I enjoyed the Marketing Association 'Brainy Breakfast' yesterday. Aside from the usual array of breakfast goodies, there were informative and inspiring stories all round!

Greig Brebner - founder of Blunt Umbrellas talked about his amazing journey starting from seeing a gap in the market, after noting an abundance low quality disposable spiky umbrellas. Making his new (and now famous) design in his flat with glue and bits of wood he walked us through the many frustrations and dry spells (sorry) to becoming a sought after premium product with international distribution, and visions for a sustainable innovations for the future.

Next, Ollie from Augusto spoke about AIG's challenging brand journey, rising from the ashes of the GFC, to the exclusive work they do with Adidas and promoting the All Blacks internationally and bringing all 3 brands together on one jersey! And we got to look at the ideation behind the 2019 RWC campaign in Japan which was pretty cool.

David Libeau and Mel Moss next co-presented Helloworld Travel and how to succeed in a competitive market on a shoestring budget by creating a niche positioning and making that emotional connection as a point of difference (gutted not to win one of the $1000 travel voucher spot prizes though!)

One thing I really felt encouraged with was by how customers here and abroad view NZ products and brands as synonymous with high quality, and also a focus on brands making a more human connection with their customers. So good to see NZ leading, disrupting and challenging the world in so many areas, like the plucky underdogs we are!