Once upon a time, Hawke's Bay was most associated with tinned beans, but a new poll shows the rise of digital and social media means the region now most associates itself with more high-tech brands.

Digital design and marketing agency Vere, has started a nationwide initiative to find the most iconic brand of each region in New Zealand by creating "The Brand Map of New Zealand".

Verel founder Lewis O'Donnell said the initiative would create a map that paired up every region with the logo of a brand that the region has a close connection to, with telecommunications company NOW emerging as the most recognisable brand in Hawke's Bay - just ahead of Bayswater Vehicles.

"Hawke's Bay is our home, so we jumped at the opportunity to do a brand-off via a Facebook poll which brought in 423 votes, and it was NOW and Bayswater who came out on top in a survey of local brands."


NOW head of marketing and digital Brendon Fry said the poll, which involved 10 well-known Hawke's Bay brands, showed that building a brand in regional New Zealand was not a barrier to success.

"For NOW it's a vote of confidence, that in a market where a duopoly existing for many years, that we've started to achieve what we set out to do, offer a better and more personal alternative, founded on great local service.

"New Zealand is full of iconic regional brands, indicating that being regional certainly isn't a barrier to national success.

"The regional nature of a brand doesn't impact the ability to go national, however it is likely that a successful brand from a region will have a strong local following.

"We think being regional helps us think differently and hold ourselves more accountable to the homes and businesses we're lucky enough to serve. Our vision for what lies ahead is to drive ourselves to help more homes and businesses across the region, make greater use of technology as it relates to their life or business."

Fry said the company was already referred to as "'The Hawke's Bay telco" within the tech industry.

"It's unique enough for us to be singled out and talked about in reference to our region, something that we're all incredibly proud of.

"The NOW brand was founded with a desire to offer the homes of Hawkes Bay (and NZ) something they'd been deprived of for years, great, reliable, service. Being able to connect at a regional level - living in the same suburbs as our customers and our children going to the same schools - allows us a deeper understanding of our community, their needs and frustrations."

O'Donnell added in a scene of "remarkable choice", it was more critical than ever that brands were able to stand out from the crowd.

"We're lucky in Hawke's Bay as we are surrounded by incredibly strong resonating symbols, sunshine, wine, fresh fruit and lifestyle. These strong resonating symbols are important when designing a strong logo or digital assets."