AUT became a university just ten years ago and while its compelling consumer-facing brand was doing the business, its 14 Research Institutes had grown organically until 2009 and had no overall marketing, brand or strategic direction—even though research success plays a big role in establishing a good reputation. Enter 30-year-old Max Woodhead, who worked in marketing for sport and recreation and applied sciences and whose job it was to help build a research brand from scratch, unify the view of these disparate research strands, get the notoriously headstrong academics and institute directors to believe in the project and eventually build AUT's overall brand, attract better post graduate academics, foster better research outputs and bring in more funding.
It was a huge task. And the two-year project required someone with leadership and people skills, an eye for design, strategic knowledge, plenty of digital nous and the ability to get things done on the smell of an oily rag. Not only that, he had just two days a week to achieve it.
As well as establishing himself as a top-class marketer, he also managed to find the time to complete the New Zealand Ironman in 2010 and 2011. Now that's just showing off.
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Brooke Anderson AJ Park
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Chris Hooper TVNZ
Sam Grimwood Christchurch International Airport