Ola from Ibiza. It’s so much easier to write by the pool.
In the airport on the way here the entire buzz was about the two unfortunate British drug mules recently caught entering Peru having exported a large stash of drugs from this small Spanish Island.
As I type, the Party Island is still unsure whether brand Ibeefa has been badly tarnished or seriously enhanced by this global news episode.
At least the island is in the news, and not being completely overshadowed by the border war and fishing dispute on the Rock of Gibraltar.
One aspect of brand management is certain; you can take decades to slowly build a reputation in the minds of others but events completely out of your control will turn up one day, prompt a sharp focus on you and look to turn your brand reputation on its head in a heartbeat, which leads some to ask it is worth trying to build one in the first place when they can be so fickle, unstable and hard to maintain?
Of course the most important aspect of brands to remember is not about nation branding or even product or corporate branding for that matter; the heart of why brands are so important to every business is our individual human need to feel special amongst a sea of other individuals.
We are all unique, but that apparently is not enough unless everybody else notices our individuality. It is this relentless pursuit of a personal identity in the crowd that differentiates we self-absorbed humans from other species.
What we wear, drive, and even how we cut and colour our hair is all designed for effect and to be a statement.
Visit China and you’ll notice an unrelenting desire of millions upon millions to stand out from the hordes of other faces.
This is why Asian markets are so dominated by luxury brands like Rolex, Burberry and Bentley. The dichotomy of course is that we also want to belong and are strongly tribal as well as be individuals, so we select individual collections from the brands on offer in an attempt to paint a surface picture of who want others to believe us to be.
Buckinghamshire is the Entrepreneurial Heart of Britain that spawns a mix of more new businesses, innovation, and creative output than any other part of the Country. It is no mistake that we are the birthplace of the Paralympics, have more charities per head than anywhere else, and as home to Pinewood Studios are the most filmed county in the country.
This is what the world sees. It is our brand.