Monday, 8 January 2018

More about the Wales brand

Following earlier posts on this topic, I have been checking the 2018 tourist literature to see whether there is any change in the Visit Wales branding strategy.  It appears not.  The "Year of the Sea" is the big theme for this year, of course, but otherwise not much appears to have changed.

This is the Wales brand strategy, as defined in many recent publications:

In Bro a byd.  Wales in the World.

Wales believes in the balance between local and global – an approach rooted in our communities, shaped by our landscape and with real social purpose (our ‘Bro’), whilst being purposely outward looking, open to new ideas and opportunities – and ready to compete on a global platform (the 'Byd’).  The best of both worlds.

These are our values:

Wales is the real deal. Open, honest – our country is built on the foundations of a proud history and heritage, and shaped by a bold and beautiful landscape. We care deeply for community, culture and ‘cynefin (one’s square mile) and want to lead the world in protecting them. Because these resources power us: green growth, global creative exports, adventure attractions, quality local produce. Our authenticity is the key to our future.

Creativity is at the heart of our nation. Our rich and enduring culture is thriving: in music, literature, art, film, television and theatre. But it’s much more than that. Everywhere you look in Wales, there are bright new ideas being put into action. It’s happening in design studios and quarry mines, factories and laboratories across the country. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit in the air. We’re not just dreaming big, we’re making it happen.

A new Wales is emerging. Inspired by our past but looking towards the future with responsibility, and creativity. Our landscapes are alive with nature and adventure. Our culture is alive with imagination. Our communities are alive with opportunity and real innovation. A new generation is investing in a bright and sustainable future, driven by talent and skill. Full of life.

…. and of course, the word “Epic” is used all the time……..

And then Visit Wales says this:

Is it unmistakably Wales?   Let’s champion our distinctiveness, whether in our people, products, enterprises, culture or language. Avoid the tired stereotypes, but embrace the powerful details that make us stand out and give us our unique character. There really is nobody quite like us. Let’s celebrate it. 

I know that Visit Wales is trying hard and is using much more aggressive and vivid marketing techniques than a few years ago, but there is no trace of a coherent marketing or branding strategy in the words above.  Visit Wales says “Let’s champion our distinctiveness” and then uses language that could be applied to any country in the world — apart from the words “bro” and “byd”.  In fact, if you Google most of the phrases used in that summary, they appear in vistually identical form in thousands of different publications from everywhere on the Planet.
So where is Wales’s “unique character”?  Hidden away somewhere, waiting to be discovered…...

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