Dec 4, 2017 - Uncertainty over Brexit means New Zealand needs to urgently focus on developing brands and differentiating our agricultural exports. Senior lecturer in Agribusiness Management, Dr Nic Lees, said New Zealand produces some of the best fruit, wine, meat, seafood and dairy products in the world but around 70 per cent reaches the consumer with no identification that is sourced from here.
“Sudden changes such as Brexit remind us that relying on undifferentiated commodity exports leaves us vulnerable to sudden changes in government policies,” Dr Lees said.
“When consumers demand a branded product, it is difficult for governments to shut it out of the market.”
Forty-four years ago, Britain joined the European Common Market. At the time Britain took approximately 90 per cent of our butter, 75 per cent of our cheese and about 80 per cent of our lamb exports. Britain had to adopt the European “common agricultural policy” which imposed tariffs and quotas on non-European agricultural imports
This meant New Zealand was effectively shut out of our largest agricultural export market. At the time, most of these products were being exported as commodities, frozen lamb carcasses and blocks of cheese. The only branded product was Anchor butter.
For the next thirty years the New Zealand economy suffered as we searched for new markets and attempted to develop alternative industries. China has replaced Britain as our largest market. However, 70-80 per cent of our food exports are still sold as commodity products.
“We need to develop differentiated and branded products that consumers demand,” he said.
“We can learn a lesson from Anchor butter, as it is a brand that is still strong in the British market.”
However, he said, New Zealand has never been good at marketing our food products.
“Despite our reliance on food exports, Lincoln University provides the only specialist food marketing degree in New Zealand. The Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing was developed due to a call from industry for graduates who understand the specialised nature of producing and marketing our food products.
“It is an integrated degree covering agribusiness management, food science, supply chain management and food marketing. This provides students with a unique set of skills specifically focused on preparing them for marketing the unique features of New Zealand food products.”
He said Zespri kiwifruit and New Zealand wine have led the way in developing strong brands that consumers demand.
“Unfortunately, most other industries still focus primarily on commodity trading.”
The development of synthetic alternatives to meat and milk also calls for stronger branding.
“Developing a culture of marketing and meeting consumer demands for natural health foods provides New Zealand with a way to capture more value from our exports.
“To do this we need graduates going into the industry with an understanding of the whole value chain and who are passionate about positioning New Zealand food as a premium product branded and targeted at specific consumers.,” Dr Lees said.
| A Lincoln University release || December 4, 2017 ||||
An award-winning online marketing campaign has helped New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) build a database of over 65,000 consumers in China.
Developed for the WeChat platform, the campaign has been built around NZTE’s annual Taste NZ programme, which aims to promote New Zealand food and beverage products in a number of Asian markets.
NZTE engaged United Media Solutions (UMS), a digital marketing company based in New Zealand and China, to create and run the WeChat campaign for Taste NZ in the People's Republic.
“The aim of the platform was to create a group of people with the potential and interest to keep purchasing New Zealand products,” said Maxwell Shi, NZTE’s regional marketing and communications manager for Greater China.
The promotion was structured around a set period, in which consumers received a Taste NZ voucher every time they purchased a New Zealand product online.
That voucher included a QR code that consumers could scan using their WeChat account. Every consumer who scanned the QR code received points that could then be used while shopping for other New Zealand products. Regular competitions and prize draws were also held.
The programme has built a database of 70,000 members, which NZTE and UMS have drawn on to analyse consumer insights and promote other New Zealand brands and products.
“This database is our asset, and our aim is to increase this and further promote New Zealand companies and products to that database of consumers. We’ll do this by leveraging the database with incentives to buy New Zealand products,” said Shi.
The NZTE team has plans to grow the programme to reach 100,000 active consumers over the next two years.
The campaign recently won the Best International Social Media Campaign at the 2017 New Zealand Social Media Awards.
Aiming to strengthen its position in the international arena, NZTE travelled to Hong Kong last week for Asia Fruit Logistica. The government agency helped coordinate the country’s presence at the show – alongside Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Apples and Pears and NZ Plant and Food Research – with 28 New Zealand horticulture companies exhibiting.
“Most of the New Zealand companies represented here don’t have an in-market presence in Asia,” Shi told Asiafruit. “Our role is to help them connect with key markets so they can facilitate exports and grow their business.”
