Remember the Are You Being Served? episode where Mr Grainger tries to sell a German tourist a German coat during Grace Bros.’ German Week? The tourist, who is accompanied by Joanna Lumley prior to The New Avengers, is infuriated that he has come to the UK only to be persuaded to buy something that he can get back at home. Gents’ ready-made does not make the sale.
The Weekend Herald, the Irish-owned Auckland newspaper, has a story on how Red Chinese tourists venturing to New Zealand are disappointed at their experience. New Zealand destination marketing harps on about the Māori culture, ﬁsh and chips, and fresh ﬁsh. Tour operators kept taking the tourists to Chinese joints to eat, denying them an authentic experience. The main interviewee in the story had never sampled ﬁsh and chips, and never got to chat to an ordinary Kiwi. Even the souvenirs, he says, are made in China, something that can be contrasted to his Australian travel experience.
He was willing, he said, to pay more for souvenirs that had ‘Made in Australia’ on them, which highlights the country-of-origin problem that manufacturers face. It’s one industry where cost-cutting by relocating to cheaper production sites does not help sales. (For more on this, I note the second edition of National Image and Competitive Advantage, by Eugene Jaffe and Israel Nebenzahl, is out.)
And the locals love the contact, so why not? At the wedding I attended, an Alice Springs resident bemoaned how Japanese tourists did not venture into town: they ﬂew in and then ﬂew out. It might be due to the tour operators and not the tourists themselves. But it seems that cross-cultural experiences are key to the tourism industry, and they appear to be denied.
For all the claims about how successful New Zealand’s nation branding is, I have my doubts—and now have more to back me up. Posted by Jack Yan, 13:26
First, I like this posting because you reference two of my favorite shows, "Are You Being Served" and "The Avengers" (in any incarnation). This is a interesting example of how TV made "borderless" connections that surprise us sometimes when later we discover them. I mean, a boy in Nebraska sharing these two shows with you, Jack! Wouldn't you have thought I watched "the farm reports"? Grin.
Second, I am always intrigued at how economic optimization strategies like "cost-cutting by relocating to cheaper production sites" is so blindly followed without much thought of the human experience.
For me this goes to show that an "economic man only" philosophy will not usually result in good business and branding decisions. Leaders need a bigger, more fully human perspective.
As always, you've got me thinking...and that's a good thing. Thanks for enlarging the conversation.
You’re absolutely right, Michael, and you put it better than me in your second and third paragraphs above. Thank you. Good business is all-inclusive.
Down here there are still networked farming shows (Country Calendar is on prime-time) so I know where you are coming from!
I too enjoy old episodes of are you being served, but as for fish and chips, I've gone off those and much prefer sushi etc.
I love both, Amy. We have a great takeaway near here, Alasia, which does ﬁsh in vegetable oil, so it tastes fresher. They also put lemons on it, and I have the chips made at home. On occasion, I have done my own ﬁsh but I just can’t get it as light!Post a Comment
Sushi never really ﬁlls me up but I still enjoy it …
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