Country Branding Study: Trinidad and Tobago

Aspire, Achieve Tagline

The National Watchwords of Trinidad and Tobago are “Discipline, Tolerance and Production.” To find out about where the watchwords came from, you can check this link. While very inspiring in and of themselves, they did not help much with coming up with a tagline, as they do not lend themselves to the awareness of the Trinidad and Tobago brand. The following is a concise rationale of how I came up with the tagline.

Tagline Rationale

Future Brand uses the following criteria for the compilation of its list and the measuring of the country brands:

Awareness, familiarity, preference, consideration, advocacy and active decisions to visit or interact with a place. But the most important factors—the aspects that truly differentiate a country brand—are its associations and attributes across five key dimensions: Value System, Quality of Life, Good for
Business, Heritage and Culture and Tourism. A strong country brand is more than the sum of its attributes: in total, it must make people’s lives better.

This got me to thinking about my own country of Trinidad and Tobago. I thought about our country’s weak points first. Then I thought about it’s strengths. Then I thought about which one of those strengths had the potential to make people’s lives better. Then I thought about which of those strengths raised the global awareness of Trinidad and Tobago. As you can see a lot of thinking was involved. One answer came back as the answer to all these questions though. Our People. No matter what strength I focused on at any given point in time, the root of that strength was the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Weather sport, academics, industry or culture. The answer came back the same people, people, people. So I decided to develop that line of thinking.

When it comes to the global awareness of Trinidad and Tobago, the reason people know we exist is because of our people. In particular our Achievers. The individuals who throughout the history of Trinidad and Tobago have risen to great achievements that put them, and by extension their country on the world stage. Weather it is be in Sport, Culture, Academics or whatever when our people achieve it as though the entire country achieves. For the global stage not only gets to meet the individual who achieved, but the entire country seems to follow with them and share in their success.

It was then that my wife and I realized something that we ourselves have experienced many times before but never really took notice of it. In November 2005, I remember an incident that was etched into my mind and remains till this day. Our National Football Team nicknamed the Soca Warriors were scheduled to play a qualifying match for the 2006 World Cup. Trinidad and Tobago had never qualified for the World Cup before and this was their last chance at doing so. I remember sitting in my office that evening, and suddenly started to hear lots of car horns honking. I wondered what had happened. I went outside the office to be greeted by a sea of people in the streets and music and celebration was in the air. The cry was the same. “We goin’ to the world cup.” It was our footballers who played the match. Dennis Lawrence scored the winning goal, but “We”, the entire country, were going to the World Cup. This is what I meant when I said, when our achievers succeed, the entire country succeeds.

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About Everard McBain

Everard is the Creative Director and CEO of GemGfx. GemGfx is a multidisciplinary design consultancy based in Trinidad and Tobago. He has been involved in the field of Graphic Design for over 14 years.

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