2023 Award-Winning Campaign

The Success Story Behind Brother New Zealand's 'It Just Works' B2B Campaign: A Strong Agency-Client Relationship

Victoria Easton Wrinch


In late 2020, Brother New Zealand, a well-established brand known for its reliable printers and office products, embarked on a transformative journey in partnership with Wave Agency. This partnership not only reinvigorated the Brother brand but also led to the creation of the award-winning 'It Just Works' B2B campaign. At the 2023 TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards, the campaign won both ‘Best B2B Marketing Campaign’ and ‘Excellence in B2B Marketing Strategy’. It was also an Effie Award and Best Award finalist. 

The strong agency-client relationship between Wave Agency and Brother played a pivotal role in the campaign's success and its subsequent impact on sales and market share.

A New Vision for Brother NZ

When Wave Agency was appointed as Brother's creative and PR agency in late 2020 and 2021, respectively, it marked the beginning of a comprehensive strategy to revamp the brand's image and expand its reach. Initial discussions revolved around revitalising Brother's presence in the retail market, where they had been a strong player for many years; as well as expanding their growth in the B2B market. Further in-depth workshops allowed Brother to sharpen their vision of how to refresh the brand to appeal to B2B, without alienating the retail market.

Becoming One Team

These days, both the Brother marketing team and Wave Agency remark that each business feels like an extension of the other. “We’re definitely one big team at this point” says Wave Agency Client Services Director, Cheryl Wylie. 

Says Julie Chappell, Brother Marketing Manager, “We didn’t quite know the extent of the journey we were embarking on with Wave Agency when we set out to reshape Brother's brand. It was a challenge to align all of Brother’s key stakeholders as we needed to consider input from marketing, sales, operations, and executive leadership. This led to many iterations of strategy, and then of creative development. Over time, our agency-client collaboration intensified until everyone felt we had landed in cohesive territory. Whenever we work with Wave Agency now, I am confident that we all hold the same collective vision for the Brother brand in New Zealand.”

Cheryl Wylie says “Working with Julie and the whole Brother team has been a rewarding and enriching experience. It’s a truly collaborative relationship that has led to not only the production of award-winning work, but an incredibly positive working environment. Our relationship with Brother – one based on trust, open discussion, and a united long-term vision – is a best practice example of how we like to work with our clients.”

The Birth of 'It Just Works'

The result of a year of intense collaboration was 'Unsung Hero’, a brand platform designed to resonate across all facets of the Brother business, including retail print, corporate 'managed print services,' labelling, sewing and craft. Externally, this platform is communicated with the tagline ‘It Just Works’. The resulting campaign would focus on delivering a simple, yet powerful message – reliability. Brother's reputation for trustworthy technology became the cornerstone.

Julie Chappell, says “Wave Agency’s strategic process was very thorough and was made bespoke to our company’s needs. We learned alongside the agency team and discovered a new direction for Brother that resonated far beyond the marketing team. ‘It Just Works’ aligns perfectly with the anecdotal feedback we receive from customers, and the brand platform behind it of ‘Unsung Hero’ embodies the company perception held by our staff. It has become an articulation of our company ethos.”

Key Insights Shaping the Campaign

The 'It Just Works' brand campaign was strategically designed to align with four primary business objectives:

  • Accelerate growth in SMB and Managed Print Services (MPS).
  • Increase sales of SMB products.
  • Regain #1 revenue share in the retail sector.
  • Increase overall brand awareness, consideration, and preference.

Three key insights guided the campaign's direction:

  • The importance of trust in brand preference.
  • Brother's inherent trustworthiness.
  • Misalignment in industry advertising.

Trust as the Foundation

Research showed that trust was a universal driver of brand preference in both retail and B2B print markets. Customers were significantly more likely to prefer a brand they trusted. This insight led to the development of a campaign that spoke to and resonated with both retail and corporate customers.

The Core Idea

The ‘It Just Works’ campaign took an honest approach, different from many tech marketing campaigns that make exaggerated promises and focused on nice-to-haves that weren't essential for most users. It positioned Brother’s customers as the real heroes in the relationship between people and printers. It reinforced that printers primarily needed to work as expected and delivered on Brother's reputation for trustworthiness.

Tailored Campaign Execution

The 'It Just Works' campaign was strategically executed to reach both retail and B2B audiences effectively. Paid video and digital billboards provided mass reach and storytelling, while a search campaign with brand and product-related keywords captured purchase interest in both markets. Additionally, tailored approaches were designed for three distinct B2B segments: Corporate, Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and Small Office, Home Office (SOHO).

Achievement Against Objectives

Independent IDC Market data from December 2022 highlighted Brother's significant gains in market share against competitors. Brother's market revenue share for printers and copiers increased from 19% to 25%, overtaking Canon and closing the gap with market leader HP. Their total market unit share also saw growth from 18% to 23%, surpassing Canon.

Additionally, Brother increased printer market revenue share from 23% to 27% in printer-based engines under $10,000, marking the most substantial market share growth among top business brands. The unit share in the same category also grew from 19% to 25%, the only business among the top three to experience unit share growth.

These remarkable results illustrate the campaign's resonance with decision-makers, reinforcing its effectiveness in repositioning the Brother brand and achieving the set objectives.

Clear Evidence of Long-Term Success

The most recent IDC sales data from Q1 2023 showcased the lasting impact of the 'It Just Works' campaign. Within the SME market (products vs total market, excl. printers/copies <$500), Brother's market revenue share rose from 22% in 2022 to 28%, marking the first time they led the market in this metric since before 2018.

Furthermore, Warehouse Stationery retail sales data revealed Brother's overtaking of HP with the top brand share in early 2023. These results are clear indicators of the campaign's sustained success.

The Campaign's Impact on Customer Perception

A Brother Omnibus Customer Survey in August 2022 provided a baseline for measuring the campaign's effectiveness. A subsequent survey in December 2022 highlighted significant improvements in several key metrics, including current use, awareness, and preference. These positive trends indicated that the campaign had successfully shifted the needle in critical audience segments.


The collaboration between Brother and Wave Agency led to the development of the 'It Just Works' campaign, a game-changer for Brother in both the B2B and retail markets. The campaign's message of reliability resonated with customers, and the strategic execution reached the right audience, resulting in substantial market share gains and a transformed brand perception. Brother's journey from being perceived as a retail-focused brand to leading the B2B market demonstrates the power of a strong agency-client relationship and a compelling message that truly connects with customers.

Take a look at the full ‘It just works’ campaign

Creative Direction

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