Coolcabanas, Unyoked, and July: Interbrand Aunz Reveals Region’s Latest Breakthrough Brands

Interbrand AUNZ today released the region’s third Breakthrough Brands report, showcasing the most exciting and innovative challenger brands in Australia and New Zealand.

The list of seven groundbreaking brands – recognized as the region’s strongest and most successful challengers, making an impression in their categories and beyond – includes world-best beach shelter CoolCabanas, cabin company Unyoked, luggage brand July and carbon-neutral Web3 gaming company Immutable.

B Corp Sendle helps small businesses ship packages while being 100% carbon neutral. Mable is a disability and elderly care platform disrupting the sector, and New Zealand-based UBCO is the world’s most accessible electric bike.

You join a respected society; Past breakthrough brands include Canva, Modibodi, Heaps Normal, Bluey, and Go-To Skincare.

The list of seven is shorter than the previous two reports. That doesn’t reflect AUNZ’s entrepreneurial spirit or knack for surpassing its weight – in the 2022 Global Innovation Index New Zealand and Australia ranked 24th and 25th respectively out of the 132 economies assessed.

Rather, Interbrand notes that the shortlist of breakthroughs reflects the current economic headwinds and COVID, which have pushed down company valuations (by an average of 29% in 2022) and dampened risk appetite.

Nathan Birch, CEO of Interbrand AUNZ said: “It’s been a tough year for brands to really break through. But we know that extraordinary times reward bravery, not neutrality, and each brand on the list is a shining example of how to build a brand that not only sells things, but a brand that shows leadership.

“The lesson here for other brands is to double down on branding, especially during a recession. When incumbents decide to settle down, there’s no better time for challengers to differentiate themselves by what they stand for. I know that the start-ups in our region are up to the challenge.”

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Mark Fraser, CEO of CoolCabanas, said, “Recognition as a pioneering brand is a great motivation for CoolCabanas as we continue to innovate and expand. In times of uncertainty it is amazing to see so many families taking time out under a CoolCabana.”

Juli Co-Founder and CEO Richard Li said: “It is a great honor to be named Breakthrough Brand. Over the past year we have expanded the team, opened new stores and consistently exceeded sales targets; The resurgence of travel has truly propelled our growth to unprecedented levels. It still feels surreal at times considering we only launched in 2019 and have now been luggage partners for the Olympics and have seen our cases on the arms of celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Harry Styles.”

“Throughout the COVID period, even when our sales fell by 95%, we still kept our focus on innovation and product development, because at the end of the day, having a good product is the core of our business. Our mission is to become and export an iconic Australian brand and we are on track to achieve that goal.”

Phil Harrison, UBCO’s Chief Revenue Officer (Brand, Marketing and Distribution), said: “To be a breakthrough brand this year of all things means a lot to us. Despite economic challenges, we have been focused on ensuring the world’s thirst for adventure continues to grow – and our agricultural bikes fill that need perfectly.”

Interbrand also recognized seven other brands as Ones to Watch: Mr. Yum helps hospitality companies grow; Beem makes receiving, transferring and splitting money easy; Ovira has an innovative pain relief product for people with menstrual periods; Sprout Organic is changing the plant-based baby food game; AirRobe and Fellten protect the planet by recirculating clothing and cars respectively; and Hnry reduces accounting stress for sole proprietors.

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Birch added: “I will be keeping a particularly close eye on our Ones to Watch over the next 12 months. They have the opportunity to continue to make a name for themselves locally and internationally and to get closer to solving the market gaps they have identified.

“On both the Breakthrough Brands and Ones to Watch lists, each brand empowers us to be successful in some way and helps us live well on an individual, community and global level. Each shows what it takes to build a brand through a pandemic and in the face of a recession.”

Breakthrough Marks 2023 (in alphabetical order)

Cool Cabanas







2023 Ones to Watch (in alphabetical order)





mr jum


Sprout Organic


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