Proposal for Estonia nation branding
An estonishing concept
Presenting a contribution from a Dutch
e-Resident with the aim to contribute
to the public discussion of positioning
and nation branding of Estonia.
Managing director Eindhoven365, responsible for marketing and branding of Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
How do others see Estonia?
Identity versus image versus ambition
Why should one care that
Estonia (or Estland) exists?
How does Estonia
from other countries
What contribution does
Estonia make in the world?
And who really cares
about your country?
Why do you want to brand a country?
In a globalized world in which we
now live, every place has to
compete for share of mind, share
of income, share of talent and
share of voice.
So challenge your weaknesses,
set goals, create awareness,
differentiate and raise your voice.*
*Phonix place branding manifesto.
How to be discoverable and impactful
Key ingredients for effective marketing & communication
It’s all about impact. Global themes matter and local, (very) local differentiation
combined with a crystal clear, strong, charismatic and impactful positioning.
What’s creating the real difference? What makes you stand out from the rest?
When is it uniquely Estonia - and not Latvia, Finland or even Iceland?
So awareness and real-world impact is needed
to achieve Estonia’s state ambitious goals.
Are you truly discoverable off and online…
Google Translate automatically translates
the word ‘Eesti’ wrongly and shamefully
into ‘Ireland’ and/or ‘Africa’.
Do something about it EAS, contact Google!
How to be different and charismatic
Nation branding according to expert Simon Anholt*
“The reduction of a nation’s complexities
into single, bite-sized stereotypes.”
In other words: a nation brand is the mix of core characteristics
that make a country distinctive, memorable and competitive.
So what’s needed is an effective plus authentic positioning with
an integrated campaign to communicate relevant Estonian assets.
*Simon Anholt is the creator of the Good Country Index.
Place branding & positioning process
A place brand defines the image. Place branding is the process.
“Places are, indeed, products, whose identities and values must
be designed and marketed.” Philip Kotler, marketing guru.
Estonia key objectives
Make Estonia a more attractive, a better place to live, work and visit.
This means making it a better place also for Estonians (and by Estonians).
Attract more businesses and foreign direct investments to Estonia
Encourage recommendation (NPS) of Estonia and enhance nation’s self-esteem
Invite more tourists and increase spending per visit in Estonia
Communicate the greatness and culture that have come out of Estonia
Interest students to enjoy top of the world education in Tallinn and Tartu
Generate impactful, consistent and ‘viral’ brand positioning of Estonia
Create flexibility to develop tailored strategies for all relevant target groups
Capitalize on previous investments in branding, while:
Aligning all marketing/promotional activities into one integrated concept.
Estonia go for it, inspire the world!
The opportunity is in the name: estonia
The essence of this positioning and branding concept is:
Let Estonia emphasize its uniqueness by being the fastest,
the coolest, the wisest, the smartest and (even) the unsafest.
Using the special characteristics of the ‘name’ estonia (and also estland)
Because the ‘est’ is already in the name of the country and ‘est’ is also in
the Estonia ‘welcome to’ logo > A simple solution with huge potential.
A playful and logical next phase of Estonian nation branding, while safeguarding
achieved results and enhancing prior branding and marketing investments.
What sets you apart, focus on that. Focus hard and stick to it.
A Volvo is safest, a Ferrari is fastest. And Estonia has the ‘est’ all for itself..!
Playful and logical concept
What’s creating the difference?
Essence: focus on uniquely Estonian assets.
Unique musical styles: mass choirs to Winny Puhh, Maarja Nuut, EMF & Paiste
Global impactful startups GrabCad, Transferwise, Skype, RealEyes, Lingvist, etc.
Celebrating world heroes from Estonia like Arvo Pärt and Jaan Tallinn/Skype
Digital government: e-residency, e-banking, Wi-Fi everywhere, cyber safety
Most supermodels, e.g. Carmen Kass, Harleth Kuusik & talented Merilin Perli
Wonderful nature, culture, slowest food, history, wildlife & lovely people.
So start to tell & share your authentic and meaningful stories.
Estonia USP: ‘e-state of mind’
Estonia offers a ‘state of mind’,
a philosophy that any country,
region or city state can follow.
e-Estonia truly inspires the world.
It’s a unique way of thinking and acting in
this modern digital age, being the est.
Going forward, creating a true legacy.
Flexible, adaptive and resilient:
Update of known nation brand assets
Name: estonia with emphasis on est
Simple pay off: ‘just estonishing’
- ‘just’ as a double meaning Estonian
- ‘estonishing’ as a new word for surprising
Witty, positive and intriguing tone-of-voice
Strong authentic images with a clear message
Playful colors in harmony with main image
And no more ice crystal pattern
Concept in visual examples
Visualizations of the campaign concept based on:
Special touristic / country asset of Estonia: “our…”
Unique business / global asset of Estonia: “the…”
Interest of potential visitor / prospect: “your…”
Key: marketing is more than logos and slogans, it is about campaigning and
creating awareness in Estonia and create valuable engagement to
activate your brand to the right target audiences and key markets.
So: Eesti brändikontseptsioon! Here goes:
Brand concept in campaign execution
Visualization of the concept in real life examples:
Life in Estonia magazine and Inflight magazine endorsements.
Key: connecting advertising message to corporate introduction text.
Making it simple but significant!
Create engaging Estonian web presence
The forward thinking country should have advanced
designed websites. High tech and high touch combined.
Responsive, adaptive and visually appealing.
And in harmony with the ‘est’ campaign, surprising and making
the online visitor curious!
Using clear and imaginative visuals, inspiring quotes from visitors
and promoting commercial package trips, fitting incentives,
pushing your nation’s events and a cool loyalty card proposition.
