Australian brand and design companies suffer from media invisibility.

Australia has some bright sparks in the brand and design industry, but who’d know it outside of its network?  As a marketing discipline that is responsible for the creation, development, evolution and management of brands, it is curious why design and branding in this country still exists as a mystery to those who are not directly involved.

My prompt for this article comes from online searches (including key industry media) that consistently fail to show much content with a brand and design focus to attract readers in the business, brand management or marketing sectors. The point here is that design and business are intrinsically linked yet there is a clear disconnect between the two. Why?

From this writer’s perspective I don’t believe the industry does itself any favours. Egos and outdated management styles could be blamed, but budgets, resources and perhaps even a dash or two of complacency are more likely to be the real problems. Acknowledging the industry’s seeming invisibility is a communications reality that needs to be challenged by the industry’s stakeholders.

Industry personalities, spokespeople and even the organisations that are purportedly behind the industry’s causes – it’s raison d’etre – rarely come forward to speak of the industry’s future, its vision and it’s importance to the business of branding. It’s an incessant battle to secure media interest let alone coverage. And as the proactive, well-resourced, PR-backed advertising and media bods ramp up the coverage and content securing inches and archive search results, I squirm with discontent at how little we know, hear and see of the Australian industry that I know first hand has a wealth of intelligence, creativity and innovative thinking for brands to leverage.

Doing a huge disservice to the industry at large is often the fault of the few brand and design companies which are getting coverage but who rely on talking about work produced a decade or more ago. If the brand rhetoric sounds like something we would have heard 20 years ago, or something you’ve pushed with the media a dozen times before, probably best not to go there. Give brand owners a reason to be interested in you, conceive a new angle that reflects forward thinking, share effective processes or methodologies, evolve your business structure, culture and/or values to become a company brands would like to work with, mature with acquisitions or launch new departments – but don’t expect me to be wowed by old, irrelevant news.

For the rest of you, there’s opportunities to milk. There are dozens of you doing great work that we should be hearing more about. It’s time to make it happen.



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