WHEN PROVENANCE IS TOO GOOD A BRAND FIT
Where you’re from can say a lot about who you are. This simple fact is not lost on brands – Chanel trades on being luxuriously French, Mercedes gains engineering credibility from its German heritage and Harley Davidson’s attitude is an authentic Americana. So when brand provenance supports brand purpose, why would you ever want to play down the connection? Well I was surprised to discover it can be when the homeland is just too good. At least that was the conclusion I came to with an Australian sports brand.
Australia is known for a gutsy never-say-die attitude to sport that has brought it global respect and success. These are the kind of associations that cost sports brands millions in sponsorship, yet if you’re born in Australia, you get this equity for free. What could go wrong? Well sports is a strange obsession (and when I say sports, I’m particularly thinking of team sports here.) You can respect the winner, but only ever have allegiance for your team. And here’s the rub, that team is often a national team. So sports provenance is a two-edged sword. Australia might be famous for its sporting prowess, but that won’t endear an Aussie sports brand to a British audience the day after an Ashes drubbing. While Fosters can say “He who drinks Australian, thinks Australian” safe in the knowledge that we’re all on the same side when it comes to beer. Saying “get in touch with your inner-Aussie to win” could be construed as ‘taking the mick’ in a sports context.
If only Aussies weren’t so good.