I’m mad as hell! Very mad with Brownes – WA’s leading dairy company.
I have to be a bit careful what I say here, because I’ve worked with the marketing team at Brownes, and I like them all very much. It’s a great brand. I’d love to work with them again at some point in the future. And really, it’s not them I’m mad with.
It’s the organisation’s bosses. The men (typically) whose job it is to “deliver shareholder value”.
You can’t have missed the supermarket war between Coles and Woolworths, who are competing for your business with $2 bottles of 2 L milk. It’s easy to predict that consumer behaviour has dramatically altered. All those shoppers who comfortably put Brownes or Harvey Fresh in their trolley each week have been shocked into re-evaluating their purchase. Who can go past $2 for 2 L ?!
So this weekend Brownes responded by buying a very expensive wrap around feature on the West Australian Newspaper to convince consumers why they should love Brownes (and thereby continue to buy it).
It makes me mad. And sad. It’s just too little too late.
Whilst years have passed that could have been spent building brand equity (it’s called equity for a reason – it’s something of value) the shareholder’s representatives have taken the profit and spent little on investing in the brand. If they had, perhaps consumers would not have shifted so easily to $2 bottles of homebrand milk.
What reason do consumers have to buy Brownes now? Will they ever come back?
I feel for the marketing team at Brownes who can only wonder what would have happened if they’d been supported in building their brand before now.
Marketing expenditure is not just “discretionery ad spend” as Finance types like to call it. Communications builds relationships between people and brands, and it builds brands of value.