Dalmatia – beautiful region of lazy people
During the past few months I have come to believe that Dalmatia is mostly perceived as written above – beautiful region of lazy people. There isn’t any official research to prove this, however it is my firm opinion that if you conducted one today, this is exactly what it would show.
It almost seems to me that laziness has become one of the strongest associations when it comes to Dalmatia. Right beside the sea, the sun, the smell of pines and local music. Slowly but steadily it has grown from an internal national joke into a wide spread perception.
Laziness aside, it is very unfortunate that Dalmatia hasn’t developed any distinctive brand idea that would be accepted first internally and then communicated to the outside. Some attempts have been made, but they were implemented rather inconsistently.
In 2011 a brand strategy for Splitsko-Dalmatinska County was developed, positioning it as a “perfect place for living and work, with moderate hedonism as the everyday way of living”. The image of drywall was chosen as the main visual symbol because of its associations on the Adriatic region, olive and wine growing tradition as well as hard work and patience.
Couple of years back, in 2008, another visual identity and slogan were developed, this time for Splitsko-Dalmatinska County Tourist Board. The logo shows Dalmatian coastline in the shape of a fingertip and it is used, together with the slogan “The heart of Adriatic”, on most of the tourist board materials.
When it comes to branding, consistency is everything. Right along with uniqueness and differentiation. There can be various target groups (locals, tourists, investors…) and various campaigns but there should only be one brand story and one brand identity. The brand story should than be told through all the institutions and all the channels. And although I admire both attempts mentioned above, I believe that they didn’t entirely catch the true Dalmatian spirit and narrated the wholesome Dalmatian story.
The story I wish to hear about Dalmatia includes passion and energy, sounds and scents, colors and contrasts. It is cynical, yet warm and hearty. It is hard working yet relaxed and easy-going, certainly not lazy. It’s rich in cultural heritage and even richer in sincere emotion. It is loud, vibrant, colorful, and dynamic. It can be found in the faces of older generations but at the same time it is full of bright young people and creative potential. It sparks innovation and welcomes the future. It is right as it should be, and at the same time in the exact opposite of everything else.
Dalmatia is long over due when it comes to positioning itself consistently on the world’s scene. And the best thing to prove everyone wrong about laziness is to start working on it today.