Associate Professor Wendy Umberger of University of Adelaide presented her work on branding South Australia (SA) at Natural Resources in Demand Symposium at Waite Campus, University of Adelaide, 10th October 2012.
SA is recognised globally for its premium food, beverages and culinary-tourism. The challenge for “brand” SA is to grow the recognition of SA premium food and wine, including the high standards of SA producers, and the regions in which the food is produced.
Origin can be presented as a brand. Origin is multi-dimensional. It can signal quality, safety, support for local agriculture, patriotism, enthnocentrism.
The key to brand awareness is saliency. It is the propensity of the brand to be noticed or come to mind in buying situations. It can be formed by experience. Marketing should focus on increasing a brand’s share of mind rather than changing attitudes through advertising.
Wendy’s work finds high saliency of Coles and Woolworths (retailer) brands in terms of good value for money, whilst regional brands are associated with food at special occasions.
Government intervention may have potential benefits. For example, they can protect consumers from low quality products, reduce consumers’ search costs, sellers’ costs by having uniform labelling requirements and provide gains to producers of high quality products.
However, government intervention may have potential costs. For example, it may become possible barriers to food innovation; sellers’ costs of labeling may increase; it creates goverment costs of implementation.
One possible way to move forward is to focus on increasing brand salience rather than SA origin labelling program. Bottom-up strategy may be needed. The government can invest in existing regional programs to expand reputation as high quality producers of food and wine and tourist destination and promote innovation.
*This summary is written by Risti Permani.