AUCKLAND: 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 focus on developing a more inclusive national masterbrand.

According to Rebecca Smith, Director of the NZ Story masterbrand, New Zealand’s 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 WARC. “It wasn’t broad enough to cover all these other sectors.” (For more details, read WARC’s exclusive report: Behind the masterbrand: A New Zealand story.)

“We needed a cohesive narrative,” she explained; “something that was going to be consistent and compelling across all those different sectors to ensure that we were speaking with one voice.”

It’s impossible to create one iteration which fits every market, Smith believes, 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 – that we are caring – caring or preserving what’s important,” she said.

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," she added.

Sourced from WARC