Last week I worked with two Christchurch companies that are repositioning themselves after the February earthquake.
Both had been trading for over 20 years and both had been serving a Christchurch customer base. Those customers are now no longer buying.
Both companies had realised they needed to reposition themselves for a broader New Zealand market and to begin exporting to Australia. One was already carrying out market research in Australia and preparing to manufacture a new product line.
I referred both to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s perceptions research so they could see how Kiwi exporters are perceived in Australia and tailor their approach accordingly. They also wanted a new story that could be used on websites and brochures.
Like a number of other New Zealand business people, I had registered some free services on the Recover Canterbury website for companies that, due to the earthquake, could not afford to pay for them. I wrote them each a new promotional story.
I brought an outside perspective and an understanding of trade. With my questions, I was able to dig for and identify what would be interesting to other people and what sets the company apart. I was also able bring out the business owners’ characters and motivation, making emotional connections with potential customers.
I could see that both companies’ stories were strong. One was a quest for excellence, the other a rebirth. The people were determined to rise above the trauma they had been through.