Remember this? Merino New Zealand's marketing master-stroke

  • Marketing
  • May 2, 2012
  • StopPress Team
Remember this? Merino New Zealand's marketing master-stroke

For 150 years, New Zealand's Merino fibre was largely invisible, as it was sold into a world commodity market that was dominated by high-volume producers and then diluted into blends. But in 1995, the growers decided to take a stand and Merino New Zealand was set up. And in 1999, it was awarded the Supreme Marketing Award and Business-to-Business award for lifting the fibre out of the commodity basket and positioning local merino at the highest end of the international market. With chief executive John Brakenridge at the helm of what was a notoriously conservative—and often fractious—industry, it wasn't easy, but he saw an opportunity to breathe life into the brand by targeting the small and, ahem, tight-knit group of key players at the elite manufacturing and high-end retail level and also working closely with existing brands to help stress the romance of the merino story and the premium quality of the fibre.

There was a paltry comms budget of $282,000, so there was a focus on computer generated audio-visual presentations and cost-effective PR. And the move of this once dormant industry from out of the shadows of the wider wool sector and into much more exclusive territory received media coverage on TV1, TV2, 60 Minutes, North & South, and Fashion Quarterly, among many others.

From its starting point in 1996, the campaign created strong awareness of the New Zealand merino clip in targeted processing sectors like Europe, Japan and Korea and growers started enjoying direct supply arrangements with the likes of Icebreaker.

As the judges said at the time: "The merino story is one quality, preference and clear revenue growth. In the face of declining returns, exceptional results were achieved for growers, with significant improvements in price per kilo and overall export earnings ... This entry is at a different level to most others. It takes all the fine elements of New Zealand, all the fine elements of business strategy and the fine elements of marketing and weaves them together in a brilliant execution of style and detail in what could be an ordinary category."

And that focus on the high-end, something many New Zealand exporters should be aiming for, has continued in the ensuing years.

So if you want to be remembered, enter the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards here.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Air New Zealand claims September Ad Impact award

  • Ad Impact
  • October 19, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Air New Zealand claims September Ad Impact award

It was a busy September with a range of brands releasing new spots in the lead up to the warmer months of the year. There could, however, only be one Colmar Brunton Ad Impact winner, and this time we saw a repeat winner step up to the podium.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit