Let me introduce you to FREDA. She’s smart and knows exactly how to get what she wants. You ask FREDA how to accelerate your business (or your country) to full throttle and she’s right there with the answers. I refer to FREDA every day. Whenever you face a challenge, friends like FREDA are money in the bank.
FREDA, for those of you who haven’t met her already, is an acronym. Focus, Re-invention, Execution, Distribution and Accountability. These five inspire a perfect storm of the perfect attitudes and habits. They’re exactly what we’ll need to make the best of the changes that are heading our way. Complacency and “She’ll be right” are history. FREDA is the future. Let’s look at how FREDA works with New Zealand at top of mind.

Focus. As far as I can see, it’s still “export or die” for New Zealand. We have got to trade with the rest of the world to have any sort of future. In a hyperconnected world, Fortress NZ makes no sense at all. While Fonterra and the movie industry are leading the way at the top end, it’s important for everyone to focus on the special contribution they can make. All of us are better than some of us. Musician, teacher, secretary, nurse, bricklayer, all we need is anyone with a better idea – a world-changing idea – about how to make a difference.

Re-invention. The twenty-first century truth? To be world-class is no longer enough. To secure our future we have to change from world-class to world-changing. There are more than 190 countries on our planet and several have recently made the leap to become world-changers. Think of the Dubai/Mumbai/Shanghai nexus. For New Zealanders our greatest inspiration is still the “E” words – Energy, Entertainment, peerless Execution (see below) and Edge. The Edge metaphor shows how to reinvent our relationship with the rest of the world in creative local/ global multiples.

Execution. Lovemarks is a big idea that works across all levels. I have seen small businesses and global companies executing Lovemark programs to achieve super-premiums. A great example is Yemen where the leading mobile network MTN has implemented a Lovemarks program. The result? Preference for MTN has grown to 42% of all mobile users, and this despite the fact that its nearest competitor is 40% cheaper! We need a NZ Lovemarks strategy, and fast.

Distribution. Steve Jobs of Apple got it right when he said, “Great artists ship”. Physically for New Zealand that means the 3As – America, Australia and Asia. But let’s not forget the Middle-East, in particular Dubai. We need a physical marketing presence in all these places and what better place to start the conversation than in their airports? Distribution has another face with potential for us. Digital. The pressure is on to inspire smart New Zealanders to create and exploit our digital capabilities. It provides a way to ship to the whole world effortlessly.

Accountability. The role of business is to make the world a better place for everyone. This means being accountable for the environment, the economy, our social structures and our culture. Sustainability is the new imperative for business and central to long-term accountability. It’s time to shift the focus of accountability from setting limits (less fuel, less water) to embracing possibilities (more inspiration, more love). The conviction that New Zealand can help change the world has to be driven by people, not just by government or big companies. Sustainability is a catalyst for growth. No sustainability, no Lovemark.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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