@AuManufacturing’s Marketing for manufacturers series turns today to a manufacturer whose products have become a household name through sustained marketing and innovation. Here Peter Roberts profiles Opal Australian Paper.
Australian shops sometimes seem devoid of genuinely made in Australia brand names, with many famous Australian names such as Kiwi boot polish, Aspro, Sheridan and Speedo either bought by multi-national corporations and globalised or relocating manufacturing to low-cost locations.
But a few manufacturing brands such as Reflex copy paper defy the stereotype to become much-loved household names.
Part of the success of the brand comes back to the sheer doggedness of its owner, Opal Australian Paper which has advertised on television and direct to consumers since 1984.
Opal paper national marketing manager Duane Stagoll said: “It was the first copy paper advertised on TV in Australia, and back in the day it managed to really stand out from the others.
“There was a real focus on engaging with the potential buyer .
“The brand has done a great job of establishing memorable and quirky and funny advertising, and people can certainly recall many of the advertisements that have been run.”
Reflex advertising, which also features in other mediums such as print, outdoors, radio and digital, typically is set in a workplace where a familiar problem such as a jamming photocopy machine is solved when one of the staff produces a ream of Reflex paper in its familiar packaging.
Lately there have been scenarios set in the home office, reflecting the trend towards home working in the era of Covid-19 and lockdowns.
Stagoll said: “It saves the day essentially.
“We are reminding people that Reflex copy paper is dependable and that links back to our one liner ‘Always Rely on Reflex’.”
The company, which has also enjoyed success with its Tudor envelope and Olympic note book brands, is building on these concepts in its current social media campaign which seeks to identify those individuals in offices, who like Reflex, get the job done and save the day.
“There is a lot of focus on digital, but really it is just another medium, fundamentally it is just the same as TV.”
Of course copy paper is a fiercely contested, commodity market where price is vitally important – the company’s Maryvale Mill in Victoria has always managed to keep itself competitive. And who can argue against a ream for less than $6.00, or Opal’s Coles home branded product.
“We do a lot of quantitative and qualitative research to establish what it is consumers are looking for, and the factors their purchasing decisions are based on.”
Technical excellence, of course, is essential for any manufactured product and Opal, especially since a recent takeover by Nippon Paper Group, is highly focused on product quality.
A poor experience with blurred type or marks in the paper is a sure fire consumer turnoff.
Innovation is also increasingly a hallmark of the company, with recent offerings extending Opal’s offerings, including shopping bags for Woolworths, including recycled paper product.
But in this year of Covid Reflex also had had on its side the trend towards consumers seeking out Australian made product.
Stagoll said: “We have really gone to a lot of effort to communicate the brand’s Australian heritage and its Australian made credentials.
“We are seeing brand growth as a result and that’s a reflection of people’s recognition of the benefits of the brand and the relationship and support we enjoy in the Australian market.”
Picture: Opal Australian Paper/Reflex copy paper
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