Scott Goodson i StrawberryFrog: "Me Shqiperine po ndryshojme ‘status-quo’ e reklamimit"

RUDINA HOXHA 

Scott Goodson eshte themeluesi dhe CEO i StrawberryFrog, kompania fituese amerikane qe ka marre persiper brandimin e Shqiperise me synimin per te ndryshuar imazhin e vendit tone ne nje stad te ri per te. Ata u perzgjodhen majin e kaluar nga nje juri nderkombetare gjate nje ceremonie ku ishte i pranishem edhe Kryeministri Shqiptar, Edi Rama. Motoja e tyre fituese ishte “Albania, Go Your Own Way!” (Shqiperi, Ndiq Rrugen Tende!”

Ne nje interviste ekskluzive per Infoalbania, Goodson nenvizon faktin se turistet e huaj jane ‘ngopur’ me reklamimet tradicionale te destinacioneve te udhetimit. Dhe duke qene se Shqiperia eshte nje perle teper origjinale, strategjia qe po nderton StrawberryFrog po e ben kete vend te diferencoje vetveten.

Shqiperia nuk eshte Kroacia. Nuk eshte Italia. Eshte nje destinacion perle dhe origjinal. Ne te njejten kohe, kur flisni me turiste dhe udhetare te huaj, kuptoni se ata jane te merzitur me destinacionet tradicionale te udhetimit. Bota ka ndryshuar dhe njerezit jane me te pavarur dhe tani ato jane ne kerkim te eksperiencave me origjinale.  Kjo eshte nje ide e madhe dhe shume motivuese,” thote Goodson.

StrawberryFrog e mbeshtet brandimin mbi levizje te fuqishme kulturore, procese qe Z. Goodson i shpjegon ne detaje ne librin e tij me te shitur “Uprising – how to build a brand and change the world by sparking cultural movements.”

Me poshte intervista e plote e Z. Goodson. 

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Sa e veshtire ishte eksperienca e brandimit te Shqiperise?
Eshte gjithmone nje sfide te brandosh nje vend. Megjithate StraeberryFrog perdor nje metodologji te testuar tashme per te zhvilluar strategjite e brandimit qe quhet Levizje Kulturore. Kjo e fundit jepet e detajuar ne librin tim me te shitur “Uprising – how to build a brand and change the world by sparking cultural movements”. Çdo gje fillom me te kuptuarit e brandit kulturor, se ku konsiston ajo. Dhe me pas identifikohet dhe kuptohet se çfare i intereson kultures aktuale ose moderne. Kur realizohet lidhja midis njohurive kulturore dhe perfitimit te brandit, produkti final eshte nje platforme e fuqishme per boten mbare ku media sociale mund te perhape idene me shpejtesine e zjarrit.

Si ju erdhi ideja e “Shqiperi, Ndiq rrugen tende”? Ishte nje proces i tere? Shume mendje se bashku apo thjesht nje shkendije?

Ekipi im i StrawberryFrog u perqendrua tek fakti se cili ishte brandi kulturor dhe e verteta e brandit. Dhe me pas i lidhi keto dy aspekte me konsumatoret e kesaj kulture. Shqiperia nuk eshte Kroacia. Nuk eshte Italia. Eshte nje destinacion perle dhe origjinal. Ne te njejten kohe, kur flisni me turiste dhe udhetare te huaj, kuptoni se ata jane te merzitur me destinacionet tradicionale te udhetimit. Bota ka ndryshuar dhe njerezit jane me te pavarur dhe tani ato jane ne kerkim te eksperiencave me origjinale. Ato duan te jene ne dijeni. Ato duan ti bejne gjerat sipas menyres se tyre. Kjo eshte nje ide e madhe dhe shume motivuese.

Te brandosh nje vend kerkon ta njohesh ate se pari. A e njihni mire Shqiperine?

Une kam hartuar strategjine qe ka percaktuar qendren e Dubait dhe motoja qe ne realizuam me mjeshteri ishte CENTRE OF NOW (Qendra e Momentit) e cila i dha nje pozicion krejt te ri ketij destinacioni me nje zhvillim te shpejte. Dhe ne kemi krijuar ide te MEDHA per brande ikone si per shembull per Emirates Airline (Linjen Ajrore te Emirateve te Bashkuara) – Une prezantova moton globale te kesaj Linje “Hello Tomorrow”. Ndersa per brandin e famshem “Jim Beam”, realizova moton “Make History” (Be histori). Ne te gjitha keto eksperienca, duhet te kuptohet brandi dhe te behen shume kerkime.

