Buy Australian? Consumers AND retailers must support it

By Patrick Avenell

After last Friday’s stories on Harvey Norman’s buy Australian advertising campaign, IMC Australasia business development manager Tom DiTerlizzi contacted Current.com.au to provide his thoughts.

“Supporting Australian brands, Australian manufacturers and even businesses associated with products developed for the Australian market, where profits generated from trade in those products remains in Australia, is easy to highlight as a point of difference, whether we are in a downturn or business is booming.

“In general, Australians, patriotic or not, buy products they believe best meet their needs. That’s a mix of price, performance, place it’s sold et cetera, and if it happens to be Australian made, so much the better.

“Importantly, Australian consumers do not choose the products retailers place on their shelves: product buyers do. Suppliers who fail to win support of retail product buyers bemoan this.

“CE industry buyers are hard pressed to support Australian brands because, there are not many Australian companies manufacturing products and developing brands specifically to appeal to Australian consumers.

“In the main, retail buyers support products which deliver profits and if those products and/or brands happen to be Australian, and profits generated remain in Australia, well and good.

“The absence of Australian brands in some categories led us to develop our own brands. With the support of retailers including Harvey Norman, these brands are outselling those of competing multi-national brands.

“Is that success due to patriotic Australians supporting Australian brands? I don’t think so. Rather, it is a combination of delivering what the consumer needs and, most of all, the willingness of retail buyers to get behind an Australian brand.

“Only with the support of Australian retailers can home grown brands, developed for Australians, take market share away from the multi-nationals. And while the claim ‘we support Australian brands’ and ‘we support Australian business’ by retailers can seem glib, retailers who support Australian businesses help those businesses to flourish.”

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