Vodafone has joined in the online media gold rush by what it describes as “launching its own news website.”
The New Zealand subsidiary of the British mobiles telco in recent times has swelled its marketing communications force with television, business, and IT sector journalists.
The company’s “news” website meanwhile resembles an online version of the once familiar IT sector marketing support instrument, the house magazine.
The company’s news site hardly surprisingly features Vodafone in its community role.
Notably with emphasis on its participation in the post–earthquake Christchurch reconstruction participation.
Also its ability to deploy helpful rapid support services in Oceania.
The marcom by-product news site at this stage does represent though a potential challenge to the IT trade press.
This is dominated in New Zealand by International Data, a US publishing, survey, and events operator which publishes under licence here with such titles as Computerworld, CIO, and PC World.
According to Vodafone its “Vodafone News will feature behind the scenes video of important developments, offer advice and readable features across a range of topics for consumers as well as insights from leaders in a range of diverse fields.”
A heavily promoted video-voice-words convergence over hand-helds poses a medium to longer term threat to the media at large.
This is because by definition it targets the younger market, the one which increasingly relies exclusively on palm tops of various descriptions as access to news that it can use.
Since the heyday of IT recruitment advertising, as significant in its era as property advertising is now, the print proprietors have pretty much given up on targeted IT news, absorbing it into their general business sections.
Vodafone is not the first retail telco provider to move into the wider news sector.
Telecom was first off the mark with an authentic diversified aggregated news site for its Xtra users. This was then subsumed into Yahoo which expanded the already comprehensive localised curated coverage.
For reasons that remain unexplained this long established open site remains un-ballyhooed.
In this reticence may lie the gap that Vodafone has identified.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' | 19 March 2017 ||
2017’s already been identified by Vodafone as the year of data explosion, with Kiwis using more and more of it to stay up to date.
But it’s not just being chewed up by the binge-watching habits that online-only series like Netflix’s Stranger Things brings about.
Kiwis are still just as interested in what’s happening around them, and the video and stories giving insight into their changing world.
In fact, hyper levels of mobility in how we consume news - and how often we expect updates, appears to have increased the appetites of everyday readers
That’s all part of why Vodafone New Zealand is launching its own news website, offering a behind the scenes look into the work the company’s involved in, its people, and the latest trends in technology, industry and community developments.
Chief Executive Russell Stanners said, “Ever increasing levels of connectivity create an expectation that we need to share what’s going on, and we want to get the latest stories, in many instances, direct from those at the centre of what’s happening”.
“At the same time this truly is the age of the customer – they’re digitally savvy, empowered by the technology – and they want to understand who they’re dealing with, at a deeper level,” he added.
Vodafone News will feature behind the scenes video of important developments, offer advice and readable features across a range of topics for consumers as well as insights from leaders in a range of diverse fields.
Russell Stanners said, “At Vodafone we’re at the forefront of innovation, and Kiwis want to know what we think about topics that are important to them.
“We want to get our story out, we’re proud of what our people are achieving, and so much is set to change in technology trends this year, we want to make sure people can make sense of it all,” he added.
People are consuming news and information constantly these days through a range of mediums, and the days of only reading news from just one or two websites has rapidly declined.
Instead, as the recent U.S election illustrated, consumers will browse a wide range of sources – whether that’s hard copy, online or through social media, to read more about what they’re interested in.
Andrea Brady, Vodafone’s Head of External Communications, believes this shift in media consumption habits, opens the door for customers to experience major projects from the inside.
“There are times when Vodafone is hard at work in areas that you might not expect. A good example is our Instant Network team. They’re our first response team who go into emergencies, when everyone else is fleeing them,” she said.
The team deployed a year ago this month when Fiji declared a state of natural disaster in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston, with a series of suitcases and a mobile generator to successfully establish a local communications network.
“They were the first emergency relief to reach Vanua Balavu that had been devastated by the cyclone. Communications were quickly established enabling the village to reach out for medical evacuation for those in need, and so that people could let relieved family members know they were still alive,” Andrea said.
Behind the scenes video on Vodafone News paints the picture of how the Instant Network team works, and the powerful impact it can have on communities’ desperately in need.
“There are countless examples of innovation taking place every day in communities and businesses around the country. We’re keen to make sure those get the attention they deserve,” Andrea added. The advent of new news – a conversation with customers