Bringing the power of choice to Australia

I’ve just become one of the 10,000 or so Australians who switched electricity providers to Powershop. It’s a brand that’s likely to be familiar to most of you Kiwis, but here in Australia it’s still a very new name in a recently deregulated market.

Australians’ attitude to their utility company and other big providers such as the banks has been neither here nor there. Despite a reputation as being loud-mouthed and tough-as-nails, Aussies do in fact share New Zealanders “she’ll be right” attitude.

There have been some dodgy energy companies knocking on doors and signing people over unwittingly, so Meridian’s cheeky little brother may need to assure Australians that it’s both a disruptor and a respectable brand…

Sistema Plastics thinking outside the industrial box

In the manufacturing industry a business meeting on the topic of brand can be highly entertaining. Too often there is little differentiation and very little evidence of product development led by market strategy.

Sistema Plastics is a compelling case study on how to build a successful brand. Reading and listening to interviews with the co-founders Brendan Lindsay and Allin Russell, you quickly piece together that the success of the plastic food storage containers is no happy accident.

The fact that Sistema is producing 100 per cent locally while building a global brand, exporting to 59 countries and experiencing year-on-year growth of between 80 to 120 per cent, is remarkable. Australians are not easily impressed and are spoiled for choice in every product category, and yet in 2012, the company had an estimated 44 per cent market share across the Tasman…

Seedling grows Aussie market

If you’ve ever been into a toy shop or wandered through the children’s section of a department store, you’ll know all about consumer choice. Aisle after aisle of products vying for attention. Things that beep and bleep, shake and sing. High tech, low tech, vintage revival. The toy and games sector is overwhelmed with products.

Imagine my surprise then, when earlier this year I came across a brand that not only stood out on the shelves but seemed to pop up in every trendy little kid’s boutique and magazine. I was further delighted to find that Seedling is made by Kiwis.

There’s a craft revolution going on in Australia, as it is indeed around the world, and Seedling is right in the middle of it…

Has Kiwi business lost its mojo in Australia?

New Zealand once appeared to have the magic formula for launching innovative businesses in Australia.

Australia remains New Zealand’s number one trading partner for exports and imports, and according to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand’s exports to Australia were valued at more than $7.5 billion in 2011-12. 

But it has been eerily quiet for the last few years, with Australian media devoid of stories of great New Zealand brands.

Where are you all? We miss you.