16/07/2008 - 22:00

Alinta’s brand position takes a battering

16/07/2008 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Having formerly been named among the most recognised and best corporate brands in Western Australia in WA Business News' previous branding surveys, the more recent fortunes of Alinta have taken a protracted and well-documented fall.

Alinta’s brand position takes a battering

Having formerly been named among the most recognised and best corporate brands in Western Australia in WA Business News' previous branding surveys, the more recent fortunes of Alinta have taken a protracted and well-documented fall.

Only 18 months ago, Alinta was enjoying its reputation as a boom-time success, having grown from a relatively small WA gas distributor and retailer to the largest energy infrastructure company in Australia.

The Alinta brand was recognised by both the corporate and commercial sectors, with high profits matched by loyal customers that backed the home-grown success.

Yet a controversial buyout proposal, followed by a takeover tussle and auction, led to ownership of the company's assets being split among new owners.

Alinta has also suffered collateral damage from the current gas crisis.

These developments have had an adverse impact on the Alinta brand, judging by comments that were made as part of the branding survey

"From a dominant corporate force under Bob Browning, Alinta has fallen to a strange little company that can't supply enough gas to its customers," one marketing executive commented in the branding survey.

The brand has not only suffered from the uncertainties arising out of the gas crisis, but also from concern over new owner Babcock and Brown's profit outlook.

To some, the brand has tumbled not only out of the corporate - but public - regard.

Halden Burns director Anne Burn believes that since the break-up of the old Alinta, it's support for the WA community has waned.

"Before, the brand used to play a big role in sponsorships like that of the Fremantle Dockers and exhibited community presence."

"It was sad to see the proud state institution go under the yoke of interstate control.

"This holds consequences for customers, who no longer feel the same loyalty as they did towards a domestic name."

Alinta retail sales manager Ralph Bates defends the company's performance.

"The brand is at a point where it needs to be redeveloped based on the impact of a carbon constrained world," Mr Bates told WA Business News.

"This problem had started prior to the Varanus Island incident which Alinta did not cause.

"During the crisis Alinta has managed to keep 570,000 residential and small business customers supplied without interruption".

Mr Bates concluded that "Alinta still has amazing goodwill in the community with customer satisfaction scores of over 80 per cent".

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options