FernMark: New Zealand’s reputation on the world stage soars. What could this achieve for Kiwi businesses overseas?
New Zealand Story, the government agency responsible for nation branding, recently reported how an international survey of global ‘soft power’ has ranked New Zealand at 16th place – a notable year-on-year increase from 22nd and the largest increase of any country – thanks largely to our nation’s approach to Covid-19.
The Global Soft Power Index by Brand Finance ranks countries according to their diplomatic, cultural, and political influence as opposed to the hard power of economic and military might. Large, wealthy northern hemisphere countries typically dominate the list. However, in the latest survey of 75,000 people conducted in December 2020, New Zealand’s reputation soared.
While humbling to see New Zealand’s standing on the world stage strengthening, with our country’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic shining a light on our people and national values, New Zealand Story Director Rebecca Smith presented on an international panel at the Soft Power Summit acknowledging that like everyone else, New Zealand is not through this yet.
This is not the only index that New Zealand performs well in. The nation has long been ranked amongst the first of 190 economies for ease of doing business, and is rated highly for low corruption, peacefulness and sustainability. Our most recent leap in soft power is just the latest accolade, helping New Zealand now be recognised as one of the most globally trusted country brands.
This trusted brand is something more and more businesses want to leverage offshore, evidenced by the fact that demand for the FernMark Licence Programme is at an all-time high. Offering a trademarked fern – officially recognised and endorsed by the New Zealand Government – marks such trust while communicating a product or service’s authentic connection to New Zealand, and in turn bringing with it the credibility of New Zealand’s institutions and integrity of our people.
According to a recent NZTE International Consumer Survey, trust and safety are considered the key purchasing drivers for global consumers when looking to buy products and services. Australia, the UK and Singapore are particular countries where products made in New Zealand hold a strong reputation as trusted and safe.
“New Zealand is much loved and envied around the world. The FernMark has allowed us to distinguish our brand from the thousands of brands we compete with in highly competitive markets around the world.” said Rodd & Gunn’s CEO Mike Beagley, when discussing her company’s experience as an exporter.
Indeed, this soaring positive international reputation presents a significant opportunity for Kiwi business leaders around the world to leverage the trust, credibility and more recently, influence, that New Zealand is increasingly known for. This is where government schemes like the FernMark Licence Programme can be beneficial in helping businesses enhance consumer confidence in their products and services.
The world’s ears are perked up to New Zealand’s inherit national values, which are paying dividends for the country on the global stage. There has never been a better time to leverage the country of origin trademark.
Find out how the FernMark Licence Programme can drive preference for New Zealand products and services internationally at www.fernmark.nzstory.govt.nz
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