In a world where everything and everyone is marketed through branding, regions and countries are taking advantage of their images to brand themselves and distinguish their national products and services as a unique competitive tool. The goal is to communicate through a clear an effective message the value of its nation brand and protect it against dilution.
According to Country Brand Index (CBI) for 2012-2013, the global index of country brand strength, the country brand “Costa Rica” is currently No. 1 in Latin America and No. 25 in the world.
As part of a successful nation branding strategy, on May 14th 2013, the Costa Rican Government issued Rule No. 37669-RE-COMEX-TUR for the use and implementation of the country brand “Costa Rica”.
Rule No. 37669-RE-COMEX-TUR creates a Country Brand Committee, who will be responsible of issuing the bylaws and policies needed for regulating the use, design, promotion and execution of the country brand Costa Rica, in coordination with private and public sectors. The Rule also establishes the creation of especial Executive Units, which will be the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) for tourism related issues, and the Costa Rican Export Promotion Agency (PROCOMER) for exports and foreign investment issues. These agencies, according to the new rule in force, will be in charge of the registration and licensing of the country brand, since the use of national brand products and services are subject to a license granted to companies that demonstrate compliance with specific standards.
With this new regulation, Costa Rica follows up with a comprehensive plan in order to implement a strong national brand image that will optimize its competitive advantage at an international level, through an efficient administration and execution of a country brand. Among the distinctive elements that contribute to the well known Costa Rica’s image are quality of life, cultural identity, favorable business climate and a sustainable tourism development.
Costa Rica has positioned itself very well in the tourism sector, but it is today a leading exporter of high technology goods and services worldwide, as well being highly involved in global value supply chains.The Costa Rican Government announced that in 2012, 40 new high technology investment projects decided to establish their operations in Costa Rica in Services, Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing and Clean Technology sectors.This represents a new record for Costa Rica as it exceeded the results obtained in 2011, year in which the country registered the highest FDI numbers in terms of high technology in the last decade.
The Costa Rican authorities believe that this process of diversification should be deepened in order to maintain success. Thus, national branding becomes a strategy’s keystone to remain competitive in the global community.