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Whittaker’s Is New Zealand’s Most Resilient Brand


With a history of innovation and agility alongside a nod to an established heritage, Whittaker’s has been identified as New Zealand’s most resilient brand.

The findings are based on the Brand Alpha Study, independent research conducted by branding agency Principals, in conjunction with research and analytics firm The Navigators.

Conducted annually for more than 10 years with a minimum of 300 nationally representative respondents per wave, the study has traditionally sought the opinion of New Zealand consumers around four key drivers of authenticity: visibility, value, vitality and virtue.

This year, in light of the pandemic, the research shifted focus to look at brands through a lens of resilience.

Principals Insights Director Mary Winter said: “We wanted to form an understanding of how brands survive a crisis and stay strong over time. What makes them resilient, in the eyes of Kiwis.”

The study began with qualitative research conducted via an online community to gauge what resilience means. The definition that emerged was a combination of integrity and adaptability. Quantitative research then set out to confirm this link with study participants asked to identify which brands meet the challenges of a changing world, adapt quickly in the face of change and act with integrity.

The study found the following brands to be most resilient:

The Brand Alpha 2021 Top 20 Most Resilient Brands

  1. Whittaker’s
  2. All Blacks
  3. ecostore
  4. PAK'n SAVE
  5. My Food Bag
  6. Toyota
  7. New World
  8. Lewis Road Creamery
  9. Countdown
  10. Wattie’s
  11. Trade Me
  12. Tip Top
  13. Zoom
  14. Air New Zealand
  15. Netflix
  16. Farmers
  17. Fisher & Paykel
  18. All Birds
  19. Fonterra
  20. Pals

Winter said: “Resilience is being able to stick it out when things are tough – being true to yourself and being aware of how to keep going rather than giving up or letting standards slip. And during the past year, which has been incredibly challenging for so many people, these brands have done a great job of imbuing such values.”

Looking at the top brands on the list, The Navigators Director Dean Harris said: “Whittaker's is a great example of a resilient brand. Whittaker’s is great at what it does and is also extremely agile in terms of flavour innovation and partnering with other iconic Kiwi brands such as L&P and Garage Project.”

In second place on the list is the All Blacks with Harris saying, “The All Blacks continue to innovate in the way the team plays the game and also how it promotes the sport, engages with fans and New Zealand culture.”

Rounding out the top three is ecostore which in 2019 topped the Brand Alpha list as New Zealand’s most authentic brand. Harris noted: “ecostore is a different type of retailer in the sense that the brand is on the front foot when it comes to sustainability and developing eco-friendly products. ecostore’s core purpose is quite clear, and innovation is directly related to this core value proposition.”

Winter also pointed out that supermarkets have a strong presence in the top 10. She said: “Supermarkets rose to the challenge of lockdowns during COVID and demonstrated their resilience in a variety of ways which is why we have seen such a strong response to these brands.”

The findings of the research were presented this morning at an event hosted in conjunction with the New Zealand Marketing Association.

© Scoop Media

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