Wally Olins quoted on nation branding

Wall Olins, one of the champions of nation branding, seems increasingly disaffected for the intrincacies of nation branding projects. In this article, Olins is quoted in this paragraph:

Olins reputation with global branding has often lead to his being called in to advise on the most global branding of all – national. The governments of countries like Portugal and Poland have called him in to advise on their image management, especially once they started integrating — and competing — within the European Union. “They all either call themselves ‘The Heart of Europe’ or ‘Land of Contrasts’ !” he says waspishly. Then he gets called in, but Olins says he is increasingly wary of such assignments: “They all seem to involve these endless meetings! And it’s never clear who is in ultimate control. And just when you’ve figured things out and it’s being implemented, the government changes and everything is thrown out.”

(Nation-Branding-info had already reported on October 2007 that Wally Olins had paused branding poland)

In the same article, Olins gives some insight on his work with the Branding Portugal project:

Olins says such national branding can work when it reflects a change that is already happening but which people don’t know about, and if it is really rooted in the country’s history: “With Portugal, for example, we identified their problem as they’re always trying to say that they were not Spain! But when you got away from this Spanish comparison, you realised there was Portugal’s link to the Atlantic and to a whole world of Luso (Portuguese) culture across the world.” Olins helped Portugal’s tourist board devise a well-received campaign linking it to this whole Atlantic world.