Branding Croatia requires a single national strategy

ZAGREB, 29.5.2017.

Croatia needs a single, all-encompassing national strategy of how to become a brand, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said on Monday, underscoring that Croatia has to highlight its diversity and should not base its image simply on tourism and natural attractions.

"Branding a country means defining an all-encompassing strategy whose implementation involves all stakeholders in state authorities, domestic and foreign policies as well as the non-governmental sector, various agencies and the culture and sports sectors, with marketing and advertising tools being only a part of the process and not shaping the strategy," the President said at a conference on branding Croatia, organised by the Vecernji List daily.

Jandrokovic underscored that "strengthening one's own identity, creating an image and finally, branding, have to be harmonised and coordinated at all relevant levels from where messages about Croatia are sent to the world. That is an essential task in successfully branding the country in the future."

Other speakers at the conference, including Bozo Skoko of the Zagreb Faculty of Political Sciences and diplomat Zvonimir Frka Petesic, underscored the importance of a single, all-encompassing national strategy with a clear framework and harmonised messages.

Attending the conference were experts and politicians, and apart from Grabar-Kitarovic and Jandrokovic, several ministers and lawmakers were present as well.

In her address, Grabar-Kitarovic stressed that "a country's image has an exceptionally important role in the globalised world."

She underscored the importance of senior state officials in building the country's image because the "human face is a strong medium," through which a country's policies are perceived. "However, the role of the leader has to be backed by concrete political and institutional moves that will remain credible in the long run," she emphasised.

In order to successfully brand itself, Croatia has to find an area that distinguishes it from other countries because that will be its added value, she said. (Hina)