President Launches Branding Initiative

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 18, 2018 – Croatia has a recognisable tourism and sport brand but it needs to create its own strong and positive national brand because that provides the key for a competitive edge over other countries, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Wednesday during a panel discussion called “Croatia’s Identity and Brand.”

“In today’s world there is no alternative to managing the image and creating a new national brand. If we don’t create our own image, others will do it for us and I don’t want that and won’t allow it,” Grabar-Kitarović said at the panel discussion that attracted experts in marketing, image creation and branding and in sports and culture.

Underlining the importance of creating an image and branding, Grabar-Kitarović warned that as a country, Croatia had not developed a sufficiently recognisable image that would strengthen its position compared to other countries in international relations overall, particularly in relation to other countries that are directly competitive in those areas where we wish to assert ourselves.

In addition, she stressed, Croatia doesn’t have a clear and quality system that would develop and manage a national brand and awareness hasn’t been developed sufficiently about the importance of a national brand as a tool to strengthen Croatia’s economic competitiveness on the global scene.

“In a globalised world, a country’s image plays an exceptionally important role seeing that it identifies a set of factors that define its position, competitiveness and impact on international relations. Economic, demographic and other trends are important too for a country’s stability and prosperity,” she said.

She added that any branding campaign can have only a short-term and transient impact if it is not followed-up with concrete political and institutional steps that will maintain the long-term credibility of the country, its leadership and population and if it doesn’t concentrate on common values and celebrating success and achievements by individuals in Croatia and the world.

The president underlined that a country’s image can impact its security, political, economic and social stability and demographic trends and development potential.

She stressed that Croatia has exceptional advantages and can become a strong brand on the global scene because it is recognised for its natural beauty and now thanks to the success at the World Cup. She added however that there were writers and inventors that have not been promoted sufficiently as stakeholders in the world’s heritage.

She added that many governments have taken this task seriously and have incorporated important stakeholders into an umbrella institution (diplomats, business and scientific community, athletes, artists, NGOs, local government units and so on) and have built a strong brand and dealt with it in a systematic way.

Warning that this is lacking in Croatia, she said that she wanted to change that by setting up a task force to develop Croatia’s brand.

The task force will be commissioned to record the situation, systemise determinants to position Croatia, define the contents of Croatia’s brand and define Croatia’s architecture as a unique brand.

That model then needs to be put under the remit of a government institution or the government itself to render the model operational and effective which will result in the desired effects.


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