Following the Brexit vote, and the panic that set in of not being part of a bigger picture, I have to admit I actually found it all rather exciting.
I suspect this comes from having spent 17 years of my working life in New Zealand, where feeling alone is nothing new.
Kiwi’s understand isolation on many levels. In business they are very aware that because of their limited “home” market, there is greater competition, and on the world stage they are competing with much larger, more central economies.
This has instilled three strong traits that we can get some reassurance and even some tips from:
Embrace innovation to keep yourself moving forward
New Zealanders recognise the advantage of valuing innovation and developing a real appetite for start-up businesses and emerging companies with great ideas.
This has huge benefits. Smaller companies so often deliver the most change helping business culture positively, because if you begin in the business world the way it is today, then you just treat it as normal, not letting your past get in your way. This then encourages larger, older companies in New Zealand do the same.
It’s a great way to give all businesses energy, keep them moving forward and not getting complacent.
Businesses large and small have an intuitive sense for marketing.
They have learnt the value of Brand and even the smallest of companies will take this aspect of their business very, very seriously. If you miss your opportunity to affect your market and influence them, then your competition may well take advantage of your mistake.
Brand helps you punch above your weight and keeps you relevant.
Make yourself bigger
New Zealand has actually been building a brand and brand identity for decades. We have brand values of self-reliance and innovation. The logo is the Silver Fern and the colour is most definitely black.
If you are a small company in a small country you need to make yourself bigger by piggybacking on the brand of your country, and gain strength from it. The Tourism industry gets great value from “100% Pure New Zealand”, a campaign run by the Tourism Board of New Zealand that enhances the country significantly.
So why is this exciting for the UK?
Most Kiwis I talk to think of the UK as being at the forefront of the world. At this point being a part of the EU has not diluted the fact that globally the UK is still seen as where all the best ideas come from in business, science, technology, engineering and culture.
Let's build this country’s brand from this. In my opinion the Olympic Brand “Team GB” should become a National Brand from which to launch the post Brexit campaign.
Team GB should thrive and build on our reputation for being innovators, leaders and disrupters across so many sectors.
And importantly every business should understand the value of communicating their very positive messages to the internal and external audience.
Lets face it. It’s working for a country of 4.5 million so imagine what it could do for the UK.