By Dian Hasan | December 17, 2009
What’s in a logo? Plenty, if you’re selling a country! Not literally of course, but as a Travel Destination. And how to do it well has spawned an entire industry – Place Branding. The principle that countries, regions and cities can be branded as a natural extension of corporate brand building theory. And in the process not only help promote tourism, but also attract trade and investment.
However, turning a country like Estonia into the next brand Nokia is easier said than done. There are similarities of course, such as the significant investment required in building a brand over time, based on a constant flow of positive attributes. Consistency is key in creating a compelling image.
A place, as defined by culture, politics, business, and geography is increasingly viewed as a product, and therefore subject to the same brand-building and brand-positioning practices as a Computer, Airline, Shampoo, Gourmet Coffee, or a Luxury Bag.
Countries, unlike products & services, are subject to a broader and deeper media exposure, that influence how stakeholders form opinion of that country. Therefore, brand-builders have less “controllable” external factors. And the DNA of what makes the country unique, primarily through its culture, people, products and geography, must be thoroughly researched and analyzed in forming an image based on the positive attributes of these multiple variables.
It goes far beyond a compelling marketing campaign or a spanking new logo. But it’s a good start.
Here’s a look at how a selection of countries are faring. You’ll notice some exemplary work, bringing forward signs, symbols, language, national colors, cultural traits, shapes, slogan, typography that instantly bring to mind a nation and her people. While others make no attempt at creating brands, and are mere extensions of the nation’s flag, with no clear brand message.