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Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ)

Wednesday, 14 June, 2006

Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ)

Helping New Zealand firms raise their profile in big markets on a shoestring

Fashion and apparel firms attended the A J Park Branding Seminar in Auckland this morning, which was hosted by Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) as part of its 2006 seminar series.

“Our fashion and apparel brands are increasingly targeted at high-end niche markets,” says FINZ chief executive, Mapihi Opai. “These firms are having to look towards exporting from day-one and this frequently means competing against companies with huge marketing budgets.

“It’s not impossible to defeat your ‘Goliath’, but you need to think outside the square if you’re hoping to achieve world domination on a shoestring. And, one of the best examples of that would have to be 42 Below”

42 Below is New Zealand's fastest growing company and boasts the world's most awarded vodka, which is sold to more than 5,000 accounts worldwide - from the Ritz Paris to the Ministry of Sound Singapore.

Chief executive of 42 Below, Geoff Ross, told the audience how he took on the highly competitive world of premium vodka from the South Pacific and shared his proven theory on ‘Growing Big in Big Markets - When you’re Small’.

“The most powerful medium in the world is word of mouth,” said Ross. “The question then is not ‘what TV station should we use’. Rather, ‘what is going to get our target talking’.”

Key communication channels for the financially impaired include - celebrities, stunt PR, blogs and viral marketing.

According to the 2005 Fashion Industry New Zealand Study, those surveyed agreed that developments in IT, particularly increased use of the web, are helping to break down global barriers when it comes to the design, production and promotion of New Zealand garments.

However, before any business focuses on raising the profile of their brand - they need to protect it.

“Fashion designers are often unaware of the intellectual property issues they face,” says A J Park partner, Corinne Blumsky. “But, identifying and protecting intellectual property rights is just as important as the cut and design of the clothing when it comes to financial success for a fashion firm.”

*******

About Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) FINZ is the official voice of New Zealand's fashion sector and wider apparel industry. The not-for-profit organisation was founded 'by the industry' to provide a supportive framework and quality representation 'for the industry'.

Its national membership spans the industry's entire supply-chain - design, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, export and import - in addition to associated service, education, training and information providers.

"Our vision is to have the fashion sector and wider apparel industry valued for its economic, creative and cultural contribution to New Zealand, and ensure its sustainability...."

About the A J Park Branding Seminar This industry-specific seminar is the first of four to be held by FINZ in 2006. Wednesday, 14 June, 2006 7.30am - 9.30am The Northern Club 19 Princes Street, Auckland Central

ENDS

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