Thursday, March 5, 2009
You do not own your brand, your customers do.
For decades, brands like Bonds, Stubbies and King Gee have had a special place in the Australian heart.
From Chesty Bond to Steve Irwin, the iconic blue singlet, the front-pocketed short, the faded khaki work shirt became something close to revered.
They had managed to become part of the national identity.
Then they were bought, sold, amalgamated and floated. Local factories were closed and the manufacturing was shifted to places where labour costs were inevitably less. It all made perfect business sense, yet today people marched the streets against the 'owners' of these brands. The same people have been condemned by the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader.
The CEO of the company has been pilloried in the popular press and the stockmarket has punished the company by valuing the entire Pacific Brands entity at less than one of it's mid-sized brands.
All successful brands are a mix of personal passion, happy accident and commodity. when you forget about the first two, all you're left with is the last. The consumer's gift to Pacific Brands was the ability to run campaigns like the one shown. Now, it seems, they've asked for it back.