How do you stand out from the crowd?




Brand and identity


Brand strategy, brand personality, brand story, visual identity

The startup ecosystem in New Zealand is crowded. Why was another incubator needed?

Te Papa was in search of a name, brand and visual identity for its new flagship innovation incubator. The purpose of the incubator was to help New Zealand entrepreneurs develop ideas into world-leading digital experiences for the cultural sector globally. Te Papa had identified that there was significant opportunity globally for innovation in its sector, and that it was well placed to lead this due to its reputation. Based on site at Te Papa, the program provides a unique point of difference where participants have direct access to experts, resources and visitors to help develop and test ideas.   

We encouraged Te Papa to embrace the very thing that made them different.

Te Papa had identified the Maori name Mahuki as a potential programme name but they were uncertain about it. They came to us and asked us if we could come up with a new name that could be deployed internationally in the future. Once we understood the meaning of the name Mahuki we realised it embodied the spirit of what the innovation hub was going to be all about. Mahuki means perceptive and a spring of inspiration. And as Mahuki aimed to recruit entrepreneurs who have the foresight and ability to see beyond the ‘now’ it was a distinctive, ownable name of New Zealand origin.

The identity design system we then created was inspired by this thought.

Fully subscribed programmes, with stellar participants, augurs well for Mahuki’s future. Mahuki now leads the development of innovation in the cultural sector. Te Papa believes Mahuki will raise the contribution and the recognition of Te Papa as an innovation source and deliver commercial outcomes and new revenue streams to the institution. The calibre of Mahuki’s initial incubator companies has been outstanding.

“We chose Ocean to help us create a brand for the world’s first culture accelerator – Mahuki, located within New Zealand’s national museum (Te Papa Tongarewa).  The Ocean team created a brand, story and visual identity that we love and that has resonated with our target audiences in New Zealand and internationally”.
Tui Te Hau (GM Mahuki)

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