Auckland positioning and
narrative research

A key deliverable of the Destination AKL 2025 strategy is to develop Auckland’s positioning and narrative.

ATEED has worked with Destination Marketing Agency, Destination Think! to undertake research internationally and domestically to identify what Auckland’s unique attributes and assets are.

With the exciting events taking place in Tāmaki Makaurau in 2020, 2021, and beyond, the timing is particularly important as we build to the 36th America’s Cup and APEC, when we have an opportunity to showcase Auckland while the world spotlight is on us.

This research has defined Auckland’s Place DNA™ and identified narrative themes and gaps between what Auckland is, and how Auckland is perceived and projected. Auckland is universally identified as having a youthful energy, due to the young median age of the population, the age of the city and the ‘will-do’, energetic and open-minded attitude of its residents.

The research has identified Auckland’s combination of economy, Māori identity, cultural diversity, nature and urban-ness is what makes it unique.

However, there are two main narrative gaps that need closing in what residents think about Auckland; and what the world sees and what we communicate, namely:

  1. Auckland’s modern Māori identity: traditional portrayal of Māori (cultural performances and history) is important, however research has revealed we are not portraying Auckland as an indigenous city where Māori are integrated citizens, and where Māori language and values are woven into society.
  2. Auckland’s urban identity: we are not portraying Auckland’s urban culture, its city living, cultural scene, restaurants and nightlife, architecture, museums, festivals and events. Many visitors who spend time in Auckland are pleasantly surprised when they visit to find an Auckland experience, particularly one where a stunning natural experience is also never more than an hour away from the city buzz.

We have continued to work with Destination Think! to further distil this research and Auckland’s Place DNA™ and this has led to the development of a reputation framework for Auckland and key themes that should be developed to close these narrative gaps and advance Auckland’s reputation:

  • A Place of Mana
  • Collective Worlds
  • A Playground of Ideas
  • Urban Oasis

By 2025, our aim is that Auckland’s unique identity will resonate with residents and visitors alike.

Download the research reports and find out more about Auckland’s Place DNA™ themes and narrative gaps.