Yoojiji?

I recently had a chance encounter with a group of Chinese students from Shanghai studying English in Sydney.

I asked them what their favourite Australian brand was.

I expected them to say Weetbix or Cricket Australia. Vegemite, even the ABC, perhaps.

“Yoojiji,” was the answer I received.

“Yoojeejee?”

“Yoojiji!”

The entire group agreed. Yoojeejee was the class’s favourite Australian brand in China.

There must have been some confusion. How can the favourite Australian brand be one I have never even heard of.

“That sounds Japanese,” I said.  “Are you sure it’s Australian?”

“Very famous Australian brand. Yoojiji!”

I felt like an idiot for a moment. Then, duh. U.G.G. Urgh!

The humble Ugg boot is known as an acronym.

UGG is renowned for its very high quality. China loves Australian wool.

Cultural cringe aside, UGG has done well to position itself as a quality Australian brand in a highly quality conscious Chinese market. And the Australian branding of the Pitt Street, Sydney store seems to reflect those brand attributes and appeal to the visiting Chinese market.