DES: One of the poorest South American countries, landlocked Bolivia desperately needs a powerful big brand idea to not only drive its tourism strategy but also encourage inward investments and exports.
TINA: It certainly helps when the country's first indigenous President - Evo Morales - wraps himself with a garland of coca leaves and laces his speeches with his infamous slogan: Coca Yes - Cocaine No!
DES: By snubbing the anti-coca policy of America, the world's super-national brand, Bolivia has cleverly managed to generate tons of media coverage - enough to wipe out a sizable tropical forest in its coca-growing Chapare region.
TINA: But it now needs to convert those column inches and film footage into generating inward flows of much-needed foreign currency.
DES: So how would you go about finding a big brand idea within the controversial coca category?
TINA: There needs to be a two-pronged strategy. First Bolivia must continue to promote the positive benefits of the coca plant in its natural state - its use for tiredness, pain relief, and as an appetite suppressant. A similar strategy to that used by the aloe vera and guarana producing regions of the world.
DES: It's ironic that coca was once one of the primary ingredients in the original formula of Coca-Cola - the world's No.1 product brand and a Brand America icon.
TINA: A story that Bolivia must continue to mythologise to add credibility to its category brand development.
DES: But with its South American neighbours - Columbia, Peru and Ecuador - also strongly associated with the coca plant, how can Bolivia differentiate itself?
TINA: By creating a new product brand category - let's call it Boca, shorthand for Bolivian Coca, and position it at the quality end of the market, commanding a premium price.
DES: That seems to make a lot of economic sense. But let's now talk about the second part of your two-pronged plan.
TINA: Well, we know that many Bolivians use Boca for extra energy, but it's the altitude sickness for which Boca is the perfect preventative remedy.
DES: I can see where you're going with this.
TINA: Bolivia is home to the world's highest capital city - La Paz - and the world's highest golf course, as well as the world's highest ski resort, not forgetting the world's highest commercial airport (See Footnote).
DES: So every self-respecting independent traveller, or golfer or skier, just has to have the bragging rights to the tallest stories on earth.
TINA: From Tibet: the Roof of the World, welcome to Bolivia: the Penthouse of the World - complete with tee-to-putting greens, powder piste and airstrip.
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"Position your brand against the brand leader in your category and you're off to a flying start."
The world's highest hotel is the Hotel Everest in Nepal located at an altitude of 12,729 ft. But work is scheduled to start next summer at Zermatt in Switzerland to build an hotel, entertainment and conference complex at over 13,100ft.