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Branding New Zealand 

KZ7I had a very productive time in Christchurch, especially at The Future of Fashion II conference organized by Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ). It was also wonderful to connect to the folks at CPIT there.
   One question that arose after my presentation (which can be found in written form on this site) was that of the . One attendee felt that using the clean, green idea and the All Blacks was ‘last century’, and I happened to agree with her. (Go back about a decade or so and you’ll find a few pieces by yours truly along similar lines.)
   If is about differentiation, then what is so different about clean and green when Israel, Sweden, Canada and Ireland use similar ideas in their ? When it comes to ‘100% Pure’, the campaign used for in New Zealand, how truly representative is it of our country when we spend relatively little, as a percentage of GDP, on the ?
   Isn’t New Zealand actually about , independence and isolation (in the best sense)?
   When we go abroad, we seem to enjoy showing how different we are, the innovative ideas that we have as a nation, the sheer courage we have in trying new things—I gave the example of the first America’s Cup that New Zealand competed in—and how, on the opposite side of the world to the rich nations, we are great lateral thinkers. We are already doing this, so there’s little need for an internal marketing campaign. We just need to push this message out globally, and benefit those Kiwi innovators doing great things around the world.
   Right or wrong? Your feedback is welcome, as I believe we can define our nation more smartly than we currently do. We can also make that brand more representative of all New Zealanders, going beyond primary products and sport.
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NZTE had similar concepts several years ago, with its New Zealand, New Thinking campaign proposal, but it seems to have disappeared as an idea.  
As an observer of some of their nation branding programmes, I am not convinced that they knew what they were doing for a lot of these, or when they did, there seemed to be a lack of support from the top.  
Not sure if this would be a 'defining' attribute, but my feeling is craft is virtue we could hold dear. I'm just putting this out there. But I think of some of our sculptors, product/industrial designers - how we take that innovation and present it in a unique way. We're good with our hands. In the same way we (stereotypically) associate Germany with precision, Swiss with simplicity. This could be too design-centric. I wonder if we try too often to define ourselves using tourism terminology, rather than a business focus. As I said, I'm just putting it out there. Always a danger when committing random thoughts to the blogosphere  
I want to make you aware of the Strengthening Brand America Project. It is a community of practice designed to help people involved in community economic development successfully reapply product and corporate branding principles. The objective is to help our communities become more competitive for capital investment in a new, interdependent global economy. Success will result in accelerated economic recovery.

You can check it out at www.strengtheningbrandamerica.com. I am hoping your Organization would consider helping increase awareness of this project.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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