Sorry but I’ll need a long intro to get to the point of this post… If you haven’t got the time now, come back later.
I have mentioned Peter Economides on one or two occasions in this blog. He is a Greek brand strategist that recently designed the ads of the “Give Greece a chance” campaign.
If you haven’t seen it yet, take half an hour to watch the presentation he gave on Rebranding Greece in November 2011 at EEDE’s 11th “Aristoteli” Conference in Thessaloniki. Don’t be put off by the Greek introduction, his presentation is in English.
I saw it at the time and it was like “Wow! This guy is really approaching Greece’s problems from a different and positive angle”.
The idea is quite simple: Greece can escape this crippling crisis by first solving the crisis of image, reputation, and perception. “Greece is one of the greatest brands thatʼs never been branded,” explains Economides.
He calls upon Greeks to reclaim their profound heritage. “Greece has richer DNA than any nation on earth. Greece is the heart, the soul, and the spirit of the Mediterranean. Greece needs to own this. Greece needs to express it. Greece needs to inspire and be inspired by this.”
But go look at the video and get back to this paragraph when you have seen it.
OK, now you have a sense of the importance of branding (or re-branding) Greece. Did you notice his mention of EOT (that’s the Greek National Tourist Office) redesigning its logo 14 times since 1990 and revamping its branding campaign 16 times? Something that professionals would NEVER do, at least not without a very pressing need. But then nobody ever claimed that EOT was run by professionals, even though they were probably being paid well enough.
Peter Economides’ original presentation has gone viral in the right circles and the concept of “Branding Greece” is now on the lips of many people (probably not EOT) who realize how important it is.
But there is a twist starting to happen to the concept though: Greece is a place of such diversity that it might be easier and more productive to brand places in Greece rather than Greece as a whole. You can extol the qualities of an island or a place in ways that are more closely related to these places and you will still inherently promote the whole country along with the region.
Should things go wrong (demonstrations in Athens for example) you can also keep a clear message that Athens is not Greece, nor is it an island and therefore negative publicity in one place will not automatically mean branding all Greece as bad.
And that takes me to my point in this post and in effect a question to those who read this blog. You are not that many but you know Crete from a variety of angles.
What would you brand about Crete? Let’s do a bit of crowd sourcing here. Let me know what aspects of Crete are worth putting to the fore, displaying to others in order to make them want to come and visit Crete.
Please answer in the comments section. No need for long lectures (unless you feel like it), just short concepts of what is special about Crete, what defines it, what Crete is about. And let’s see if we get somewhere on the way to Branding Crete.