Rebecca Purdy is the owner of Product Placement, nationwide promotional sampling company with over 500 contractors in 14 regions throughout New Zealand. Primarily working on FMCG clients both in supermarkets and conducting experiential promo work in the field, Product Placement also does consumer PR for number of its clients. Product Placement has been in business for 10 years and has done over 1000 new product launches.

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?
I’d say we were an optimistic bunch of entrepreneurs all looking for the next opportunity. New Zealand is country built on SMEs brimming with big ideas. We don’t take knocks lightly; we tend to get back up on our feet and keep fighting.

What will be our next major challenge?
Coming off the back of booming economy, New Zealand is now in for some major changes. Whilst we are not in such tight position as the United States and the United Kingdom, we are still feeling the effects of recession. Although with true Kiwi optimism we don’t seem to be taking it as hard as people in the UK. I have just come back from there and everyone seemed pretty glum. In saying that, people are reviewing their household discretionary income and challenging businesses for more “bang out of their buck”. Customers are in strong position to negotiate on price but the businesses that will win are those that can offer superior customer service.

What do we need to do to prepare ourselves for this?
Keep customer service levels at maximum, start thinking smarter and look at what other services you can offer outside of your typical business model. Are there any services you have offered in the past that you can bring back? Or are there new ones you can tweak based on your current model? Keep positive, optimistic and keep fighting. There is still money out there it’s just little harder to find these days. Last but not least, surround yourself with the right people both at home and at work to ensure balance, an upbeat attitude and unwavering enthusiasm.

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