Seismic shifts in young New Zealanders’ attitudes towards culture, brands and business

Seismic shifts in young New Zealanders’ attitudes towards culture, brands and business

“Business needs to earn its place,” said Jacqueline Smart, Head of Planning at JWT New Zealand during her presentation to SBC members about young New Zealanders’ shift in cultural values.

Jacqueline talked about how young New Zealanders’ attitudes towards national and cultural identity are undergoing the biggest shift in 20 years, reshaping their relationship with brands and companies.  She said businesses need to remember that “culture is created by the people who use it”.

The six seismic shifts in attitudes Jacqueline talked about are:

  • New Zealand is a concept, not a location:

    New Zealanders have lost their insecurities about their place in the world, replaced by a new confidence in their identity and a clear sense of themselves as world citizens. The shift can be partly attributed to globalisation and the proliferation of brands through online channels – New Zealanders can embrace brands from everywhere.

  • Living off the spreadsheet not the land:

    Contemporary New Zealand life is contested through an economic lens with a pervasiveness of economic terms to account for oneself and others in a way that was not present a few years ago. This changed lens means a shift away from the traditionally accepted view of the “Kiwi dream”.

  • She’s not alright, mate:

    People matter more nowadays, more so than land. “Judge a society by how it treats the most vulnerable” is a highly valued sentiment. To be judged a great New Zealand company, actions are needed, not just words.

  • Determined is the new black:

    Planning effort and wanting to make a difference is deeply valued and gets our respect and attention.  The New Zealand value of “taking a stand” still resonates with younger consumers. Brands need to take a position and ask themselves “What is our brand behaviour?”

  • Interdependence not DIY:

    A sense that brands and companies need ‘us’ as much as we need them, or that ‘we’ have contributed on some way to the success of those brands. Brands that “have your back” and deliver on promise do better.

  • Simple is aspirational:

    It used to be “work hard, play hard” but now it’s just work hard and the “play” looks different. Brands that are materially honest in terms of form and function and that ground you are appreciated.

This talk was part of the SBC work in the area of Consumer Decision-Making. This is a priority for the SBC as we support our members understand and navigate changing consumer attitudes to business. Click here to see Jacqueline’s presentation.




26 Feb, 2015

Related Posts