Australian Made is all the buzz at the moment for some pretty valid reasons, that in this writer’s humble opinion were lost for a while. During the pandemic, many Aussies started to actively support local businesses, and back in May we saw the first ever ‘Australian Made Week’, with shoppers prompted to seek out genuine Australian-made products.
As well as providing the obvious benefits for the economy and the recovery of many SMEs, there’s a feel good, patriotic aspect to it. And if you own or run an Aussie business, it’s music to the ears. But is it all as simple and easy as it sounds? You make something in Australia, with Australian ingredients or components and that golden kangaroo logo is yours… or is it?
We submitted an application for the Australian Made logo the other week, thinking that we had all the right ingredients:
- Our company was founded by Australians, in Australia.
- Our business concept was developed by Australians, in Australia, for the benefit of Australian businesses.
- Our product was designed and developed by wholly Australian owned and run businesses.
- Our product is marketed, promoted and supported by wholly Australian owned and run businesses.
- We actively promote and support the connection of Australian SMEs and sole traders.
Sounds fair? We thought so, but unfortunately, we found out that we’re not eligible to use the Australian Made logo. While the folks at Australian Made were a delight to talk to, explaining how it all worked and what the rules and processes were, we were faced with a key challenge: is CircleSource a product or a service?
On one hand we believed we had built a product. On the other it’s not something you can put on a shelf or our customers ‘buy’, so it’s not a commodity. I won’t get into the complexities of the whys and wherefores of the Australian Made evaluation of the CircleSource platform, but I’ll simply acknowledge that perhaps if it was something you purchased and downloaded, our chances of being granted the use of the Australian Made logo may have increased.
So where does that leave the tens of thousands of service-based businesses founded, built and run in Australia? Perhaps there needs to be a different approach, model or accreditation that Australian Made could consider that spans non-manufacturing, non-product-based businesses? After all, the logo was first launched in 1986, well before a technology boom that continues to accelerate and even challenges the very concept of a product. While Australian Made ponders the changing business landscape, there’s nothing to stop any Australian service-based business calling out their “Australianness”. We’ll certainly be looking at ways of doing this so that everyone knows what we’re about. Buy Australian, engage Australian businesses, work with Australian SMEs, sole traders, freelancers and experts.
What do you think? Could there be an equivalent of the Australian Made logo for service-based businesses? Let us know in the comments.
This article was written by CircleSource co-founder, CTO and Operations Officer, Andrew Jackson.