Por me pas duhet te shikohet se çfare i intereson konsumatoreve te kesaj kulture. Nese sot per sot kjo kulture konsiston ne faktin “ndjek turmen” ose “mos u lodh te provosh diçka te re”, ne mund te dalim me nje strategji ndryshe nga ajo qe kemi rekomanduar. Megjithate konsumatoret e kultures moderne festojne te qenurit “ne dijeni” dhe kjo eshte e kunderta “e ndjekjes se turmes.” Njerezit duan te jetojne ne nje bote me te madhe ku ato duan te eksperimentojne gjera te reja gjate gjithe kohes. Kjo ndodh fale Internetit. Sot asnje nuk do te jetoje ne nje bote te vogel pavaresisht se ku jeton. Njerezit kudo neper bote – ne Brazil, Kine, Indi, Europe, dhe madje edhe ne vendet dhe qytetet me te vogla ne Shtetet e Bashkuara – te gjithe duan te jetojne ne nje bote me te madhe. Dhe ato duan te jetojne eksperienca te reja sipas kushteve te tyre. Sot teknologjia dhe Interneti i japin mundesine njerezve te gjejne dhe te organizojne udhetime e eksperienca sipas nevojave te tyre, te kerkojne ekperienca te reja dhe si rezultat, ata jane me teper ne kontroll te vendimeve te tyre. Te ndjekesh rrugen tende eshte nje distinktiv nderi.
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Kush ishin aspektet qe me se shumti ndikuan tek “Shqiperi, Ndiq rrugen tende”?
Diçka domethenese ka ndryshuar ne kulturen tone globale ne keto vitet e fundit. Per kete fajesohen presionet globale ekonomike, shqetesimi i pergjithshem apo edhe lidhjet e shumta dhe te reja qe i mundeson njerezit te organizohen menjehere rreth kauzave dhe çeshtjeve te nxehta. Ndoshta eshte nje kombinim i te gjithe ketyre faktoreve por rezultati neto eshte qe ne, si drejtues biznesi, kemi te bejme tani me nje popullesi qe eshte me shume e pefshire nga ana sociale dhe koshiente se ç’po ndodh ne bote si dhe me e uritur per tu perfshire dhe per tu degjuar mbi çeshtje te ndryshme dhe mbi te gjitha per ti bere gjerat vete. E thene me thjeshte, asnje tjeter se ka kuptuar kete ndryshim te madh ne kulture. Njerezit duan te ndjekin rrugen e tyre. Shqiperia po nderton nje platforme per ta diferencuar veten e saj duke u vene ne nje vije me kete ndryshim kulturor.

 

A mendoni se ky brandim i ri do te ndikoje ne krijimin e nje imazhi te ri per Shqiperine kudo neper bote? Perse dhe ne ç’menyre?
Reklama funksionon. Ne po ndertojme nje strategji qe ndryshon rrjedhen e deritanishme si dhe nje reklamim krijues te shkelqyer. Pikerisht histori te mrekullueshme per te cilat njerezit flasin. Brandet e medha bejne pune te shkelqyer krijuese dhe pikerisht kjo eshte ambicja jone. Pune e vleresuar me çmime te famshme qe del ne pah kundrejt çdo gjeje qe kombet e tjera po bejne. Dhe sot shume vende po reklamojne veten gjate gjithe kohes. Puna jone eshte te shenojme shume me lart, te jemi shume here me krijues, te thyejme murin e indiferences qe ekziston atje tej dhe per ti thene disa vendeve te tjera qe harxhojne vertet shume para per tu vene re se ne jemi ketu. Kjo eshte natyra e reklamimit me krijues qe mund ti beje njerezit te dalin ne pah kundrejt modelit te merzitshem te reklamimit qe ndjekin shume destinacione te tjera udhetimi. Me moton “Ndiq rrugen tende”, vetem pune e merzitshme qe nuk mund te pritet.

