Motueka insect repellent company 2B's success rolls on

Paul Blackham of 2B a local brand selling insect repellant at the Nelson Markets amongst other places.
BRADEN FASTIER

Paul Blackham of 2B a local brand selling insect repellant at the Nelson Markets amongst other places.


A Motueka-based insect repellent company is keeping a grassroots marketing focus despite a rapid increase in profile. 

Blackham 

It was a vision of creating a long-lasting insect repellent from natural ingredients that led them to launch the company in 2013.

As well as being named finalists in the Nelson Chamber of Commerce Business awards last year, 2B Insect Repellent recently confirmed its first national retail chain in Farmlands, as well as reaching 100 stockists throughout the country.

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Local clients include the NOLS outdoor education centre, and many companies servicing the Abel Tasman National Park.

The demand has required 2B to use a South Island distributor and outsource production to Auckland.

Jones said it was a relief to no longer make 5000 labels by hand. 

But despite the "shift to the next level", Jones and Blackham were keen to maintain a hands-on approach to marketing their product.

"It's a thing of scale, to have 5000 bottles arrive all finished and labelled in a heartbeat is pretty happy to write that check, and then what you have to do is use the extra time to do the sales – you can't just give that away and then sit on your haunches," Jones said.

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"Someone will say it was recommended to them by their hairdresser in Yorkshire, because she'd come to NZ the year before, and you get to hear that and I guess if you stopped doing the markets you'd lose some of the fun there, so it keeps you honest."

As well as finding their place in the New Zealand market, 2B has been used in Brazil, Alaska and Malaysia, with Jones and Blackham receiving strong feedback about its effectiveness in the bite-heavy parts of the world.

"One woman wanted to know if it worked against tics because she was going to North and South America and she came back saying it did, and we had one surveying firm that brought a wholesale bunch for their people that are going off places, so there's definitely a cross-demographic."

With sales objectives met Jones said 2B's future involved "more of the same", although the business would be following up on some promising export enquiries to look at new territories.

"I know it sounds a bit twee, but we've also said 'follow the awesomeness' – it's our thing," she said 

"With some of the wholesalers you're rubbing shoulders with the big boys – it's another world for now, so we'll just see but I imagine we can definitely do a lot more in terms of getting it around NZ,and that's probably the focus for next year."

 

 - Stuff

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