Costa Rica has renewed its country brand, engaging potential visitors with a restored image integrating all the virtues of its unparalleled culture, world-renowned as a “green” and ecotourism destination par excellence.
However, Costa Rica offers a great deal more than that. Its new campaign reflects a complete redesign of its highly-effective 16 year old country brand.
“Its essence lies in the set of necessary and indispensable characteristics essential for someone or something to be able to be what it claims to be”, this is the heart of the revived city brand concept Essential Costa Rica, promoting itself as a unique destination boasting a rich biodiversity and one of a kind people.
Previously, Costa Rica’s country brand was “Costa Rica: free of artificial ingredients”.
A brand that epitomizes the country’s ecotourism offering and its natural heritage, such as national parks, volcanoes, the sun and beaches.
The consulting firm Futurebrand tackled the responsibility of creating the new austere, yet simple brand image built around a winning strategy.
This image engineering involved a development process which entailed the implementation of different work methodologies, including a focus group, surveys, tests and 2,000 interviews conducted throughout 79 countries in order to determine the perception of the Costa Rican population on a national level.
The entities responsible for the development planning process and sponsorship of the re-designed country brand are: Ministerio de Comercio Exterior (COMEX), Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT), Promotora del Comercio Exterior (PROCOMER) and Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo (CINDE).
The entity was responsible for providing visibility and charting the brand objectives to be used as positioning, differentiation and competitive tools developed to address potential tourists, investors and buyers of Costa Rican products.
“We have had a brand destination for 16 years, yielding positive results and this experience has allowed us to evolve and keep up with global trends; we can say we now have a comprehensive framework that enhances all promotional efforts”, said Allan Flores, Tourism Minister.
Furthermore, PROCOMER’s Country Brand Management and ICT’s Executive Unit created the Country Brand Committee to periodically issue guidelines, policies and every task related to Essential Costa Rica and its uses.
Costa Rica is in second place in Latin America, and 44th. worldwide on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (2011). Moreover, this destination is recognized as the third safest Latin American country, according to the Global Peace Index.
These are some of the factors in which the foundation of this new image is set, that not only includes tourism, but also engages in foreign trade and the development of the country’s business climate.
The brand will be showcased in activities to be conducted at the end of the year in U.S., Chinese and Indian markets. The high-technology field and innovation industry and export of local, high quality products will be addressed first.