Travel Agent was on the scene at a February 27 press conference showcasing Costa Rica's new country brand, "essential Costa Rica."
The new country brand, which has been in development for five years, goes beyond traditional destination marketing by pooling marketing resources for multiple sectors, including travel and tourism, economic investment and business, under a single brand umbrella. The Costa Rica Tourism Board showed off the new brand to the North American market at the New York Times Travel Show.
The brand includes a new logo in shades of green, meant to express the country's reputation for biodiversity, with a bold yet casual font meant to convey the Costa Rican people's friendly and open disposition as well as the strength and stability of its political institutions.
The brand was developed in four phases, including a research study analyzing the image of Costa Rica within the market; an analytical study on how the country matches up against its competitors; and development of multiple branding options and focus group studies to determine the most favored brand.
The $650,000 brand was developed via a collaboration between the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (CIT), Costa Rica's Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX) and the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER).
The brand and new logo design were conceptualized by Future Brand. Replacing the former tagline of “No Artificial Ingredients,” “essential Costa Rica” was first introduced to an international audience during primetime commercial spots airing during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. The new logo will appear on labels and tags on all of Costa Rica’s tourism related marketing materials as well as many of Costa Rica’s top exports.