Nation Branding: 5 things Greece should do

09.12.2010 http://www.dotkite.eu/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/DotKite-Hellas.jpg

Principles of branding apply in equal measure to countries as they do to businesses and corporations.
Creating a branding program for a country demands an integration policy that most countries do not possess the ability to act and speak in a coordinated and repetitive way about themes that are the most motivating and differentiating a country can make.

In the coming weeks, Dot Kite will analyze Nation Brand Images. Why? Because we believe that the benefits of a consistent and professional country branding can be observed in every region. They include the ability to win more investment business because the country image says the right things about taxation, labor skills, safety, the environment, political stability plus the chance to apply a ‘made in’ label because it will positively aid the sale of a product in an overseas market.

As first case study, we will analyze the brand “Greece”.
(For the avoidance of any inconvenience, I would like to state in advance that what I describe – both in textual and visuals – bellow, is just in conceptual level and there is no single connection to reality)

Greece’s nation brand image is suffering badly from the Greek government’s debt crisis, and the country has to do something about it urgently. Greece has no positive brand in the modern sense of the word and it needs to improve it. The image of Greece at the moment is negatively inspiring. In today’s world, Greece needs to expose its profile in a clear and consistent way. But, how should that profile be? Which values should it be based on? What’s the “Greek” identity? What should “Made in Greece” mean?

To improve its nation brand, Greece could and should do some of these 5 things:

  1. Naming: Before re-creating a brand for Greece, we should start from the most important element, the name. The Hellenic Republic (official name of Greece) is most commonly known as Greece and less commonly known as Hellas. This might be the perfect moment to leave back the “bankrupted” brand “Greece” (which is more associated with the country’s history since the times of the Roman invasion) and move forward with the brand name Hellas which is more associated with the ancient times and the Hellenistic period.
  2. Transparency: With the recent financial crisis in Hellas and having received money from other european countries and the IMF, the Hellenic government should bring strict transparency to the received funds. Online and live tools should be developed and fully accessible in order to inform the world how the funds are being used. A “new” country needs a new face and therefore Hellas should begin with a crystal clear and fully transparent face.
  3. Culture: It might be a cliche but Hellas should never give up the exposure of its vast history, culture, language and heritage. Hellas should invest heavily on exporting its history, culture and arts in the develop and developing countries. For example, in countries such as China and India the young generations should know that the base of the so-called “Western Civilization” is Hellas and the Hellenistic period. This could be achieved by organizing cultural events and festivals that combine the Hellenic heritage together with the modern times Hellenic offering.
  4. Gastronomy: Hellas has to offer a lot to the so called “Mediterranean diet” and certainly can export a lot of its products (Olive Oil, Wine, Cheese, Honey, Oregano, Mastiha etc.). Hellas should not only focus on exporting the food products but the Hellenic way of using the products.
  5. Heroism: Since the ancient times, Hellenic people were known for their sense of heroism. Citizens of Hellas should champion the popular backlash against obscure rating agencies and billionaire speculators and gain the respect of the world as a modern Thermopylae.

A lot of people (including the current PM of the Hellenic Republic) might envision Hellas as a brand that will be similar to the nation brands of the nordic countries, but in my opinion Hellas should remain focus on what was good for thousand years now. Therefore, the creation of a “Made in Hellas” emblem as a standard for a “quality living” should be developed. When people from around the world would listen the word “Hellas” they should only think of “Quality and Balanced lifestyle” (which may vary from history and philosophy, to delicious food and sun, up to luxurious travel destinations).

Finally, while there are still – mostly – negative headlines about Greece, the Hellenic Republic should use this moment in order to reverse public opinion and improve the reputation of the Hellas’ brand image.

Having said that, I would like to take the chance and show you in a visual way how the brand Greece should be developed.

Made in Hellas | Emblem
As stated before, Hellas should create a “Made in Hellas” emblem in order to create more value and awareness among its offering. This emblem as a main symbol has an olive wreath. In the Hellenistic period, winners of the Olympic games were receiving an Olive Wreath as a symbol of perfection (Aristion in Greek). This meaning of perfection, we would like to bring to the “Made in Hellas” emblem as well.

Made in Hellas | Applications
This is an example on how the “Made in Hellas” emblem could be applied in Hellenic products. The application could be on print material for promotional purposes, but the Hellenic Institutions related to exports should great standard guidelines for positioning of the “Made in Hellas” emblem in every single product packaging.

Branding Applications | Various
The new Hellas brand should be consistent and should communicate all the values of the country in the easiest and most direct way. Bellow, is an example of how a Governmental Website, a National ID card and a Quality Control Certificate should look like.

Branding Applications | ID Card
The National ID card should be updated in terms of dimensions and information. In addition, it should communicate clearly it is an Hellenic ID card by placing Hellenic characters first and in Bold and latin characters as secondary. (All info and photo on this example are not real and we have used them just for the showcase)

Branding Applications | ID Card (Before & After)
This is the difference of the current Greek ID card compared to the Hellenic National ID card.

Branding Applications | Presidency Website
People from around the worlds might visit the governmental websites and therefore the Online Presence of Hellas should be of high-standards. This example is how the homepage of the Hellenic Republic’s president website could look like. In addition, Hellas should get the rights of all relevant domains such as “hellas.com/gr/org…” etc.

Branding Applications | Presidency Website (Before & After)
This is the difference of the current presidency.gr website compared to our view on how the presidency.gr website should look like.

Branding Applications | Quality Control Certificate
This is a proposal on how certificates should look like in the new Hellas Brand.(All info on this example are not real and we have used them just for the showcase)

Feel free to view and/or download the dedicated Brochure here.

Your views are welcome.

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