Kiwis invented the jet boat, the electric fence and Xero accounting software. In 1893, New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote. Ernest Rutherford was the first man to split the atom. And the All Blacks are the greatest sporting team of all time (read why, here).
New Zealanders clearly have an extraordinary history of being pioneers and constantly pushing the boundaries. Especially considering it’s an island situated in the southern Pacific Ocean with a population of only 4.6 million people, half the size of London.
In recent years The Challenger Project has been closely following the many interesting brands that are breaking through their category conventions and challenging the status quo within the country.
Which makes us think - what makes New Zealand such a fertile environment for the growth of challenger brands and how are they achieving this, with such apparent ease?
New Zealand is a challenger brand
Doing more with less, challenging the status quo and being ambitious with the resources that are available are all classic traits of a challenger brand, but they are also traditional Kiwi traits.
New Zealand has Australia on their doorstep, a country with a greater abundance of resources, thus making them instinctively more competitive, both with their bigger neighbour and upon the world stage.
The country is positioned on the very edge of the world, instantly causing obvious issues with trade and distribution, and due to these issues, New Zealand has had to develop a certain mentality in order to be noticed at all.
This is perhaps why we can consider New Zealand, as a country, to be a challenger brand in itself.
The country has become a melting pot of challenger brands which all aspire to continue to promote New Zealand as a forward thinking country; a challenger country. The variety and quality of challenger brands emerging out of New Zealand annually proves this.
This mentality is infiltrated throughout their society, as Peter Cullinane, founder of Lewis Road Creamery explains how, “There’s a rawness and immediacy about NZ that’s highly conducive to doing things differently, taking a risk, and that anyone can (and should) ‘give it a go’."
Simon Coley, founder of Karma Cola agrees, “We were born into a country of not having all the solutions that you might have in a bigger, more centrally located country”. As a result, in order to be able to compete on the world stage, Kiwis have always had to think, act and behave within the challenger approach.