Tasmania’s brand reflects the State’s unique mix of economic, cultural, community and environmental attributes. It is a core differentiator for Tasmania’s value-added products and services and is increasing in importance. Tasmania’s unique marketing position has been gifted by nature and progressively enhanced by the achievements of brand heroes in various sectors, as well as by strategic Government initiatives.
The Brand in history
The name ‘Tasmania’ was given to Australia’s south-east archipelago of islands in 1856 as a desperately needed re-branding exercise. The colony’s original name, Van Diemens Land, evoked shivers of fear rather than thoughts of its natural beauty and potential abundance. The young colony’s export fruit industry earned it the Apple Isle nickname among Australians and an improving reputation in Britain. Place-of-origin badging and esteem also flowed out of the interstate trade in ‘Tassie scallops’ and ‘Tassie lobsters’. For generations, these delicacies were seasonal reminders to urban Australians that there was a place to the south called Tasmania. The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race started as a cruise in 1945 and grew into a formidable global brand driver. The giant Mount Lyell mine, hydro-industrialisation and a production line of capable footballers also helped build the State’s early reputation.
One event, in particular, triggered the emergence of Tasmania’s priceless contemporary brand. In 1979, the Hydro Electric Commission released a plan to build a dam on the Gordon River, below its junction with the Franklin River, in Tasmania’s south-west wilderness. The project floundered in the face of unprecedented protesting. There was daily national publicity for many months and the contested area was constantly referred to as pristine wilderness, lifting the State’s profile and adding value to its brand.
Tasmanians, especially food and beverage producers, were unintentionally gifted an amazing marketing stimulus. The State was building real brand equity.
In the 1980s, Hobart’s Cascade Brewery entered the national premium beer market for the first time with Cascade Premium. Its label featured a thylacine, alluding to the pristine wilderness that other Australians now linked to the State. Cascade Premium was highly successful and Boags Premium, with a similar marketing strategy, soon followed it into the national market. The marketing of these two beers was to be a template and a catalyst for the development of a strong, quality-based, value-added food and beverage sector within the Tasmanian economy. Tasmania had outgrown its Apple Isle sobriquet!
With a few notable exceptions, Tasmania is a small-business State with a high level of dependence on niche marketing. Tasmania is, therefore, extraordinarily brand reliant. The State is fortunate that its brand awareness has escalated in recent years through the activities of established and emerging brand drivers in many sectors of the economy.
Place-of-origin branding plays an essential part in Tasmania’s economy. The State’s quality-based brand is strong and respected. It operates in an over-arching position above sectors and regions, while lending its strength to many sub-brands.
Most successful place-of-origin brands are shaped and developed through the influences of their sub-brands. In Tasmania’s case, sub-brands include sector and regional groupings and many individually potent private-sector brands. Tasmania’s two major breweries are good examples of corporate brands that have contributed to the strength of the Master Brand through an emphasis on place of origin and a rigorous commitment to quality. Tasmanian wine, whisky and cheese producers have acted as global brand heroes on multiple occasions; as has MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art). Hobart is home to a disproportionate number of Australia’s scientists and their achievements – particularly in the fields of community health research and marine and Antarctic studies – enhance the State’s brand.
Tasmania’s Master Brand has evolved from the simplistic Apple Isle imagery of the mid-20th century to reflect the achievements of a vibrant, multi-faceted economy.
The concepts of quality and authenticity are key values underpinning the Tasmanian Brand across all sectors. The words the brand evokes most often are: Beautiful; Clean; and Natural.
Niche marketing is the only approach for a State where small businesses are the norm. Quality is an essential aspiration for a niche marketer, so Tasmanians must aspire to deliver quality in all the products, services and experiences they offer. Many successful Tasmanian businesses of various sizes have understood this and have made it their policy for decades. New entrants are encouraged to follow this example.
Tasmanians have become increasingly aware in recent times that the world appreciates them for what they are. Tasmanians in all walks of life can profit by simply being authentic.
Our Brand Model
Our Brand Model defines the values on which our Master Brand is built. Our core brand values are the foundation of our Master Brand identity system and underpin every message we deliver.