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Positioning the state on the world stage, creating a state brand and skilful management of it, or the so-called branding of the country, is becoming increasingly important in today’s realities. The art of creating a positive image of the country by emphasizing its advantages, revealing various aspects of identity, as well as creative, thoughtful work aimed at leveling negative associations, objective or subjective, on their reprogramming, is a relatively new tool in the arsenal of means of implementing Ukrainian domestic and foreign policy. The result of successful branding is a certain image of the state, which includes both its past and present, and the people’s vision of their future; this is its spirit, which affects on an associative, almost subconscious level, but behind which is the Titanic purposeful work of the state. Successful branding of a country is a powerful means of influencing world public opinion. In conditions when the image of the state in the collective eyes of the world can mean both an endless flow of investment and tourists, and almost complete oblivion and rejection to the margins of civilization, purposeful work with the image of the state becomes a strategic priority.
How do we want to see Ukraine, what is its place in the world? What priority areas of development do we rely on? Are we going with the flow or driving the boat ourselves? The answer to these questions is not only given by time — it is given by us.
The brand “Ukraine” is the first large-scale project in 20 years of Ukrainian independence, which aims to develop a comprehensive strategy for positioning Ukraine abroad. It would be wrong to say that it starts “from scratch”: in two decades, the word “Ukraine” has become known in all corners of the world. They know about Ukraine. It has not been identified with the Soviet Union for a long time. However, some associations associated with Ukraine often do not correspond to reality. Moreover, they are not always beneficial to Ukraine and its citizens. The world’s knowledge of Ukraine is often superficial, episodic, and situational. Understanding this led to the development of a completely new branding strategy. Its goal is to arouse a keen interest in their state among the Ukrainians themselves and open Ukraine to the world — in a different light than it has been so far.
The strategy of positioning the state in the world has already been applied in practice by many countries and regions. When developing such a strategy for Ukraine, foreign experience was analyzed and taken into account. We paid special attention to the mentality and ethnic aspects of our identity, as well as to the economic, political, cultural, sports, tourism and other achievements of the country. We took into account the specifics that determine the unique face of Ukraine, distinguishes Ukrainian colors from all the variety of colors in the world. Forms our national “DNA”. Its essence determines the image of Ukraine today; its skillful positioning will determine the image of Ukraine tomorrow.
When working on the concept of the brand “Ukraine”, all the best things that our state lives by were carefully analyzed, researched and selected. The proposed vision of the concept is a manifestation of a set of positive impressions about Ukraine: it reproduces the most glorious pages of our history, the highest ups of the spirit, the greatest achievements of culture, science, art and sports. The brand represents Ukraine beyond the negative information background and everyday troubles, with a limitless variety of shades of our identity, with inexhaustible potential, strong and prosperous, such as each of us dreams of, and what we are ready to make it.
This brandbook is designed as a convenient travel guide. It is divided into blocks, each of which corresponds to a certain direction or stage of the strategy of positioning the Ukrainian State abroad and creating the brand “Ukraine”. A separate place in the brandbook is given to the results of a survey of foreigners regarding their perception of Ukraine, as well as conclusions and recommendations. The philosophy of the branding strategy and its key messages are described. The brandbook also includes: specially designed logo, slogan and characters-symbols of the brand; passport of standards of the brand “Ukraine”; proposals for conducting information campaigns, a set of special actions and projects aimed at improving the image of the Ukrainian State abroad.
The draft strategy for improving Ukraine’s image in the world does not exhaust the vast scope of goals that the state and its citizens must achieve. However, this project should become a directive for purposeful and thoughtful efforts in the right direction. Such a” road map “does not have clear time limits, although it does not provide for postponing”for tomorrow”. It is designed to position Ukraine on the political map of the world in a new way in the near future by implementing a whole range of political, social and cultural national programs and targeted actions. The implementation of this goal will require the involvement of not only state structures, but also non-governmental institutions, experts, professional and creative associations, public organizations, and business representatives. It is necessary to review existing ones and develop new priority national projects that will symbolize a new stage in the development of the state. It is important to understand that only consistent comprehensive work can bring significant results and, just as importantly, define a clear and understandable system for evaluating the quality of such results. This brandbook is the first step towards achieving this ambitious goal.