Por edhe me tej…si reagon nje brand i mençur ne nje kohe kur pasionet jane te ndezura dhe aktivizmi eshte me i dendur ashtu si edhe perfshirja individuale? Me teper se sa te behesh i kujdesshem apo te jesh si çdo njeri tjeter, besoj se brandet duhet te veprojne si brande sfiduese. Ato duhet te lidhen me kete passion dhe individualizem ne nje fare pike. Nese deshtoni ne perpjekjen tuaj per tju pergjigjur ketij ndryshimi kulturor, ju rrezikoni te mos jeni ne nje linje me klientet/konsumatoret, me njerezit. Nese perpiqeni te mendoni sipas menyrave tradicionale, do te dukeni ne fund te fundit si nje brand “status quo” ne nje bote revolucionare. Brandet e treta kane nevoje te behen ndikuese. Patjeter qe do te kete udheheqes te medhenj te tregut – brandet me te famshme te vendit me pjesen me te madhe te perfitimit – por ja ku eshte edhe individi me pikepamjet e tij ndikuese i cili nuk mund te jete me i madhi, por ai per te cilin te gjithe flasin dhe qe gezon “”vrullin me te ndjeshem” ne mendjen e konsumatorit.

A eshte qeveria shqiptare gati ta vere ne jete idene tuaj? Sepse ideja/strategjia juaj eshte shume terheqese dhe premtuese por a eshte qeveria gati te marre masat e duhura per ta zbatuar idene tuaj?
Ne po ecim perpara me punen tone.

Kush eshte profili i konsumatorit tuaj? Audienca juaj?
Nuk eshte shume nje audience se sa nje menyre e te menduarit. Ata kane nje menyre te veçante te te menduari dhe kane vlera te caktuara qe perputhen bukur me ne dhe me idene tone. Ka shume njerez si keta. Ata jane te mençur dhe te dashuruar pas eksperiencave te reja.

Si mund te matet suksesi i nje projekti brandimi si ky i Shqiperise?
Ka shume mjete per te matur suksesin. Kryesisht eshte e nevojshme te bihet dakort qe ne fillim per cilet tregues te performances (Key performance indicators) ju deshironi te matni dhe me pas i vihemi realizimit te punes dhe matjes se saj. Pjesa me e rendesishme e punes behet para realizimit te reklamimit te brandit apo komunikimit ne nivel marketingu. Nevojitet qe ju te beni detyrat tuaja te shtepise dhe te kuptoni pikerisht ato gjera qe do te vene ne levizje permbajtjen qe ne duhet te krijojme.

A keni percaktuar ndonje nga keto tregues dhe cilat jane detyrat e shtepise qe jane caktuar per vendin tone para se te fillohet krijimi i permbajtjes?
Ne sapo kemi filluar dhe shume aspekte te punes sone te mrekullueshme dhe te rendesishme jane perpara nesh per shume vite.

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Brandimi i nje vendi eshte nje sfide. Sipas jush, çfare duhet per te pasur sukses?

1. Mbani vesh per te kuptuar se per cfare kane nevoje njerezit. Me ekzistencen e shume levizjeve kulturore, udheheqesit nuk i kushtojne vemendje zerave te vazhdueshem te nevojave te njerezve, Keshtu, zbulo se kush eshte pasioni i tyre dhe per çfare flasin me njeri-tjetrin. Nese degjoni me kujdes, mund te zbuloni ‘tingullin’ e nje ideje ne zhvillim – dhe mund te jete nje e tille qe mund te çoje ne krijimin e nje levizjeje.

2. Ftoni klientet tuaj ne sheshe publike. Krijoni platforma ku njerezit mund te bashkohen me idene tuaj. Media sociale e ka lehtesuar kete gje por grumbullimet ‘reale’ jane gjithashtu te rendesishme. Brandimi yne nuk eshte thjesht nje fushate reklame. Eshte nje reflektim se si njerezit ndihen sot ne bote.

3. Valevite banerin tend me krenari. Sapo te keni vendosur te qendroni mbrapa nje ideje apo iniciative qe eshte duke dale ne pah, beni nje deklarate te guximshme. Frymezoni individet e apasionuar per ta tejcuar levizjen tuaj tek masa e njerezve.

4. Mos u shtir!. Njerezit mund ta kuptojne kur jeni te sinqerte rreth nje ideje a çeshtjeje — apo nese thjesht po e shfrytezoni ate. Nuk mund ta drejtosh nje levizje nese nuk e beson ti i pari.

