Australia is a victim of international marketers that have established a tradition of charging higher prices to our isolated market. But as globalisation continues apace, broader methods of importation are changing the game.
In this BRW article, Mark Ritson addresses the burning question: Why are prices in Australia so much higher than elsewhere?
I have had this conversation many times and people usually try to justify it by pointing to our geographic isolation or arguing that wages are so high in Australia that it costs more to get products to us.
My view is that in most cases this is frog shit. As Ritson points out, the root of the problem lies in our willingness to pay higher prices. There has been a lack of real foreign competition in Australia that cosy oligopolies have grown accustomed to fleecing us on everything from books to sneakers to downloads. Australian consumers got used to this and now we don’t bat an eyelid at paying 70% more than Americans or Europeans pay for the same products.
Fortunately for us, there is hope on the horizon (but only if we get off our collective arse and do something about it). The combination of strong demand for brands in Australia and the huge disparities in the prices we pay versus other markets that Aussies are increasingly searching our grey market goods.
A grey market is the trade of something through a distribution channel that, while legal, is unauthorised or unintended by the original manufacturer. Whilst the goods are legit, you’re buying them from a source that the manufacturer did not intend. For example, I recently bought myself a Bally duffle bag through a Japanese online marketplace called Rakuten. David Jones in Melbourne was charging $1,500 for it. I paid $700. I did this again at Christmas time and saved almost $1,500 on a Celine handbag for my wife.
This gap will only close if more Australian consumers cotton on to the fact that they are being royally shafted and seek out lower prices through alternative channels.
Carmen Nobel, HBS
Many companies choose either the sequential naming approach (Sony’s successive PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 video game consoles, for example) or the complete name change approach (Nintendo’s Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii). Professors from Harvard and London Business Schools conducted a series of experiments to determine when and why each approach made the most sense:
1. Brand name continuation vs name change
"With a name change, participants tended to expect features that were distinctly different or new," Ofek says. "With a name continuation, they just expected improved performance on existing features."
2. Risk vs reward
"The perception is that if it’s a brand name continuation, it’ll be somewhat better than the previous model, but it won’t be buggy and there won’t be a learning curve," Gourville says. "With a brand name change, you infer that there may be a steep learning curve, and it may work differently from your previous camera."
3. Creative sequences
A brand name change also comes with the risk of disappointing consumers who expect more from the product than they otherwise would have.
"If you’re really just tweaking the previous generation of your product, it’s probably much better to use brand name continuation than brand name change," Gourville says. "Otherwise people will be led to believe that there are massively new features in there, and you’ll just lead them to disappointment."
The growing deluge of content marketing will inevitably result in consumers raising barriers against content marketing in the same way they now ignore traditional advertising.
Only those who can build great content brands will be in a position to protect themselves. A great content brand is a brand that’s famous for producing intelligent, useful and entertaining content that’s always worth consuming.
Tim Nudd, Adweek
From Shakespeare to Spielberg to Soderbergh, there are only really seven different types of stories - seven archetypal themes that recur in every kind of storytelling.
The challenge becomes finding which one best suits your brand, and then telling it skillfully, believably and - if you’re going to invite customers to join in the story - extremely carefully.
1. Overcoming the Monster
Literary example: David and Goliath
Ad example: Apple’s attack on Big Brother in “1984”
Film example: It’s a Wonderful Life
Ad example: Droga5’s “Day One” of retirement campaign for Prudential
Literary example: Lord of the Rings
Ad example: IBM’s “Predictive Maintenance” campaign
4. Journey and Return
Film example: The Wizard of Oz
Ad example: Corona’s “Find Your Beach” campaign
5. Rags to Riches
Ad example: Johnnie Walker - “The Man Who Walked Around the World”
Literary example: Greek classics
Ad example: PSA’s such as St John Ambulance’s “Helpless” campaign
Ad example: Old Spice Danger Zone
Burberry is bringing the best elements of its Burberry.com into its new London store on Regent Street. The aim is to blend the online and offline environments to create a more immersive and intelligent brand experience.
There are floor-to-ceiling screens that wrap the entire store so it can change into a completely immersive video experience at a moment’s notice. RFID chips have been attached to many products so content showing how the product looks, how it has been made and other aspects of the product development story, can be displayed on any of the couple hundred in-store screens.
Burberry has realised that people are interested in more than just buying a product. The customer needs to be part of the story.
Russ Meyer, Fast Company
Google, Apple and Amazon are among the strongest brands of the past decade. What do they have in common? Their brand success can be directly tied to simplicity - to making life easier for their users.
They also adhere to simplicity rules to define their brand experiences:
Amazon: Consider the context
Great brands look to where the brand and the experience fit within their user’s overall life, looking to make not just the experience easier but a user’s overall life easier.
Apple: Go deep
Brands that succeed due to simplicity understand that everything must work together, clearly and seamlessly.
Google: Avoid ‘feature-itis’
Rather than continuing to add incremental features to a brand experience over time, great brands stand firm once they reach a level of simplicity, resisting the urge to add brand bells and whistles.