Larissa Perdomo, marketing communications professional and Director of Country Brand at Uruguay XXI, in this interview illustrates how Uruguay approaches country branding and how perceptions about the Latin American nation have changed over time. She also shares her thoughts on trends in destination branding and how collaboration between countries can facilitate access to growing markets, especially Asia.
Larissa, do you remember the first time you heard about country branding and reputation in connection with Uruguay? What triggered your interest in the topic?
Yes, it was about 17 years ago when the Ministry of Tourism, during the presidency of Jorge Batlle, created for the first time a country brand for Uruguay with the aim to highlight the unique identity of our country. We were experiencing the biggest economic crisis in the region back then. Uruguay Natural was first established only as brand for tourism, due to the small available budget.
I thought that branding a country will be an amazing and comforting challenge for a marketing communications professional, which is why I got involved.
As Director of Country Image at Uruguay XXI, in your view, what does “Brand Uruguay” stand for?
For me the Uruguay brand stands for values like inclusion (digital, social, human rights), transparency and quality of life (Montevideo ranks 1st for best quality of life in Latin America, according Mercer 2017). Those are our strongest brand assets, together with our focus on high quality products, safety and taking care of our natural resources.
Our talent and OLPC (one laptop per child programme) make Uruguay an interesting option for investors, together with our strategic location within the common market of Mercosur.
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