AucklandPlus chairman Michael Barnett describes the new Auckland brand - Brand Auckland in advertising parlance - as a "must have"; others call it the "big A". Whatever it is known as, there is no question it is making waves.

When the brand was rolled out publicly last September, Barnett said it was all about telling the Auckland story and strengthening its reputation internationally. "It has been developed in a way that allows us to talk about Auckland - its spirit, its personality, its heritage and all the possibilities on offer here - with one coherent, consistent identity."

The Auckland region has never had a universally accepted brand and the main boxes in the brand-creation process have been ticked. It is in place in readiness for the arrival of the super-city.

The need for a region-wide brand was identified in the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy in 2002 and was listed as one of the priorities in the Metro Project Action Plan launched in 2006 following recommendations from a team of experts and input from Auckland leaders.

The brand has the national backing of New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism New Zealand. NZTE was a funding partner in the project while representatives of Tourism Auckland, the Ministry of Economic Development, Air New Zealand, AucklandPlus and Auckland Regional Council steered the development of the brand undertaken by DesignWorks.