23/07/2009 - 00:00

Emerging brands re-emerge, submerge

23/07/2009 - 00:00

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RESULTS of this year's branding survey highlight the difficulty associated with maintaining a positive brand for a person or company.

Emerging brands re-emerge, submerge

RESULTS of this year's branding survey highlight the difficulty associated with maintaining a positive brand for a person or company. And nowhere is this more evident than among the top five 'best emerging brands'.

Curiously, Fremantle brewery and popular Western Australian brand, Little Creatures, has topped the emerging brands category yet simultaneously fallen from the list of WA's best brands (it came 10th last year).

And Fortescue Metals Group, last year's top emerging brand and top corporate brand, has fallen from the top five on both lists.

Meanwhile iiNet dropped a place to finish third in this year's emerging brand list while drive-though coffee shop Muzz Buzz climbed from fifth last year to second this time round.

Advertising and branding specialists openly acknowledge the strength of the Little Creatures brand and congratulate the work of director, Howard Kearns, and creative agency, brainCells.

Block Branding creative director Mark Braddock and Markeforce chairman and chief executive John Driscoll both support the notion that the brewery's expansion may have led to shifting its focus off local branding activities.

"Maybe why it might not be in the top 10 might be the expansion recently, as I've seen it's over east and it's available in London and they've opened a Melbourne restaurant, or whatever," Mr Braddock said.

"Maybe they just haven't been focused locally, so they're not getting as noticed as they probably were."

The Brand Agency managing director Steve Harris said it could have been due to the economic downturn affecting the number of new brands in the market.

"I think Little Creatures always gets nominated because people think, 'Oh, what's a new brand in WA?', particularly the way the last 12 months have been economically, there's not a lot sitting there," Mr Harris said.

Competing brewery brand, Gage Roads, came in just outside the top five in the emerging brands list after finishing fourth last year.

Gage Roads marketing manager Sarah Carne said her emerging brand was looking forward to some stability in the future.

"It comes back to consistency, delivering the high-quality product to the consumer all the time," she said.

Longtail chief executive Carlo Bertozzi and Mr Braddock believe there are opportunities for emerging brands to enhance their position via the online space.

"With a smart digital strategy, a challenger brand has a real opportunity online at the moment because a lot of bigger ones aren't utilising the space properly," Mr Bertozzi said.

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