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The Gentle Milk

06 Nov 2018
Milk Website

Spring Sheep Milk Co may have only been in business for three years, but it has an ambitious vision. The company aims to deliver the pure nutritious goodness of New Zealand sheep milk to consumers all over the world.

Spring Sheep Milk Co has a combined flock of over 5,000 predominantly East Friesian dairy sheep that are farmed across three farms in the central North Island. From here milk is produced and crafted into innovative dairy nutrition products and exported predominately to Asian markets. Andrea Wilkins, Marketing and Innovation Director, shares how the NZ Story toolkit, workshops and FernMark Licence Programme have helped the company build a compelling global proposition. 

In a little over three years Spring Sheep Milk and Co has experienced phenomenal growth. The unique nutritional profile of sheep dairy, combined with their innovative product development and a compelling brand story has captured the attention of international markets.

Andrea Wilkins, Marketing and Innovation Director, credits the NZ Story workshop process for helping them to develop their unique brand story.

“To me the value of the workshop is the ability step out of the business for a day, and focus on the brand story, which so often gets neglected when you are busy, and to meet other businesses on the same journey and share ideas and insights with them,” says Andrea Wilkins.

Each workshop guides participants through a process to craft their personal story elements into a cohesive brand story. “One of the stories that we developed in the workshop was this idea of the gentle exchange. The idea that we’re gentle on our animals, the animals in turn are gentle on the environment and the milk they produce is ultimately gentle on our consumers. That virtuous cycle is really core and fundamental to our brand story,” says Wilkins.

The team use the NZ Story toolkit to help them communicate their unique story to customers around the world. “When we started we didn’t have big budgets for videographers and photographers, but we needed to create slick presentations. The NZ Story toolkit was a really cost-effective way to make ourselves look really professional,” she says.

Wilkins believes if other exporters use the NZ Story services and continually reinforce the key values of the NZ Story in their own marketing it will help to build a very strong brand New Zealand for everyone. 

“The three values of the NZ Story of Kaitiaki, of Integrity and Ingenuity are very important to our business. Kaitiaki first, because we’re trying to build a more sustainable business model for New Zealand. Integrity, because we’re in milk products, and if you’re going to be feeding these products to your kids, people need to trust you. Ingenuity and technology are also a big part of our story. All of this is about helping us to create and deliver a better solution around dairying and creating better products for our consumers.”

The Spring Sheep Milk Co brand is also supported in market by the FernMark, which is displayed on all packaging. The company’s research in Asia shows that shoppers are looking for authenticity cues and quality marks and identify the FernMark as one of those.

“The real value comes before our product hits the shelf, when we’re selling our business to a distributor and we’re able to show that we have the FernMark on our product packaging. It is the only endorsed trademark by the New Zealand Government, and we know that helps a lot. It’s a really compelling part of our proposition”

Spring Sheep Milk Co. is one of more than 8,500 New Zealand businesses that use the NZ Story framework and services to help them on their export journey. The NZ Story toolkit, workshops and the FernMark Licence Programme are all services available to exporting businesses to help craft and shape their own NZ story, and leverage this on a world stage. Visit nzstory.govt.nz to find out how your business can help make New Zealand famous for more good things.