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What do Kiwis want brands to get behind?

Woman in front of street art

With so many worthy causes, what should brands support?

In a nutshell

  1. Is there a role for brands in tackling important issues? Our research shows that there is – in specific areas.
  2. The three causes that Kiwis specifically think brands should support are the environment, community development and health.
  3. But, they must be relevant to people’s lives and to our culture, and support kiwi ingenuity as New Zealanders forge their paths forward.

There is plenty of information about the issues that matter to Kiwis in general. But who should tackle these issues is a different question.

Is it government, society in general, local communities or global movements? Is there a role for brands? 

As part of our series on sharing insights to help organisations navigate the lockdown and beyond, we can share the three causes that people specifically think brands should support: 

  1. The environment
  2. Community development 
  3. Health (including mental health)

The next tier down below these top three causes form a bundle around children and young people (4th), sports and recreation (5th) and education and training (6th).

Service brands and retailers were the areas where more people thought that the brand could have a role to play. There were lower expectations for FMCG brands, and often the causes people did think they should get behind were in the second tier.

This data is from February, when COVID-19 had not had the full impact we are currently experiencing. It is, nevertheless, relevant. These are macro, culturally-based issues that are not going away, no matter what the future holds.

Moreover, as New Zealand becomes an inward-looking nation with closed borders for the foreseeable future, community development and the physical and mental health of Kiwis are issues that are going to be high on everyone’s agenda. 

How should brands get involved?

  1. Brands need to be relevant: they need to be relevant to people’s lives and, especially, they have to be culturally relevant. 
  2. New Zealand isn’t a nation of rule followers. Instead, we have a loose culture and pride ourselves on making things work with a bit of ingenuity. We’re used to forging our own path, but this path is tougher than what we’ve ever known. Brands can offer a helping hand.
  3. Brands can play their part by applying the Kiwi spirit of “making it up as we go along”, but with a more collective end goal of community development and supporting individual Kiwis through the travails of health challenges and economic recovery.

It's never been more important to make information-based decisions. Because although the country is in lockdown, organisations still have to make choices that will guide their actions and determine the success of what they do.

So, in this series, we’re sharing what TRA knows about New Zealanders to help inform better decision making, so that our companies can better serve people. 

Read the other articles in this series:

When progress is on pause, how should organisations behave?
A nation of independently minded rule-benders
When visions of a new life add uncertainty

Colleen Ryan
Partner at TRA
Colleen has a curious and strategic mindset fueled by 40 years of experience in business across Europe, North America and APAC countries. With a fascination and deep understanding of what it is to be human, specifically applying principles from cultural sociology, social psychology, behavioural science, and cultural analysis, she brings breakthrough insights to brand strategy, creative development and customer centricity.

New problems need new solutions.

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