By Dolores Vicioso
For years, country marketers had considered changing the name of the Dominican Republic. The “republic” in the name just didn’t cut it, was the conclusion, time after time. Many have called the country, “The Dominican”, or just Dominicana. Then enter 2020, the year when anything and everything has happened and can happen.
President Luis Abinader, First Lady Raquel Arbaje and Vice President Raquel Peña, the cabinet in full and a dozen of the country’s most wealthy businesspeople, have stepped forward and done the unthinkable. The Dominican Republic is taking ownership of “republic.”
During a mega event held on 20 October 2020, the Dominican Republic’s new country brand was launched: “The Dominican Republic, the republic of republics, the Republic of the World.” The Ministry of Tourism has campaigned until now promoting the Dominican Republic “has it all,” yet there has not been a country brand to represent all sectors.
The Abinader administration inherited the country brand from the Medina government. What is new is that Abinader and his cabinet see in the tool a way of galvanizing tourism, business, industry and government to get people headed in the same direction.
Let sustainability and innovation start to flow around one single brand, says the presentation. “There is no better time to present the country brand,” said President Abinader. “Let us show together that we are much more than a country. That we are the Dominican Republic, the Republic of the World,” he said, challenging everyone to become an ambassador for the country.
Tourism Minister David Collado is named the general coordinator. The ministries of Tourism, Foreign Relations, Industry & Commerce and Culture have leadership roles in the new endeavor. Biviana Riveiro of Pro Dominicana (formerly CEI-RD) is implementing the new campaigns.
For the private sector, businesswoman Ligia Bonetti (Sociedad Industrial Dominicana) is the coordinator of the private sector.
The government explains that the country brand seeks to communicate what the country is and what it aspires to become. The creators have looked into Dominican history, culture, traditions and values. The brand stands on five pillars: tourism, culture, exports, investment, citizenry and talents. “We are a country made up of many countries,” is the conclusion. The many republics open up a whole world of possibilities.
Speaking at the event, Ligia Bonetti spoke of the country brand as “a new identity that represents all Dominicans.” She said that the image of the country is critical to how we position ourselves in the world. She called for people to put heart and soul to spread the news on who we are, what makes us attractive and unique, and what we want to project. We need to deliver a reality that is beyond people’s expectations, she said. She said the country brand seeks to motorize the pride of being Dominican.
Tourism Minister David Collado said the concerted public-private effort seeks to prepare the nation to confront challenges ahead. He recalled how the fake news media crisis in 2019 cost the country around US$500 million in tourism revenues. “To say one was Dominican became controversial,” he recalls. He said at the time, the country did not have in place who could speak for it. He says the country brand effort is now developing that team. He spoke of how tourism, industry, and government have committed to step up and speak for the country.
During the event, President Abinader said what the country aspires to be is stated the National Development Strategy Law 1-12: “A prosperous land where people can live in dignity, adhering to ethical values, participatory democracy, rule of law with equity, equal opportunities and social justice.”
He said the country brand seeks to take this theoretical clause and put it into practice. Now, with the country brand, we are turning this into state policy,” he explains.
The President said the country brand is the joint identity of the country’s mixture of cultures that represent what it means to be a Dominican. “Our strength is in our diversity,” says the President. “The footprint of our past is our tool to imprint our stamp on the world, “said the President. “
The country brand logo is based on the initials of the country “RD.” The lettering is in blue and red. The blue represents the inspiration of the continuously changing waters surrounding the country; the red, the passion that drives the Dominican people.
Watch the country brand presentation in Spanish:
Understanding the logo
Read more on the Pro Dominicana website
21 October 2020