The Spain brand
It’s unusual to come across someone who hasn’t heard of the “Spain brand” or at least seen the famous logo at some point. But the Spain brand is much more than logo created by Joan Miró or two simple words.
The Spain brand is a project, a system of ideas and ideals, feelings and emotions all wrapped up in one. It unites the country’s image abroad in a comprehensive manner thanks to activities in all sectors. Contributions from companies, gastronomy, tourism, and us as individuals all define this image.
You might think that individually we can’t do much to build on the Spain brand, but I believe this is one of the most decisive factors. We should never forget that just like our families, companies are made up of people, making us the most valuable central pillars. Therefore, we as people, either individually or as a group, are the ones that act as our country’s ambassadors. Waving a flag at a football match or heralding who we are and where we come from when we travel abroad, showing someone how to make gazpacho, or serving up a dish of sardines with a big smile to those who visit us are all ways to help build on the Spain brand.
Rafa Nadal has been a great ambassador for Spain as the country’s flag bearer at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and also with his professional performances on courts all over the world. But we must also understand that the rest of the faceless aspects like our hospitality, culture, cuisine, traditions, together with our everyday actions means that each and every one of us is the best ambassador of the Spain brand.
And needless to say, companies can also do a lot. From my perspective, companies working in the tourism sector are the ones that work on improving the Spain brand day after day, or at least their activities are more easily noticed. Everyone knows that Spain is a leader in tourism and much more than a sun and beach destination. We’re the 3rd most visited country after the USA and China with about 68 million tourists per year and it looks like we could exceed this figure in 2016. Tourists come, and very often decide to return.
It’s widely recognised that we have good weather, gastronomy and a wide range of services and all these things contribute positively to the Spain brand.
We’re not only leaders in tourism thanks to what we manage to attract but also for what we export. It gives me immense pride to see Spanish flags at the doors and receptions of hotels of Spanish origin in other countries. This is also the Spain brand.
However, it not just about understanding what the Spain brand is, we also have to maintain, strengthen and improve it. This is where the work needs to be done. Our image abroad is shaped by what we do over time and not by the work we carry out in one day. We have to reflect on this from the past and the present and also to think about it for the future.
What should we be working towards? What areas should we strengthen so the image and quality of the Spain brand improves? Is everything already done? What should we do to ensure our image never goes out of date? What do we need to do to safeguard the image from Miró from becoming obsolete by the passage of time?