New Zealand – a great Southland of potential: part 2

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 12.26.55New Zealand have some pretty cool local brands too and they make great play about local brand values. I saw a lot of “for Kiwis, by Kiwis”, in marketing messages. Clearly that message resonates with consumers both on line and off.

Huffer, Lower, Federation, Commoners, Thing Thing are just a few contemporary fashion brands making a mark competing with the heavyweights with a more youthful and edgy style to appeal to snowboarders and the youth (and young thinking!) in New Zealand.

Global Culture is my favourite. They consistently poke fun at established brands and culture and their motto is the brilliant “you can never be too rich, too cool or own too many t-shirts”. Interestingly none of these appear in the top 50 facebook sites for New Zealand.
These are dominated by fast food and sweet food and drink McDonalds (2), Whitakers Chocolate (3), KFC (4), Dominos (7), Coke 8), Cadbury (9 & 10), Skittles (11), L&P (12), Red Bull (13), Griffins biscuits (18), Tip Top Ice Cream (21), Burger King (22). The first clothing brand is at 22. Air New Zealand is top.RedWool_White_Mns_ZOOM

Huffer 1Food is another area of amazing potential. I come from Singapore where we import all our food from places like Australia and New Zealand. In New Zealand there is not only fresh vegetables but fresh salmon, all fish, beef and of course lamb. However the amount of fine dining restaurants who did justice to these amazingly fresh ingredients was disappointing.
New Zealand could be the wine and gourmet capital of the Southern Hemisphere given its location to fresh food but at least in the South Island the food was wonderful but not out of this world amazing.

New Zealand has a very enlightened and pragmatic view of foreign workers. They can’t get enough of them. Rather than stopping them as places like Singapore and the UK do, New Zealand welcomes them with open arms. Why becomes apparent if you visit extreme sports capital of New Zealand, Queenstown.

I’m not kidding in saying that in the 5 days and nights I stayed in 2 places in different parts of Queenstown I did not meet a single person from the South Island! Every shop assistant, manager, barman, waiter/tress, hotel front of house etc etc literally everyone I encountered was not from new Zealand’s south island! They were all mostly from Europe, Australia, Africa and America. There may be a brain drain out of New Zealand, but there is also one coming back which shows in the population numbers which are forecast to keep growing to the 5 million mark very soon.

As a result of this (or maybe just the effect of being in New Zealand has on people) the service was fantastic everywhere! Maybe people The Hobbit Air New Zealandwere more chilled, happier or knew they were only in the job for a short period of time before moving on and could therefore give there all. Either way, compared to service in Singapore certainly, service levels were incredible.

Now that same sex marriage is also legal in New Zealand this too is another great benefit to market to foreigners. This would especially apply to neighbours Australia given their new PM’s view on same sex marriage is closer to George Bush than Barack Obama!

With the 2nd part of the Hobbit trilogy coming up I expected there to be more about Middle Earth experiences and marketing Lord of the Rings “where the film was” made but there was very little. Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand partner with The Hobbit to market New Zealand but this seems to be solely focused on tying in with the launch of the film each year in December. To me this should be more of a holistic year round campaign. It is on line but not on the ground.

Where were the remainders of the Hobbit in posters, in venues, at the airport, in tours and even merchandise? You had to look very hard to see anything which is a real missed opportunity. There are so many amazing opportunities within New Zealand it’s a marketer’s dream – now is the time to realise them!