Melbourne Business School marketing guru, Mark Ritson, has delivered a scathing critique of the state of Australian retail and its mediocre brand management. Ritson warns that Australian retail is “on the brink of invasion by hotter, bigger, more innovative players.”
"We have weak brands, even weaker brand management and we don’t know how to compete" said Ritson. "The consumer is still spending the same amount of money, just not on Australian brands anymore, not in retail. We are on the brink of what will be an incredibly painful time for Australian retail."
"Big retailers don’t bother because they don’t need to bother. They’re going to get the market anyway. We’ve lived in an oligopoly where we’ve been allowed to get way with it."
"Foreign brands have started to come and cut through this country like a hot knife through butter. It’s easy to make money in Australia."
"We have the strongest country on the planet but we can’t market it to save our lives," he said. "Like the old men in the discotheque, we don’t know where the other nightclubs are."
"When brands drop their price it’s hard to raise them. Consumer behaviour and perceptions are habitual. A new brand status quo emerges very quickly. There’s no going back."
"Brands are not things; rather brands are a representation of a highly valued idea that resides in the minds of consumers and stakeholders alike. Brands represent a set of unifying principles that guide an organisation’s behaviour and its manner of delivering experiences customers highly value above the available alternatives in the marketplace."