In 2017, consumer trends in Australia are being led by the millennials who are consciously making choices fueled by: more experience over materialism, personalization over prestige, and cosy and relaxed over large and formal.

This age group is skeptical when it comes to large conglomerates and brands, therefore; simply providing transparency is no longer sufficient. Successful brands are pro-active and upfront about areas such as origins, sourcing, processing methods, and nutritional values.

Being an educator about your product is now a necessity, instead of a “good to have”. Brands need to demonstrate transparency, honesty and stability, otherwise they are running the risk of consumers discounting them in their choices.

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During a recent Q&A session with Campaign Asia, our Marcel Wijnen, creative director of Anthem Worldwide (Australia) offers his perspective on the Australian market and how to implement an educational approach to branding.

Australia is a country of immigration — full of immigrants, people who have been brave enough to leave their homes and look for something new, something better. There’s a sense of adventure and experience seeking that really stays true in the Aussie psyche and that’s one of the unique things about Australia.

A lot of countries have a very strong sense of identity but in Australia, it’s more about opportunity as opposed to what you are. Because Australia is such a melting pot of different people, this makes for a marketplace very open to new ideas.

Call-out culture. The cultural sensitivity that external brands coming into Australia need to consider is probably about the presumption of who Australia is. It’s not America, it’s not Europe, it’s not Asia; it is its own place, and Australians are quite adamant about that. So if a brand says ‘You’re Australia, you’re like this’, they tend to push back quite hard.

Rather, brands should consider talking about the diverse culture in Australia. Highlight the different people and different ambitions that all came to Australia for similar reasons—that sense of opportunity. 

Enhance lifestyle. Health and wellness is continuing to gain strength as a trend in Australia. It is becoming a conscious consumer driver—everywhere and all the time. Previously considered ‘specialist’ health choices for dedicated enthusiasts, are now becoming mainstream. This doesn’t mean that consumers don’t buy the bad stuff, but more and more they are becoming aware of this choice and looking for ways to balance their lifestyles.

Relate locally. Think of how a brand like Aldi approached Australia in a different, localized way. They have maintained their internationalism—they are a German-originated global retailer—but they’ve actually done a lot of hard work on the foundations to set up all their local supply lines properly. They’ve been phenomenally successful with really, very little marketing.

“I think working on your localisation is really important. If you go in with all guns blazing you might have a big spike but you won’t survive: the local brands will eventually win the hearts of the consumers,” says Wijnen.

As Australia’s cultural diversity grows, so too does the opportunity for international brands to educate their consumers in unique ways.