In this interview, country brand expert Gustavo Koniszczer shares his experience and thoughts on the development and measurement of country brands in South America. Gustavo Koniszczer is Managing Director of FutureBrand Spanish Latin America, a group of five offices servicing Spanish-speaking countries in the continent. Over the last ten years he has been actively involved in country and destination branding projects in Latin America.
- Why not all countries qualify as brands;
- The FutureBrand Country Brand Index;
- Which are the top five ingredients for a strong, successful country brand;
- To what extent the actions of political and business leaders influence a place brander’s work;
- Which aspects of developing the country brand strategy for Peru (2009-2011) he found the most challenging;
- His favorite place branding book this year.
Gustavo, when did you first come across the concept of country branding (or place branding in general)? Do you remember your initial thoughts?
When I was twelve or thirteen, living in Buenos Aires, I loved to send letters to foreign tourism offices, and waiting for weeks to receive colourful brochures and maps –something that internet nowadays provides instantly. I particularly remember those from Canada Tourism.
As I knew I wanted to study graphic design, I was fascinated by well designed communications, and in the specific case of Canada, the system created around the logo with the tiny flag on it was probably my first contact with a well developed country brand. By the way, that logo is still in use.