DES: According to the Indonesia-based Bedrock Asia branding agency, when you ask non-Indonesians - Americans and Europeans - 'Where is Indonesia?' and 'Where is Bali?', the answers may somewhat be surprising: 'Bali is an island/country near Australia and Singapore'. Also, 'Bali is not in Indonesia'.
TINA: While Brand Bali is well-positioned and narrowly-focused as a leisure destination and is considered Indonesia's leading resort, Brand Indonesia, itself, sadly, remains unfocused - one of the primary reasons why its tourism numbers lag way behind its Asian neighbours such as Singapore and Thailand. (See Footnote: Algarve and Portugal).
DES: While the Jakarta and Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, have all contributed to shrinking visitor numbers, Brand Indonesia needs a powerful future-focused big brand idea - a narrowly-focused cultural concept - to kick-start its journey towards the top five Asian destination brand table.
TINA: And using superlative adjectives such as 'Incredible India' and 'Surprising Romania' is a non-starter.
DES: Tina, let's drill down into some of Indonesia's key strengths which might unearth some big cultural ideas.
TINA: As the world's largest archipelago - some 17,000 islands - Indonesia is blessed with a plethora of cultural diversity, offering cultural conflicts, contradictions and tensions - a rich minefield of potential big brand ideas.
DES: In fact, Indonesia is also the world's largest Muslim state with cultural tensions not just between Christians and Hindus, but also between 'moderate' Muslims and 'extreme' Muslims.
TINA: Brand Indonesia would do well to re-visit our creative conversation on branding the Czech Republic if it is to make its slogan 'Unity in Diversity' an economic and social reality - throughout the world.
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"Trying to build a destination brand using superlative adjectives is like trying to put up an advertising poster without glue."
Algarve and Portugal
The Algarve region, by narrowly focusing on its golf resorts, has now become a bigger brand than unfocused Portugal - the country it's located in.