Simon Anholt created the Good Country Index to measure what country is the “goodest”, the winner: Ireland. It’s not that surprising. When you think Ireland, your mind floods with charming images; green hills, thatched houses, cozy pubs and singing fiddles. But why don’t we think about their multiple recessions or the resurgence of the IRA? National branding, that’s why. Ireland’s Tourism branding has successfully focused foreign attention on the beauty of the landscape, the friendliness of the people and its colourful history.
Use Ireland as a guide while you try to build your own brand. The Irish brand may seem vast, but its components can be broken down into discernible parts. Here’s how they’ve done it:
There are easy ways to tell if the business you’re looking at is meant to be Irish. If it’s green, has a Celtic font, and says something like Sláinte you are probably looking at an Irish Pub. A unified style makes this brand recognizable and recognition builds trust. Your logo, colour palette, and tone become tools for your clients to recognize and trust you too. However to build a strong brand the style need to be cohesive.
Tool: Get a Branding Guideline. A Branding Guideline is a document that states every way your brand is represented so you can regulate it. It will ensure everything in your brands looks consistent, from the colour palette to the logo dimensions.
When something looks “Irishy” it’s usually because of the symbolism. Symbols like the Celtic cross to the harp on a glass of Guinness are easily recognizable. They convey certain themes: History, Ancient Art, Religion, Paganism, etc. All of these symbols are pulled from their ancient history, even if the design changed the resemblance is still there and hasn’t lost the “Irishness” It’s all in the Graphic Design. Graphics speak, so use them to communicate your message.
Many Americans are descendants of Irish immigrants and the pride and the desire to reconnect has been handed down through the generations. Just look at Boston, their St. Patricks day is a massive holiday that rivals even what is celebrated in Ireland itself. It’s also because Ireland advertises itself to this diaspora. It unifies the Irish community beyond its borders by offering to connect people to their past. Many Americans travel to Ireland simply to reconnect with their roots. In 2018 2.4 million North Americans visited Ireland. Why is this important? Because the Irish Tourism business advertises directly to these people, offering products and services that reconnect them to Ireland. They’ve identified that Irish Americans have a deep yearning to reconnect with their history. It’s important to understand your customer base this well. To know not just what they want but the emotions and motivations behind those wants.