However, in this blog post, New Zealand Story, shares some research and suggests that country of origin is becoming increasingly important to consumers. And here in New Zealand, our favourable reputation makes that something we can definitely use to our advantage.

Countries depend on their nation's brand.

Findings from Anholt's Roper Nation Brand Index show that sometimes, the small stuff is the big stuff. Being friendly, honest and acting with integrity comes naturally to New Zealanders. It's part of who we are - not just in a 'next door neighbour' way, but also in how we do business. Our key partners really value it. And while we take it as a given, the reality is that these values are not necessarily prioritised around the world the way they are here. So it's great news to know that simply being ourselves drives preference and fosters positive business relationships.

People actively prefer products and services from specific countries.

It's a big statement. But according to the Nation Brand Index, a true one. A country's brand strength is connected to how consumers perceive them, which of course drives preference towards that particular country's products and services. We're seeing this a lot within the food and beverage industry - consumers are increasingly making choices not only on taste and appearance, but also on credence attributes such as animal welfare, fair trade, provenance and environmental stewardship. That's where our Kaitiaki helps us -“ our clean, green and pure image is synonymous with caring for our land. And if we care for our land, it's assumed we put equal care and love into the products we produce.

Consumers want to know the story behind the product.

It doesn't just stop there. Global research conducted by Mintel shows that with so much choice available nowadays, consumers want to know even more about what they're buying. Where's it from? How's it made? Who makes it? What's the process? How's it different? And that's where our resourcefulness can be a real winner for us. We think different. We explore. We experiment. We create from scratch.

It's all good news for us.

We have a story. An ethos. A way of doing things. And as consumers increasingly want to know more about the products and services they're buying, and make purchasing decisions based on these things, our reputation stands us in good stead. Our friendly and honest nature, coupled with our transparent and creative way of doing things, gives us an advantage. So let's use it!

One way to harness our country's great reputation is to promote New Zealand on your products using the FernMark. It's a tick of approval from our Government and instantly tells customers that your products are born of New Zealand.

To find out more about the FernMark Licence Programme click here.