NZ Story masterbrand project tackles the stereotypes

EditorNews Make a Comment

New Zealand is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world but the country’s wider brand was almost a victim of its own success, which prompted a Government-led focus on developing a more inclusive national masterbrand.

According to Rebecca Smith, director of the NZ Story masterbrand, our hugely successful tourism brand wasn’t serving the country’s thriving technology or export sectors abroad.

“We realised that the tourism brand simply wasn’t enough,” Smith said, in an interview with UK ad/media site Warc.

“It wasn’t broad enough to cover all these other sectors,” she said. “We needed a cohesive narrative – “something that was going to be consistent and compelling across all those different sectors to ensure that we were speaking with one voice.”

Development of the New Zealand Story was led by Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Education New Zealand, working closely with the public and private sectors. The New Zealand Story Group is part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda that aims to increase our country’s exports to 40% of GDP by 2025.

“Focus groups tell us consistently that we are trusted – we have integrity in the way we act as people, and that we are caring.”

The group comprises an advisory board, including Park Road Post’s Cameron Harland, NZ Rugby Union media adviser Julie Christie, and government-appointed NZ Story director Rebecca Smith

It’s impossible to create one iteration which fits every market, Smith told Warc, but there were some recurring themes during the development phase. “What focus groups tell us consistently is that we are trusted – we have integrity in the way we act as people, and that we are caring.”

These insights were woven together in a way that allowed for localisation across the world, in three core New Zealand Story principles which could be applied to multiple sectors.

“In the US, for example, we would turn up as solution providers. We’re people who are hard working. We’ll find solutions when other people are less inclined to do that – and that’s that ingenuity. In China, for example, we would dial up that ‘trusted’ attribute and integrity.”

Smith acknowledged that the New Zealand brand development work has taken a different approach than many others by focusing on intangible values that can be interpreted to suit, but believes a story telling approach will pay off in the long term.

“It is a very different approach that we’ve taken. We believe that it’s many, many, many stories bound together with a common thread, a common set of values, a common set of attributes, and an approach. We’re very happy that different brands and different parts of the New Zealand economy choose to tell that story in different ways.”

Share this Post