Marketing, design, branding and advertising agencies in the Gold Coast/Brisbane region have their work cut-out for them preparing local businesses for the Commonwealth Games 2018. As the smart brands scramble to update their marketing collateral, refresh their brand and capitalise on the benefits of an anticipated 650,000 visitors to the Gold Coast for the Games, the sad truth is that many local businesses will lament this time as an event that failed to meet their expectations. To understand why, we need only to look around at local brands and put them in context.
Having worked in my previous profession as a Graphic Designer in Melbourne and London, then shooting in various other countries for 14 years, I returned to Australia with a subjective eye for Australia’s brand scene and frankly, I was shocked. What I was exposed to in London in 2000 was a far more progressive branding, design, marketing and advertising scene than my previously admired Aussie scene.
By late 2014, very little back here had changed. Prolific copy-cat naming such as ‘All-Tools’, ‘All-Pools’, ‘All-Tyres’, ‘All-(insert industry type here)’ was everywhere, Incorrect Title-Casing of Copy Lines, client-led creative, horrific logos and amateur photography still lines the high streets. Clearly the value and purpose of creative industries has been missed by many business owners – and agency’s attempts to educate their clients have failed. Damn the torpedoes, someone has to say it; outside of the major metropolitan cities (and often in those too), Australia can tend to look like a quagmire of branding catastrophes!
Within Australia, businesses can get away with this due to it being such a commonplace oversight. Foreign visitors, however, will have been exposed to quality branding, marketing and advertising. Any Australian businesses represented by poor identity, collateral and strategy will look like a joke to these people. Australian business owners need to have a qualified person – be it an honest friend or contractor, to audit their brand and give careful consideration to this.
Opportunity exists to capitalise on a huge sporting event here in the Gold Coast and Brisbane region. My advice, for whatever it’s worth, is to do precisely this by remembering that, yes, ‘a brand is more than a logo’ – it is often the entirety of what’s used by your prospective market to judge your business – and if they want to engage with it.
INVEST in your identity. Some cowboy freelancer charging $300 for a logo is going to make you look shit. Good designers are not screwdrivers who can ‘do something up’ for you. Nor do they eat crayons. They’re qualified, practised, developed in their tastes and informed about trends and effective strategies. Listen to them like you would your mechanic and resist the temptation to ‘play with the crayons’ yourself. You wouldn’t have a shot at a vital fix or build component on your car. You’d leave it to a professional. Demonstrate the same respect for your designer and they’ll look after you by extending this simple and yearned-for gesture! 🙂