In this age of globalization, countries face a lot of competition from others for export, tourism, new business relations and investment opportunities. Like any organization, a positive and strong brand image is very important in achieving growth by improving the brand perception of the nation globally.
Slovenia became independent in 1991. At that time, no one really knew a single fact about the new “born” country, except that it is new and that is situated somewhere in central Europe. With its independency, Slovenia lost their recognisability in being a powerhouse of Yugoslavian economy and a lot of Slovenians claimed that they also lost their signature identity.
In 2006, government agency decided to take measures about the problems that Slovenia has been facing since the independency. Slovenia has been frequently mistaken with other countries, has not been recognizable and has not be valued as it should be. The evaluation of the situation resulted in decision, that Slovenia needs representational image (slogan, logotype, brand), that would increase its recognisability. Findings showed that Slovenia is very diversified country and that they can pride oneself with good characteristics, but the country needs clear and short message, that can activate quick and correct association in minds of individuals, organizations and decision makers. In 2007, Slovenian government approved a new slogan:” I feel Slovenia”
“A brand is not the name of a product. It is the vision that drives the creation of products and services under that name. That vision, the key belief of the brands and its core values is called identity. It drives vibrant brands able to create advocates, a real cult and loyalty.” (Kapferer 2008)
Slovenian brand does not carry such a title by chance. Slovenia cannot be estimated only by an image; Slovenia has to be felt and experienced. This is what differentiates Slovenia’s brand from the brands of other countries. The elements of Slovenia’s brand identity are common to all areas (i.e., the civic sphere, state, economy, tourism, culture and arts, science, and sport) and represent a common denominator of Slovenians and Slovenia. They are the foundation of the Slovenian experience.
With Kapfereres identity prism I want to identify Slovenian characteristics. This is one of the most constructive brand tools made. It is simple to understand, and easy to articulate your brand’s identity.
The prism includes 6 essential elements:
Successful brands manage to project a positive and coherent image into the minds of their consumers, which means that all of these six facets need to be carefully intertwined and aligned so that each contributes to establishing and maintaining brand essence.
1.) Physique: Slovenia is a green country, small, new, diverse, touristy etc.
2.) Personality: Organized, active, proud, friendly, kind, stubborn
3.) Culture: Traditional, individualistic, pedantic, open etc.
4.) Relationship: intact nature, potential of achieving something more, quality services
5.) Self-image: country of: sports, culture, nature
6.) Reflection: successful, intelligent, responsible, professional, businessman etc.
All this has the purpose of strengthening the brand, and making it more recognisable and memorable, which will, in turn, result in creating a consistent, long-lasting impression of your name. This is why Slovenia has to continue to toughen its brand, especially because of smallness and dependency on others. Furthermore, they have to keep in mind that a good name is better than riches.