square Holes, a research agency launched from South Australia in 2004. Our research has explored the world from Australia to New Zealand to Canada, Thailand, Singapore, Africa, Europe and the US, for brands from FMCG to B2B.
The essence of what makes the product better, standout, be found and purchased.
New markets with an appetite, gap in alternatives or just opportunity to grow.
Being the brand, the product, that allows shoppers to live better lives, be joyful and smile.
Becoming famous, well regarded and demanded locally and beyond. Just like the Aussie budgie.
P: 08 8312 1822
8-10 Regent Street North, Adelaide South Australia 5000, Australia
Our team has worked with iconic brands big and small and are keen to work with more joyful brands making people smile. Brands with wonderful products, keen to grow. Craft beer, wine, tech, ice cream, FMCG or whatever.
Budgie Love is a brand strategy agency
We help Australian brands to grow and go global
Brand, market and export research and strategy
Have a lovely day 😃 !
Inspired by Lily D - Copyright © 2021 Budgie Love