5. Qello per tregun nderkombetar. Ideja juaj ka potencialin qe te kape rrymen e energjise njerezore dhe ta beje ate te kaloje kufinjte, duke fituar vrulin gjate rruges. Mos e nenvlereso kete aspekt!

Shume konsulente, qe merren me brandim vendesh, ndajne mendimin se kur qeverite inkurajohen per te permiresuar imazhin e vendeve te tyre, ato nuk mendojne taman brandimin, por ate reklamimin tradicional, maredheniet publike dhe nje make-up kozmetik. E vertete?

Ajo qe ka me rendesi eshte ndertimi i nje brandi rreth nje ideje qe ju intereson njerezve. Çfare ka lidhje me jeten e njerezve? Nuk flet marketingu por ajo per te cilen ato ndihen te apasionuar ne jeten e tyre te perditshme dhe ne jetet e njerezve per te cilen ato interesohen.
Kjo ka te beje me pasionet. Kjo eshte autentike. Kjo eshte nje ide e fuqishme. Nuk eshte reklamim. Eshte krijim kulture. Eshte te kapesh imagjinaten e audiences. Idete e komunikuara, qe reflektojne kulturen, mund te jene ne fakt mjetet me te fuqishme te biznesit qe brandet mund te kene ne dispozicion. Jo si pjese e faktoreve qe ndikojne ne shitjen e produktit por si nje mjet tregues i forces dhe i ndikimit. 

A do te bashkepunoni me aktore lokale si agjenci marketingu apo eksperte mediash per zbatimin e strategjise suaj?
Ne duam te perfshijme shume njerez. Do te jete diçka shume zbavitese, keshtu qe ju lutem qendroni te sintonuar.

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Me poshte, mund te shikoni versionin anglisht te intervistes se Z. Goodson.

How difficult was to brand Albania?

It’s always a challenge to brand a destination. However StrawberryFrog uses a proven methodology to develop brand strategies that is called Cultural Movement, which is detailed in my best selling book “Uprising – how to build a brand and change the world by sparking cultural movements”. It starts with understanding what the brand cultural is all about. Then you identify and understand what the contemporary culture cares about. When you connect that cultural insight to the brand benefit it’s a powerful platform for the world where social media can spread an idea like wildfire. 

How did you get the idea of “Albania, Go Your Own Way”? Was it a process? Many minds brought together or just a spark?

My team at StrawberryFrog looked at what the brand culture is, what was a brand truth, and then connected that to consumer culture. Albania is not Croatia. It’s not Italy. It’s an amazing original gem of a destination. At the same time when you speak with international travelers and tourists( you realize that they are bored with the traditional travel destinations. The world has changed and people are more independent and are looking for more original experiences. They want to be in the know. They want to go their own way. This is a big idea and highly motivating. 

Nation branding asks for knowing the country first.  Do you know much of Albania? 

I wrote the strategy to that defined Dubai Downtown and the motto we crafted was CENTRE OF NOW which totally repositioned that fast growing destination. And we’ve created BIG ideas for iconic brands such as Emirates Airline – I wrote the global motto “Hello Tomorrow”, and for the famous brand Jim Beam “Make History”. In all of these you have to understand the brand, do your research. But then you need to also look what consumer culture thinks is relevant. If consumer culture today was “follow the crowd” or “don’t bother trying anything new” then we may have come up with a different strategy than what we have recommended. Today, however, contemporary consumer culture celebrates being “in the know” and is the opposite of following the crowd. People want to live in a bigger world, where they get to experience new things all the time. This is thanks to the Internet, today nobody wants to live in a smaller world no matter where you live. People all over the world – in Brazil, China, India, Europe, and even in small towns and cities in the USA – they all want to live in a bigger world. And they want to live new experiences on their terms. Technology today and the Internet enables people to find and customize their own trips, their own experiences, to seek out new experiences and as a result they are more in control of their own decisions. It’s a badge of honor to go your own way. 

What were the aspects that mostly impacted “Albania, Go Your Own Way?” 

