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How Aussie brands are future-proofing

News, 24 June 2016

SYDNEY: Four of Australia's most popular brands have revealed how they are future-proofing their brands for Australia's emerging demographic and social trends.

A panel at Mumbrella 360 in Sydney containing senior marketers from ANZ Bank, Lion Beer, Arnott's and Australian Radio Network reflected on what builds long-lasting brands in Australia, and how their century-old companies have evolved to stay relevant across generations.

For insight into how these iconic Australian companies are future-proofing their brands, read Warc's full report here: Five future-proofing secrets of Australia's most enduring brands.

For Lion Beer's stable of brands, which includes XXXX and Toohey's, the key to building an enduring brand has been a dedication to consumer insights that move the brand forward while still staying true to its origins.

"Brands need enduring consumer insight that takes in a bit of the heart and spirit of Australia," said Ben Slocombe, Marketing Director for Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine in Australia.

Marketers should also remember that consumers are the true owners of a brand. This year, 150-year-old company Arnott's learned just how attached Australians were to its products: when the recipe of cracker brand Shapes was change there was uproar across the nation.

Calling the experience "humbling", Arnott's Marketing Director, Nik Scotcher, said it was an "incredibly important learning about how important these brands are to Australians – they remain the owners and we've got to listen to them."

Embracing social and ethnic diversity has been a bold move for heritage brands as they evolve alongside Australian society. ANZ Bank, for example, has supported LGBTI events such as Sydney's Mardi Gras, and its GAYTM campaign made a significant statement about its values.

And if it's a bold move for a bank, it's essential for media brands. Keeping a finger on the pulse of societal change is incredibly important, according to Australian Radio Network (ARN).

"As a marketer and the media bubble that we live in, it's often assumed that this (diversity) messaging is accepted, and it is not," said Anthony Xydis, Chief Marketing Officer for ARN.

"You've got to stay relevant. Everything about what we do every day has to be relevant. So if you're not embracing diversity, then you'll become irrelevant very, very fast."

Data sourced from Warc