Key: aligning websites and newsletters
A logical improvement of the website is created for:
With a consistent navigation bar for all (inter)related websites:
On the homepage:
Connecting authentic storytelling to impactful videos and images.
e-Residency convincing online presence
Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency.
So there is a first mover advantage. And the proposition
has to be explained and marketed rightly and powerfully.
The global introduction of the e-Residency program is a great
opportunity to use the -est campaign as an activation:
Promoting the unique e-Residency program and in it’s slipstream Estonia.
The Estonian government launched e-Residency to make Estonia bigger
To grow it’s digital economy and market with new global customers.
And what e-Residency needs is a convincing, up-to-date and adaptive website!
Support the portal: Investinestonia.com
“Constantly work on marketing the international image.”
Estonia is actively being introduced as an attractive country
for working in the framework of ‘Made in Estonia 3.0’.
Focus points of investment promotion website:
Involving foreign direct investments and increasing the export
capacity of Estonian companies
Improving awareness of Estonia and its trusted reputation
Creating success stories of nation and exporting companies
Introducing Estonian companies to exporters and international media
The communication platform for teamestonia could look like this:
Essential the portal: Workinestonia.com
“Estonia’s greatest resource is its people.”
According to the Estonian Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy
2014 - 2020 a number of clear marketing goals are defined:
Marketing Estonia as a start-up destination
Promoting Estonia as an attractive place to work and live in
Promoting ‘made in Estonia’
Therefor the portal ‘workinestonia.com’ has to be of top quality
and is an important investment in Estonia’s future branding and
great storytelling is key. To facilitate inbound marketing process.
So make it work:
Estonia campaign activation proposals
Concept ideas of the estonia campaign concept for:
Mobile media: #estonishing
Eurovision song contest hashtag #est
Domain name extension: .est
Marketing through sports apparel
Endorsement by third parties
Public awareness campaigns
In & outdoor media
Promotion team and loyalty card
EV 100 proposal ‘We are the est’
Involving the online & mobile est-fans
Social media is ideal to entice Estonian fans
to participate, show their ‘est’ and share.
The current social fan base is huge, use this!
The Estonian events are opportunities to create a
constant interest all year round, for example your
‘Festival of Colours’. Let them send their hippest
content and best reactions.
As an addition to ‘ShakeItToEstonia’ and ‘Epic Estonia’
campaigns, why not create your own Instagram
– Estonian style – using the ‘est’ related images:
est = c’est formidable
Idea: ‘est’ version aka
estagram.co will be a
repository for Estonian
fans from around the
world sharing their
own images based on
the word ‘est’ or the
abbreviation ‘est’ or a
language using the
word ‘est’ like in French,
Latin, Spanish, etc.
est is present in many
languages. Spot the est!
Branding through domain extension .est
Why not consider creating your own exclusive TLD,
Top Level Domain to spread the concept internationally:
By exploiting yourself or outsourcing to third party the .est
domain extension the branding concept goes global! Sites like:
www.cool.est or www.smart.est have huge commercial potential
for Estonia. Reselling the right creates an interesting business case:
e.g. Colombia has millions users of .co domain extension.
Estonia has priority with ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee
to file for ownership of .est domain extension.
A big opportunity to fund the nation branding project!
Merchandising & branding Estonia
The concept is easily transferable into playful, attractive
merchandising products and incentives with the charismatic
‘est’ brand(ing) and also has strong commercial appeal.
Adding to your national pride & creating joy.
Making Estonian fans your happiest brand
ambassadors and promoters:
at home and abroad, communicating
and living your brand promises.
For all your tourists, business partners,
Estonian fans anywhere and citizens alike.
For Estonian sportive participation
Endorsement by third parties
Artist impression of logo adoption.
Ideally the -est
thinking is picked
up by influential
third parties. In
this example the
Public awareness campaigns
The -est concept can also be used for general Estonian public
communication to raise attention to issues that impact society.
Reckless driving in Estonia issue can be adressed as such:
Branding events and outdoor media
Public space and out-of-home advertising are effective
communication tools to enhance the core message.
Follow the customer journey with the message:
be our guest
Entrepreneurship 2016 award branding
The Entrepreneurship business competition issued by EAS identifies
the greatest and most ambitious companies in five areas.
Winners will be announced on October 13 festive gala in Tallinn.
New the title of the 2016
Estonia upcoming celebrations EV100
Get ready to maximize opportunities for festive year 2018.
Estonians celebrate together 100 years ‘being the est’.
A festival theme is a great match:
Centennial logo enhances the
2018 is ideal to focus on nation
branding extra push forward
with EU-presidency in the first
half of the year.
Estonia nation branding concept
So focus on what makes Estonia really uniquely and memorable.
Be bold, brave and daring! Stand out Estonia and surprise.
An innovative yet simple branding concept and campaign to:
Attract tourists, city explorers, trade, students & tech talents
Invite new businesses, startups, investors, MICE organizers
Strengthen existing businesses, exports and accelerate networking
Enhance social media appeal and communicate cultural image of Estonia.
Plus multiple merchandising & monetizing opportunities to fund the
campaigning and promotions in full harmony with earlier brand
investments. One integrated concept as efficient and clever solution.
A visual way to wrap up the -est branding concept:
Your country and people have inspired me to share these ideas.
This is my way of giving back – a token of appreciation.
From an Estonian fan and Dutch e-Resident. Ma armastan Eestit.
My aim is that the concept starts a valuable conversation.
* This –est concept is created in fall of 2014 and is time stamped by Benelux i-DEPOT.