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End of Book Case Studies

16/7/03

3:17 PM

Page 674

674 Q End-of-book: Case studies

products as being Australian made—multinational
ownership notwithstanding. Dick Smith marketed his
own Dick Smith-branded food products as not just
Australian made but also made by Australian owned
companies, thereby keeping employment and profits
in Australia—threatening the brand image of
rival multinational brands.
We are starting to see the impact of the ‘buy
Australian’ theme on the marketing plans
of multinational companies.

End-of-book: Case studies Q 675

There is no doubt that the launch of Dick Smith
Foods is another successful adventure for Dick Smith
and it has created some disturbance for the multinational
giants. However, in an interview with B&T Weekly,
16 March 2001, Dick Smith himself confessed, ‘I still
tend to agree with the marketing people who say that,
in the long term, the big multinationals will win’.16
We have yet to see the long-term impact of the ‘buy
Australian’ movement in general, and Dick Smith Foods
in particular, in changing consumer inertia.

QUESTIONS
1 | What are the astute marketing opportunities that Dick
Smith identified in establishing Dick Smith Foods?
2 | Identify the major target markets that are most susceptible to the patriotic appeal of Dick Smith Foods.
3 | What are consumers really buying into when buying
an ‘Australian’ brand? Or, do they really care about
the Australian-ness of a brand? What do you think?
4 | Some critics labelled Dick Smith’s new adventure as ‘nothing more than a money-making scheme’. What do you think?
5 | Dick Smith Foods placed an ad in national newspapers on
21 and 22 April 2001 headlined, ‘Is Australian ownership of business simply jingoism?’ The copy of the ad reads:
‘Newspaper journalist, Dennis Shanahan, has been running
a campaign against Dick Smith Foods, claiming that it is
“feeding paranoia” and “jingoism” to promote the
advantages of Australian owned businesses.
‘At the same time Mr Shanahan pushes the advantages
of ‘Australian Made’ especially when promoted by
foreign companies.
THE FIGURES AND EXHIBITS IN THIS CASE STUDY ARE COURTESY OF DICK SMITH FOODS.

‘The reason for this hypocrisy is obvious to most Aussies. The big foreign companies that exploit the “Australian Made” logo have enormous advertising clout in the press.
Patriotic Australians are not stupid—we know that while
“Australian made” is good “Australian owned and made” is even better as the profits stay here creating wealth and
a better future for our children and grandchildren.’ 17
Do you think Dick Smith is hypocritical in making use of
his image of patriotism to brand his products and increase
sales, and denigrate his competitors that are
predominately foreign owned?
6 | Visit the Big Kev’s Limited Web site (www.bigkev.com.au) and assess its marketing strategy. Building on the same
patriotism appeal, Dick Smith Foods managed to break even
in the first nine months of operation, but Big Kev’s Limited had a $2.9 million net loss for the financial year 2001 to
2002, compared to a $1.5 million net loss for the previous
year. Compare the marketing strategies of the two
companies and identify the reasons for Big Kev’s failure.18

24

Apple’s renaissance
—the agreement that works
Nitha Palakshappa, Department of Commerce, Massey University, and Dr Mary Ellen Gordon, Managing Director, Market Truths Ltd

Mal Thompson, managing director of Renaissance Corporation Ltd, sat down to finish pending paperwork. He has just spent the last few days with management staff from Apple Computer Australia Pty Ltd. The visit was trouble free and the Australians left happy that things were going well with the New Zealand distributor. Mal breathed a sigh of relief and found his thoughts wandering a bit further. The last few years were definitely good to him… business was good; and, achieving a life–work balance was a continued priority. He...
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