Something significant has changed in our global culture over the past couple of years. Blame it on global economic pressures, general restlessness, or the new hyper-connectivity that enables people to instantly organize around causes and hot-topics. It’s probably some combination of all of these factors, but the net result is that we, as business leaders, are now dealing with a populace that is more socially engaged, more aware of what’s going on in the world, and hungrier to get involved and be heard on various issues, and moreover to do things themselves. Simply put that no one else has understood this big change in culture. People Want to go their own way. Albania is building a platform to differentiate itself by aligning with this cultural shift. 

Do you think the new branding will influence on Albania’s image change around the world? Why and in what way?

Advertising works. We are developing a disruptive strategy and brilliant creative advertising. Wonderful stories that people talk about. Great brands do great creative work and that is our ambition. Famous award winning work that stands out against what every other nation is doing and these days many nations are advertising all the time. Our work will have to punch a lot higher, be a lot more creative to break through the wall of indifference out there, and to make waves against those nations who spend a fortune to get noticed. That’s the nature of the most creative advertising it can move people by standing out against the boring pattern of advertising from many other destinations. With a motto like “Go your own way” you shouldn’t expect boring work. 

But more…how does a smart brand respond in a time of heightened passions and greater activism and individual engagement? Rather than becoming more cautious or being like everyone else, I believe brands must act like challenger brands, they must connect with that passion and individualism  somehow. If you fail to respond to this shift in the culture, you run the risk of being out of step with your customers/consumers/with people. If you try to think in traditional ways you could end up looking like a “status quo” brand in a revolutionary world. The 3rd Brands need to become thought leaders. Sure there will be the big market leaders – the famous country brands with the biggest share but then there is the thought leader – the brand that, while it may not be the largest, is the one that everyone is talking about, that has the highest “sensed momentum” in the consumer’s mind. 

Is Albanian government ready to implement your idea? Because ok, your idea/strategy is very attractive and promising but is the government ready to take action to put your idea into life?  

We are moving forward with our work. 

Who was your Consumer profile? The Core audience?

It’s not so much an audience as it is a mindset. They have a special mindset and have certain values that align nicely with us and the idea. There are a lot of these people. They are smart people who love new experiences. 

How can the success of a nation branding project be measured? 

There are many tools we use to measure success. Basically you need to agree from the outset what KPIs you wish to measure and then set about doing your work and measuring. The most important work is done ahead of the crafting of the brand advertising or marketing communications, you really need to do your homework and understand the insights that will drive the content we need to create.  

Are there set any KPI-s and what are the homeworks that have been determined for the country before starting the content creation?

We have just started and many aspects of our work lay ahead in this fascinating and important work over many years. 

Nation branding is a challenge. In your view, what does it take to succeed?

1.Listen to what people are crying out for. With many cultural movements, leaders don’t pay attention to the restless rumblings of what people care about. So find out what they’re passionate about, what they’re talking to each other about. If you listen closely, you may detect the rumble of an idea on the rise–and it might be one you can build a movement around.

2.Invite your customers into the public square. Create platforms where people can connect and join in with your idea. Social media has made it easier to do this, but “real” gatherings are also important. Our branding is not just an advertising campaign it’s a reflection of how people really feel today around the world. 

3.Fly your banner proudly. Once you’ve decided to get behind an idea on the rise in culture or initiative, make a bold statement.  Inspire passionate individuals to take your movement to the masses.

4.Don’t fake it. People can sense whether you’re sincere about an idea or issue — or if you’re just exploiting it. You can’t lead a movement if you don’t believe in it yourself.

5.Aim for global. Your idea has the potential to catch a wave of human energy and explode across boundaries and borders, gaining momentum along the way. Don’t underestimate it.

Many nation branding consultants share the opinion that when governments are urged to improve their country’s image, they usually are not really thinking about branding, but about traditional advertising, public relations and cosmetic makeup. Is it true?

What’s most important is to build the brand with a idea that people really care about. What is relevant in people’s lives? Not marketing speak but what do they feel passionate about in their daily lives and in the lives of the people they care about.

This is about passions. This is authentic. This is a powerful idea. It’s not advertising it’s about creating culture. Capture your target’s imagination. Communication ideas that reflect culture can in fact be the most powerful business tool brands have at their disposal– not just as part of the marketing mix, but as a high leverage asset.

        Will you collaborate with local actors like marketingagencies/media experts for the implementation of your strategy? 

     We want to involve a lot of people. It’s going to be fun so please stay tuned.