The gold medal for the longest running strong economy goes to…
On April 1st Australia is to to achieve a truly remarkable milestone, and one that most of us will be floored to discover. Australia will likely be able to lay claim to the title of the longest economic expansion on record, entering our 104th quarter of economic growth without recession – that’s an incredible 26 years of relative economic prosperity – but who’d have known?
One attribute of Brand Australia is modesty; we don’t like to crow about our achievements, especially when we’re doing well for ourselves. But the flip side of that attribute, is that when the long-term strength of our economy is not part of our open discourse, we allow those in the media and political spheres with another agenda to hijack the conversation.
A few years back I was at a global conference of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam and the economic strength of Germany was being discussed by many of my peers with great enthusiasm. When I chipped in with a favorable comparison of employment rates and economic growth I was met with equally open disbelief. After all, how could little far-away Australia’s economy measure up to the might of Germany’s? The next morning several of those same peers sought me out to incredulously tell me they’d Googled overnight to find I was right and that Australia’s economy was outperforming the best in the world. I wasn’t surprised they had been unaware, after-all, most Australian’s share the same perspective on how strong our economy is and has been relative to the world.
The media and politicians play a critical role in setting the tone for how we see our economy. More ‘papers are sold’ by headlines bemoaning the desperate state of affairs than celebrating solid, long term growth. When the Aussie dollar drops we hear it has ‘crashed’ and when unemployment rates rise they have undoubtedly ‘soared’ with no balanced view of the positives for our economy. Likewise for politicians, it’s tough to win votes by congratulating the opposition on their impressive economic successes – in these times of Trump politics, it is always about finding the grey cloud behind the shining silver lining.
But I believe we all have a role to play in building our economic confidence to match our world beating performance. The media is click-bait driven. When we all read the headlines of doom and gloom, the media continues to write more and more articles in that vein. Whilst we don’t have a culture of publicly patting ourselves on the back and talking-up our standing, that same modestly is misplaced when it comes to talking-up our economic prosperity. This lack of confidence in our economy impacts how that strength flows down from big business to small business, to wage earners and consumers, who spend-up and keep the virtuous circle turning.
We live in fortunate times in a lucky country, just imagine how much stronger our brand would be if we gave ourselves a healthy pat on the back.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more at…
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