By Rebecca Smith
Showing off isn’t in the Kiwi DNA, but sometimes there is a time and place to spin a good yarn about the clever way we think and do. And for so many New Zealand businesses, we do seriously well when it comes to innovation and ingenuity.
From AgriTech, artificial intelligence to film and gaming – the weightless exports within our technology and innovation industries are nothing short of impressive.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on New Zealand’s strong governance, ingenuity and care for people, so unsurprisingly Our Global Pulse Check research led by One Picture in June 2020, highlights how global consumers and businesses have taken note of the way New Zealanders approach problems and are intrigued to know more.
International perceptions of New Zealand as ‘a nation of problem solvers’ has seen significant gains post-COVID, with scores of 8, 9 or 10 (out of 10) increasing from 36% to 62%, and the proportion of people giving us a ‘10 out of 10’ score alone jumped from 0% to 17%.
In addition, RepTrak Country Reputation Research carried out between March and April 2020, shows New Zealand reached the highest ranking in the country’s history of our own benchmarking, reaching fourth place for most reputable country of 55 nations.
Encouragingly, New Zealand is also starting to be seen as having an ‘advanced economy’, however to move this dimension further, we need to focus on attributes like New Zealand’s contribution to global culture, technology advancements and our well-known brands.
With this newfound saliency around Kiwi Ingenuity now is the time to put a spotlight on the highly creative thinkers we have here, and the innovative Kiwi born businesses that have gone global.
It’s why New Zealand Story launched the latest in our Inside Stories campaign – titled Ingenious Together, our new international awareness campaign promotes how we innovate with care, as well as the unconventional and ingenious elements of the Kiwi psyche that help set New Zealanders apart on the global stage.
Ingenious Together builds on the high impact international campaigns ‘Made with Care’ by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and ‘Messages from New Zealand’ by Tourism New Zealand (TNZ), this time promoting our clever homegrown thinking behind our Innovative businesses.
The short films are playing in China, Singapore, Japan, Australia and the US and feature a 35-strong line up of talented Kiwi innovators and well-known friends of New Zealand who have proud ties to us in some way.
One of the film’s stars, Young Ly, is the CEO of the world’s leading DJ software, Serato, says ingenuity came naturally to its Kiwi founders 20 years ago.
“The story goes that the two founders Steve and AJ were at university and wanted to learn how to play base guitar but they wanted to learn with normal songs, so they cracked the algorithm for how to speed up and slow down sound without changing the pitch, and it’s just grown from there,” says Young.
Serato’s founding story is the perfect example of Kiwis looking at a problem or opportunity and cracking it in a novel and different way – their growth story since then is incredible.
New Zealand Story’s role is to celebrate and amplify stories like Serato’s to build familiarity around New Zealand ingenuity so when Kiwi business speak about their innovation offshore it’s an ‘of course'.
NZTech CEO Graeme Muller reaffirms the importance of showcasing the ingenuity lying in our tech sector. “Now more than ever the world is looking for ingenious ideas, solutions for a cleaner environment, better food, smarter software, better ways of doing things, so now is the perfect time to position New Zealand as Ingenious and showcase our ingenuity from across all parts of our economy.”
The time is right to tell these stories and keep the fires burning in the minds of our international consumers and prospective business partners. The films we have produced can also be used by New Zealand export businesses.