It was 1973, wine was on the front page of the Auckland Star because there was an export order.
"If it's a genuine story, I think it's an effective way to differentiate a brand and it definitely does work in wine," says David Babich, Chief Executive of one of New Zealand's oldest family-owned wine companies. "And in the wine world there are a lot of great stories."
The company's storytelling delves into the past 100 years, weaving yarns about the places, people, innovations and achievements behind its wine. But it also looks ahead, from stories of Barry, a precious wild yeast at work in the winery, to the myriad of sustainability initiatives being driven by Babich. "As a brand we want to be seen as modern classic," says David. "You want to acknowledge your history, but also look to the future."
More recently, that storytelling has been enhanced through Made with Care, a Te Taurapa Tūhono New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) global campaign launched in late 2020 to grow awareness, preference and demand for New Zealand food and beverage products around the world.
Craig Armstrong, NZTE's lead for food and beverage, says recently released research revealed five major challenges being faced by New Zealand exporters. "We weren't too surprised to see that building brand awareness topped the list of challenges," he says. "This was further amplified by the need to build a story around a product that will help drive consumer purchasing decisions. While this is reflective of the fact that New Zealand exporters are typically smaller by international standards, it also shows quite clearly why the development of a global food and beverage brand campaign for New Zealand has been so important."
NZTE ran storytelling workshops for wine industry members last month, helping them tap into the Made with Care campaign. The four-hour storytelling workshops intcluded market research findings, use of the campaign to drive demand for New Zealand products, and lessons on defining a brand story with the global Made with Care insights and toolkits.
For more on the NZTE Made with Care campaign, go to nzte.govt.nz/blog/made-with-care