It is well-known that when you enter a new market or country there is often a number of cultural differences that you need to be aware of and if you don’t then you have a large risk of either confusing that market or alienating them.

As part of taking OptimalBI into Australia this year we decided to sponsor the SAS Forum in Sydney to provide a little #OptimalOrange to the conference with the goal of starting the journey towards achieving a little brand recognition in Australia,

As part of the sponsorship we decided to have the obligatory stand, but instead of putting boring old brochures (or even our cool funky ones) into the conference bags, we would put bags of Jetplanes in them instead.  Orange ones of course!

As an aside (and this should have been our first clue) it was impossible to source Pascals Jetplanes in Aussie at anything near a reasonable cost, so we ended up buying them in New Zealand and freighting them over, all 150kg of them!

So in the conference bag each person got one of these beauties:



So job done I thought.

What I didn’t realise was that while Jetplanes are a NZ icon and every adult and child knows what they are and typically love their gummy goodness (you would be surprised at how many the OptimalBI team go through), in Australia they are a novelty it seems.

Which lead to some confusion for the conference attendees. We first had to explain that they were lollies (candy) and then that they were called Jetplanes.

Most people I talked to called them “Ducks Feet”.  And I suppose you can see why:



So an interesting and luckily relatively minor cultural issue, that at least caused a number of conversations with people we may not have normally talked to.

And of course no where as bad as the story around the launch of the Pajero in Spain.

But as we grown and no doubt enter new markets and new countries in the future, it’s definitely something I will need to keep in mind.   (I wonder what they will think of Jafas in the USA?)