There has been a lot of discussion recently around the rebrand of South Australia. Whilst I completely agree that we need to change our image and the perception of us outside this State, until we change the mindsets of the people within our community, no new logo is going to significantly change the way SA is perceived.
I love living in Adelaide, it is a great city, very liveable with fabulous food and wine to consume, weather to be out in, places to explore and a community you want to be part of. But for outsiders, we can be seen as a very un-progressive, conservative state where doing business is more difficult than it needs to be.
I personally ignored most of the discussion around whether or not the new logo design was a winner or not. I actually quite liked ‘The brilliant blend’ phrase and didn’t see how we had to invest such a significant amount into a new brand. To me it would have been better to have been invested in putting plans in place to improve our infrastructure or looking at how we embed innovation into all small and medium businesses in our State.
As an example of a closed mindset, look at Adelaide 30 years ago. From an infrastructure perspective it was on a par with both Perth and Brisbane and ahead of any city in the arts and cultural initiatives. Over the years, both Perth and Brisbane have progressed and completely left us behind. Unfortunately we have had governments that have made poor decisions, been fearful due to financial miss-management such as the State Bank and wasted an astronomical amount of money on things that did not add real value to the State including the desalination plant. It appears we are doing the same as this week we are having similar discussions around pouring millions more into Holden, to ensure a sustainable car industry within this state. How ridiculous are we? There is no way the car industry in any state of Australia can be sustainable if you understand the cost of wages in Asia – invest this money in re-training these employees so they can be employed within other industries that do have a future. An example that comes to mind is our natural assets such as agriculture, food and wine who receive a fraction of the government subsidies that manufacturing has in the past.
It all comes back to mindset and adapting to change. Changing a logo is not going to change this. We need to change our mindset, move with the times, adapt to technology, embrace globalisation and become innovative with our approach and solutions. There are a lot of fabulous businesses within our state who have so much to offer. We at BRS for example have team members who are working on some of the most high profile infrastructure projects in Asia, but we are not even known for this in our own backyard!
As a state we also have so much to offer, but until we collectively change our mindset towards embracing change and investing in infrastructure and initiatives that are progressive, realistic and sustainable, no new logo is going to change this. Businesses need to stop being so conservative, step up and show some initiative, take a few risks and step out from their comfort zone. Being a victim or being fearful of change is not going to help anyone. Our government needs to help businesses like Spring Gully become more innovative, implement more cost effective processes and systems and provide more support with regards to marketing local products and produce.
Changing our image is not going to happen overnight; but it is up to us all to contribute and stop being comfortable being a big fish in a small pond in South Australia and understand we need to export and compete globally to thrive in the future. Get back to basics, be authentic, build relationships, educate others and work together to change our mindset and eventually our image both hear and afar will reflect the positives of this State.