New Zealand: The Intriguing Story of a Destination Brand

During the last two weeks we published a series of articles about the origins and impressive success of New Zealand’s ‘clean, green’ country image and ‘100% Pure’ destination branding – all based on my doctoral thesis at University of Waikato’s Department of Management Communication, which I submitted almost exactly two years ago.

For those interested in the branding and reputation of destinations, New Zealand is an intriguing case. If that includes you, below is a synopsis of each article – all freely accessible.

Country Reputation: Origins and Meaning of ‘Clean, Green’ New Zealand (1/5)

In this first post of the series, learn about the origins and meaning of ‘clean, green’ New Zealand, and how this ‘place myth’ has shaped the country’s brand positioning and national identity. Read here

Destination Brands: Origins and Success of ‘100% Pure’ New Zealand (2/5)

It is thanks to New Zealand’s country reputation as ‘clean and green’, that ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ had the chance to become one of the most successful and highly regarded destination branding campaigns in modern history. But how did it all start? Find out in this summary of literature on the origins and success of the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign. Learn more

Place Brand Equity: Economic Value of ‘Clean, Green’ New Zealand (3/5)

One of the hottest topics in place branding is how to determine the return on investment (ROI) and economic impact of initiatives aimed at creating a unique and competitive brand positioning for a city, region or destination. ‘Clean, green’ New Zealand is a telling example of how economically valuable a national image and destination brand can become. Here’s the link

Place Brand Credibility: Example ‘Clean, Green’ and ‘100 Percent Pure’ New Zealand (4/5)

Place brand credibility is the topic of this fourth post on New Zealand’s country image and destination branding. ‘Clean, green’ and ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ are telling examples of how difficult it is to develop a brand proposition based on environmental values, and to ensure its credibility despite changes in political leadership and priorities, and business interests not aligned with the brand. Find out more here

Assessing Place Brand Credibility: Media Coverage of Clean, Green and 100% Pure New Zealand (5/5)

How credible, how vulnerable? This last post of the series summarizes research conducted to assess place brand credibility in the case of ‘clean, green’ and ‘100% Pure’ New Zealand, among world’s most admired and longest running destination branding campaigns. Read here

If you happen to work for a destination – city/region/country – and are interested in your place brand’s perceived credibility and potential vulnerability, AND want to benefit from my experience gained through the New Zealand study, get in touch!


Both the research and my time in New Zealand were made possible thanks to a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant. Big thanks to Professor Juliet Roper, Associate Professor Eva Collins, Dr Paresha Sinha and Dr Alison Henderson – my supervisory (dream) team – for the great support and inspiration throughout my time in New Zealand. It is fair to say that without you The Place Brand Observer would probably not exist.

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Florian Kaefer

Editor at The Place Brand Observer
Independent researcher, journalist, entrepreneur. Founder and editor of The Place Brand Observer and the Sustainability Leaders Project. Follow me on Twitter or let's connect through LinkedIn.

Florian Kaefer

Independent researcher, journalist, entrepreneur. Founder and editor of The Place Brand Observer and the Sustainability Leaders Project. Follow me on Twitter or let’s connect through LinkedIn.