Monday, April 2, 2007

Branding and Country

Branding and Country
by Carole Beckford

Last time we spoke I looked at Branding and Sport and in the real spirit of country; this week it is all about Branding and Country.

What does Jamaica represent? Well some may think rum, track and field, ackee, beaches etc. However I toyed with an interesting concept and I want to get your feedback. Lots of us make comparisons to animals in terms of style, size and ability to survive.

Well I asked the question of some of my friends, “If you were to describe Jamaica as an animal, which would it be and why?

See some of the responses:

A friend who has lived in New York for over 18 years says “A tiger … because of our people are smart, playful/fun-loving, while also being aggressive and fiercely competitive.”

A friend who is a communications specialists thinks “a mongrel dog…here is why he thought so “loyal and faithful to family and friends, ferocious against 'bad mind'; creature of habit, but can surprise; diversity in one body; easy to feel ashamed, but is quite boastful when the going is good.”

Jamaica Trade and Invest (JAMPRO) recently launched a campaign on Business Brand Jamaica which focused on creativity, reliability, supportiveness, excellence and integrity as qualities we ought to establish to make Jamaica a better destination for doing business.

Lesley-Ann Thompson, a marketing specialist says, “a lioness...Jamaica is proud and strong...enjoys hot climates and although smaller than its first world neighbours, it’s still a force to be reckoned with. Like lionesses, Jamaica is a ferocious fighter and this can be a positive or a negative thing, depending on the circumstances.”

A wild tiger, a piranha, a cow and a bull were among the answers I also got which focused on qualities like supportiveness.

Project Manager speaks

However a project manager I spoke to had a different view. He had a lot to say. He thinks Jamaica is like a rabbit and he tells why; “jumping here and there as it relates to policy directive, changing strategies as soon as they prop up globally, always affected by external shocks, have been able to mitigate against external shocks on the financial perspective but only just. Jamaica is very aware of current trends, current affairs; always in the thick of things, negatively and positively impacting change. Frisky but delicate at times having an acute awareness for nature and its environment. Having many offshoots, the Jamaican Diaspora is far and widely dispersed.”

My sister thought Jamaica is like a dog- because dogs can be friendly, fierce (violent), man's best friend, some are interesting looking cute even diverse looks. Then it moves to a research analyst who thinks Jamaica is like a “croaking lizard…Able to change its skin to match its environment and escape trouble. With qualities that can make your blood run cold but a creature that is a household name and not going anywhere for a while.”

A promoter thinks Jamaica is a “Donkey (Jack Ass)…these animals are known for bearing heavy loads without complaining, while a HR specialist says “a young colt...energetic, frisky, daring even in the face of inexperience.”

One thing I know Jamaica is a beautiful place to live and certainly to do business – we all should make it the best animal in the world.

Please send me your feedback to

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