March 04, 2022 #ChileGlobal

Digital positioning, campaign and data, and stakeholder engagement: country brands define in Chile the key issues for the 2022 forum

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  • The member countries of the Ibero-American Country Brand Council ratified the new members of the group in Chile.
  • The meeting, organized by Fundación Imagen de Chile, contributed to strengthening relations between the institutions in charge of managing the brand of their respective countries or cities.

From March 1 to 4, a new edition of the Ibero-American Country Brand Pre-Forum was held in Santiago, an event that brings together country and destination brands from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula every year to strengthen ties among its members through the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

For the first time, Chile hosted this international meeting, where six new members joined the Ibero-American Council of Country Brands and also, for the first time ever, a city brand. With the incorporation of Andorra, Barcelona, Chile, El Salvador, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, the council was officially composed of 17 entities in charge of place branding management.

The event defined the topics to be discussed at the next Ibero-American Country Brand Forum. Digital positioning of territorial brands; stakeholder engagement; the importance of the use of campaigns and data to promote the country image; the relationships between country brands, sectoral brands and territorial brands; institutional framework, structure and financing of the entities; and the evolution of the Argentina and Barcelona brands are the main topics to be addressed at the next meeting, which will take place later this year and whose venue is yet to be defined.

The meeting was attended by the executive director of Fundación Imagen de Chile, Constanza Cea; the director of Esencial Costa Rica and current president of the Ibero-American Country Brand Council, Daniel Valverde; the vice-minister of Tourism of Ecuador, Ana García; the country brand director of Colombia, María Juliana Lora; the head of the private sector country brand Argentina, Guido Gattari; the head of country brand Uruguay, Diego Silva; the president of the Salvadoran Institute of Tourism, Eny Aguiñada; the brand management specialist Peru, Gisele Vega; and the head of city promotion of the Barcelona City Council, Marc Sans. Carolina Santana, representative of the Dominican Republic, also participated in the event.

"At Imagen de Chile we feel a tremendous honor to have been the hosts of the Ibero-American Country Branding Pre-Forum. Sharing experiences allows all members to improve our work and our strategies around the management of the country brand," said the executive director of Imagen de Chile, Constanza Cea. "Our goal at Imagen de Chile is for the Chile brand to be better known and valued in the world, because this translates into better opportunities that allow us to improve the quality of life of all Chileans," she added.

Daniel Valverde, director of Esencial Costa Rica and who currently chairs the Ibero-American Country Brand Council, said: "Latin America is very diverse in colors and structures in their country branding projects, so sharing different experiences of things that have gone well and not so well always generates learning. It is very important for Chile to host this forum, precisely because of all the efforts it has been making in recent times, from changing the new message to Creating Future to standing out in international country branding competitions".

"The most important thing is the exchange of knowledge, information and experiences that each country contributes within its structures for the management of country brands and also its internal and external validation processes of what that brand means for its own territory," said Ana García, Ecuador's Deputy Minister of Tourism, adding: "It is a very enriching process of information exchange".

Meanwhile, Marc Sans, head of city promotion of the Barcelona City Council and who participated for the first time in a pre-forum, referred to the value of participating in this type of meetings. "In Barcelona we are used to compare good practices, successes and things to improve with country brands and city brands, especially in the European context. Getting out of our comfort zone and listening to stories with a reality more different from the homogeneity that may exist in Europe is much more enriching. Chile is in the center of the world's attention because of the process it is carrying out, so I think it is the ideal time for this type of event to take place in this country," he said.

"We are very happy to be at this pre-forum. For us it is extremely important to participate in these meetings because it is where we can all see what other countries are doing, we can share best practices, and among all share knowledge. For us it means coming to enrich ourselves, not only to tell others about our brand, but also to learn about others," said María Juliana Lora, director of the Colombia country brand.

Guido Gattari, responsible for the private sector of Argentina's country brand, added: "I think it is a very gratifying experience and a great learning experience because we can learn from the experiences of the country brands, achieving an important benchmark and trying to learn from everyone".

"It is a great opportunity to learn about the experience that each of the countries is living now that we are still in a pandemic," said Eny Aguiñada, president of the Salvadoran Institute of Tourism. "And, above all, all the opportunities that each one finds, to be able to share information, to know what are the challenges, the challenges and above all what they are doing to position each one of them their country at an international level because I think that is the most valuable thing that one can find in each one of them," she added.

"It is key because country branding is very dynamic, you have to be on top of trends, change is permanent," said Diego Silva, head of country branding Uruguay.

Likewise, Gisele Vega, Peru's brand management specialist, stressed the importance of continuing to generate this type of meeting in the region: "It is an important moment because the countries that are part of this group can share their experiences and it is vital because in the end we manage the brand of our countries, and all these experiences enrich the practice of each one. It is very important to have these face-to-face and hybrid meetings, and also to hold them throughout the year. It is very valuable to continue growing and contributing.

The 17 members that currently make up the Ibero-American Country Brand Council are: Andorra, Argentina, Barcelona, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.



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