Thursday, September 12, 2002

Re-branding (again)

This is a good summary of challenges faced in re-branding efforts. The U.K. has had a couple swings at this particular pitch… wonder whether this newest effort will work?

Third time is charming: Great Britain, which has re-branded itself not once but twice this year alone, is once again heading back to the drawing board:

In January the BTA [British Tourist Authority] launched its UK:OK slogan, which was later quietly dropped in favour of a £40m global campaign with the new line, “Only in Britain. Only in 2002”.

Now the BTA, which is responsible for attracting tourists from abroad and generating tourism revenue in Britain, has decided Britain needs to be rebranded all over again.

The organisation’s business plan for 2002/03 and beyond says: “BTA has identified that a brand protocol is required that accommodates a generic, coherent and relevant presentation of Britain.”
Do they really think that a “generic presentation of Britain” will lure tourists to the UK in droves?

Obviously, the BTA has it’s hands full trying to come up with a brand that will “allow each national area” of the UK — England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — “to maintain its own identity alongside the main Britain brand.” Unfortunately, with that many competing interests fighting for a piece of the brand pie, it may be impossible to create anything other than a generic brand.

Perhaps just changing the name of the country is the most elegant solution to this problem. However, as we’ve noted before, any re-branding that goes on in Britain is a tough sell to the British public, so they probably won’t take too kindly to the notion. Any thoughts from across the pond? [The Shinola Awards.]

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