By Gary O'Neil
Traditionally a brand is a name, term, design or feature that distinguishes one seller’s products from the rest. In the old days, it usually involved a cow, a farmer and a hot iron. Over time, people have found new ways to set themselves apart, but the brand of today goes much deeper than logos or colours. In our social media clogged world, it is instant and can change instantaneously. It’s all about the feeling people get when they meet you or think of you. It also is not necessarily what people say in person but what they say when you leave the room.
Why does brand matter?
Simply put, brand is reputation. It’s hard earned and easily damaged, which makes it worth investing in. While we all do things that can damage our own personal brand, like saying or doing something stupid, actions that break a brand aren’t easily forgiven or forgotten. Because brand takes time to cultivate, it’s important to consider how actions can impact it, now and in the future.
Apple and Tesla are great examples of companies that understand the power of brand. Everything they do is built around three questions: who we are, what we do, and why we do it. And It is more compelling to talk about the ‘who’ and ‘why’ we do what we do, not the ‘what’. Once you know your ‘why’, you can begin to build your authentic brand story which consumers buy into and trust.
Claim your advantage now
As a country, New Zealand is a brand – and it’s one that your business can use to its advantage. We’re known around the world as a beautiful place, our friendly nature, ingenious thinking and diverse culture. We’re also #1 in the World Bank rankings for ease of business and the best place in the world to live, according to the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index.
"Free markets, free people, and the world's strongest society ensure that New Zealand takes the top spot," the institute said.
A nation brand is like an umbrella brand, endorsing local brands and providing meaning to their positioning. So where a nation has a positive reputation, its businesses have a greater opportunity in global markets. The recent RepTrak report, published in June this year, ranks New Zealand the 5th most reputable country in the world. As the report highlights, our great reputation makes people more likely to work, live, study, invest and buy from New Zealand.
It’s a two-way street
If people already have positive perceptions of you, they’re more likely to buy from you or visit you. That’s where being a part of New Zealand comes in handy. But it works the other way too. When you weave Kiwi values, attributes and attitudes into your brand, you’re reinforcing more a compelling New Zealand brand on the world stage. Air New Zealand does it, Rocket Labs does it, Fisher & Paykel does it. And your business can too.
To find out more about how you can leverage your country reputation in your marketing offshore check out our free workshops.