FIKA, or why coffee is king in Digital Nation Branding
Real-time communications and transparency aspects of social media put tougher demands on brand owners to actually ”walk the talk” of their messaging. Long gone are the times when you could get away with slick advertising and nicely packaged content without delivering on the brand values you are trying to communicate. A key question is how do you create relevant and authentic communications and content that builds trust in your brand in a digital and complex reality where people in general trust strangers more than the brand owners? And do you actually have any control over your brands and messages with the transparency the social media offers? This enlarges the "field of communication and content marketing" to also include how brand owners deliver on the whole range of things such as product function, design, delivery, customer service, CSR policies etc. This also should mean that communications naturally should take a centre stage at every management board in the future. But does it?
These questions are just as relevant for countries and country brands competing for attention in the global arena. Sweden's official communications channel on Twitter ‘Curators of Sweden’- @Sweden, is an example of a communications initiative within nation branding, that is built on the concept of activating brand values in practice, and at the same incorporating the knowledge that people trust strangers more than brand owners. Going from story-telling to "story-doing", it marks an important shift in the communication activities of Sweden and might serve as an example for other brands as well how they could let go of full control of their communication in order to gain trust.
And what is that thing with FIKA? Come to Frankfurt, and you will learn.
Frida Roberts, Swedish Institute