In 2002 Marksteen Adamson (when global Creative Director of Interbrand), led the original branding work for Estonia resulting in the successful ‘Welcome to Estonia’ Campaign that helped Estonia’s pitch to become part of Europe.
In 2008 Enterprise Estonia approached Marksteen and the team at ASHA to continue the work and take the project to the next level of brand engagement, not only with the external audiences but also internally in Estonia.
We began with extensive analysis and the conduction of a series of workshops, working with a mixed group of key business leaders, academics, government and tourist representatives in Estonia. The result of this was two project streams; ‘Why Estonia?’ and ‘Let’s Do It’.
Our workshops set out to discover and explore what has changed in the last six years in Estonia and to establish new and tangible projects that would help to build a more powerful brand over the next six years. One of the ideas developed from this process was to take the original positioning for Estonia ‘Positively Transforming’ and update it to ‘Positively Surprising’, which was more in line with where Estonia is today, and focused more about ‘being’ than ‘becoming’.
The ‘Let’s Do It’ publication set out to explore and identify various brand-building actions that would help to strengthen Estonia’s image, and leave a lasting and rewarding memory with both those who visit the country. It also set out to move on from the primarily outward focus of ‘Welcome to Estonia’ and build something that the Estonians could embrace internally.
The ‘Let’s do it’ document gives clear guidance and practical solutions that will enable Estonia to start ‘Doing’ rather than simply ‘Saying’. The actions, ideas and projects in the document are meant as starting points to help shape the briefs that will eventually lead to projects that can happen in Estonia, working with Estonian entrepreneurs, creatives, industry leaders and government. The document serves to inspire and excite audiences internally and externally to the wonderful world of opportunities that lie ahead for Estonia and its brand perception and reputation. This is only the beginning. Welcome to Estonia.
Despite the financial crisis of 2008 having a grave effect on Estonia, the long-term prospects for the Estonian economy remain among the most promising in Europe. In 2011, the real GDP growth in Estonia was 8.0%, and according to the projections made by the CEPII, by 2025 the GDP per capita could rise to the level of Nordic economies of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway. According to the same projections, by 2050, Estonia could become the most productive country in the EU, after Luxembourg, and thus join the top five most productive nations in the world.*
* “The Great Shift: Macroeconomic projections for the world economy at the 2050 horizon”. CEPII. February 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012