Rolando Arellano on the Brief History of Peru’s Recent Economic Development and New Sense of Belonging

When brainstorming about whom to meet and interview for our special report on Peru's country branding, its national identity and economic development, Dr Rolando Arellano was among the names that came up right away. A leading expert in marketing for developing countries, he has published 21 books and more than 400 articles in academic and professional magazines. And thanks to the research conducted by his firm, ARELLANO, Consulting to grow, he knows exactly what occupies, excites and drives Peruvians. I met Dr Arellano in his office in Lima.

Rolando, having researched and advised on marketing strategies around the world - do you remember when you first heard about the idea of perceiving of countries as brands – and your first thoughts?

I began to hear about this subject in the seventies, when the rise of the Japanese industry put in jeopardy the American production. At that moment began the studies about the importance of the “Made in…” that became very common after some years, with the acceleration of globalization.

I also remember being very impressed with the efforts made by Spain for the Barcelona 1992 Olympics. From this time, the logo by the artist Joan Miró became the new symbol of the country. Later, almost every other country made efforts into the same direction.

How has the practice of country branding evolved over the years?

In the beginning country branding was only focused on exports, with the “made in..” as a proof of quality. Then began to rise the importance of the country brand for attracting tourism, mostly in countries that have a strong tourism industry (France, Spain, Italy...).

Later we saw the same for attracting investors, and in that case the wave came from developing countries in South East Asia and Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Mexico).

Today, the main idea is that a country's brand and image serves all of those purposes.

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Florian Kaefer

Founder and editor of The Place Brand Observer. Loves Nature and discovering the world - one place at a time. Believes in the power of storytelling to connect people, to spread ideas and to make this world a better place for all. Founder of the Sustainability Leaders Project.