Kiwi loyalty to NZ Brand Resene – Innovation in a can
Kiwi ingenuity and innovation, quite simply have been an ongoing key factor in the success of Resene - New Zealand's own family-run paint company.
Innovation, quite simply has been an ongoing key factor in the
success of Resene - New Zealand's own family-run paint
From its quintessentially Kiwi beginnings in a Wellington garage
65 years ago, to its award-winning sustainability efforts of recent
years, Resene has managed to forge a reputation of excellence and
quality in manufacturing paints, colours and coatings that meet the
demanding standards of architectural and building industry
In 1946 an Eastbourne builder, Ted
Nightingale, needed an alkali resistant paint to cover his
concrete buildings. There was nothing available at the time, so he
employed a bit of Kiwi ingenuity and innovation and developed his
own using a cement mixer in his garage.
Such was the demand from other builders that Ted began producing
his cement-based paint on a commercial basis, and Resene was born.
In 1951, New Zealand's first water-borne paint was sold under the
brand name Resene (a nod to the paint's main ingredient,
The birth of water-borne paint
Combating loyalty to traditional lead and solvent borne paints
and the disbelief that a water-borne paint would not wash off the
walls with water proved tough, but Resene's perseverance paid
Success stories like Resene often include a unique marketing
approach and their water-based technology was demonstrated in shop
windows, where boards were painted with water-borne paints and the
brushes rinsed off in water, much to the marvel of passers-by!
Another innovative gamble paid off in 1975, when Resene opted to
sell product directly through a national chain of retail stores -
the Resene ColorShops.
Over the years Resene has led the way in colour concepts:
introducing a strong range of colours to a pastel-weary nation,
pioneering the development of coloured paint bases, offering a full
range of test pots and delivering virtual painting technology with
the free downloadable Resene EzyPaint.
With three generations of the Nightingale family keeping the
momentum going, the company has seen continued growth - producing
both decorative and protective coatings for residential, commercial
and industrial needs and a growing presence in offshore markets
like Australia and Fiji.
Resene was green long before it was
In the late 1960s, lead was removed from decorative paints well
ahead of other manufacturers. Further environmental initiatives
include launching New Zealand's first VOC (volatile solvent) free
interior wall paint, as well as the Resene Earthsense range (with 20 per cent
renewable content in the dry paint form and 65 per cent renewable
as it is delivered in the can) and the Resene CoolColour™ range (formulated to reflect
more of the sun's energy, keeping surfaces cooler and reducing
stress on the coating and building).
And to top it off, Resene founded a paint recovery and recycling
programme, Resene PaintWise.
Winning in the marketplace
These conscious efforts saw Resene scoop several prestigious environmental awards in 2010
including NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards'
Sustainable Business of the Year; Sustainable 60 Awards' Large
Company Exemplar Business Award, Marketplace category winner and a
special commendation for being the only entrant to be a finalist in
all five award categories; and a Ministry for the Environment Green
In 2009 Resene won up to $1 million in research and development
services from Industrial Research Ltd to develop water-borne
paints based on sustainable ingredients, breaking the paint
industry's long term reliance on gas and oil for high-performance
With Innovation and integrity at its core and present in its
inception, development and growth, Resene's continued focus on
innovation will undoubtedly continue to fuel its ongoing momentum
in years to come.