It’s always fascinating to compare how you see your place in the market with how others see you. If you’re in a very small market like New Zealand and you look out, you see the whole world before you. There seem to be endless opportunities.

But step around to the other side of the world and look back, and you see a market like New Zealand from a completely different perspective. It seems small and hard to find.

The issue of course is not specific to place brands. It’s applicable to all brands that are small in comparison to the scaled markets they would like to reach. The brands themselves see a panorama. The world looking at all the choices available to them from so many sources discerns barely a speck.

This is quite literally ‘funnel vision’. Your perspective depends entirely on what end of the funnel you are looking from – the scaled end or the narrow end.

The only way that situation can change is when the brand at the narrow end finds ways to increase its profile and presence, so that it literally looms larger in the minds of those far away. Search and social media can help do that. Partnerships and supply chains can also add proximity.

In the Southern Hemisphere, we talk a lot about the tyranny of distance. But in actual fact, the problems many of our brands face, like the problems small brands face in any scaled market, is the tyranny of profile.

What is not seen is not missed.


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