The new Brand Estonia platform has been in use for the last three years. We can say with full confidence that it has been adopted well by the users and that it has helped to promote the positive image of Estonia.
The brand platform enables us to be more successful at selling our products and services, to attract more tourists, students, and talents. In addition to the economic effect, the brand also makes us more recognizable in the world, thus contributing to our national security.
As Estonia evolves, so does the system created to introduce us to the world. Our most important milestones in 2019 are creating the new digital design system, establishing the Country Promotion Workgroup, creating a database for most important facts and figures about Estonia with cited sources, and updating theconditions of use for brand.estonia.ee.
Brand Estonia has also been recognised outside Estonia. Country promotion expert Jose Filipe Torres cites Estonia in his book „Nation Brand Builders“ as only one of five countries in the world that are developing their brand in a modern way.
“Estonia is probably the case study all countries should focus on as a reference for the future of Nation Branding.”
Jose Filipe Torres
Author of Nation Brand Builders book and country promotion expoert
Since 2017, our unified visual language has been used to create over 25 web pages. Although the general brand design principles apply also to web content, we saw the need for a special guide for webpages, which would unify web designs and make them more cost-effective. We hired one of the best UI-designers in Estonia, Stefan Hiienurme, to help us with that. He mapped the best examples of web pages created using Brand Estonia. Based on his findings he put together guidelines containing the principles, design solutions and components, which enable to create web pages in accordance with our visual language. The design system is created in Figma, the collaborative design interface, which makes it easy to manage different projects and to update the system as needed. We expect the web design system to be widely adopted in 2020, it will enable significant reduction in money and time resources needed to build web pages.
Brand Estonia has been widely used by both Enterprise Estonia and many other government agencies, organisations, and companies. Still we have experienced the need for a more coordinated collaboration, exchange of information, activity planning, resource sharing, and performance measurement in the public sector.
In the summer of 2019 we met with Laura Kamras, the Director of Public Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the head of Finland Promotion Board. She shared with us her experiences with involving relevant parties and making joint decisions.
In November the Brand Estonia team gathered a Country Promotion Workgroup which included different divisions of Enterprise Estonia, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Education and Research, Archimedes Foundation, Estonian Research Council, Innove, Estonian Institute, and the city representatives of Tallinn and Tartu. We agreed on our preliminary goals and principles of co-operation, the Country Promotion Workgroup will assemble four times a year, in addition new channels of communications and a database of relevant contacts were created.
We restructured and clarified the terms and conditions of using the materials available on our web page. We kindly remind everyone that the materials available in the toolbox (brand.estonia.ee/toolbox) are meant for non-commercial use introducing Estonia to visitors from abroad or to foreign partners.
An important clarification in the document concerns using Brand Estonia in the public sector to create a new visual identity or other large-scale creative solution (for example event or campaign branding) or for public procurements, which require the use of Brand Estonia. In these cases, the Brand Estonia team should be contacted (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To further develop the service, we asked for the feedback of our users on two occasions this year. The average rating to our service in 2019 was 8,4 on a scale of ten.
Four new wordmarks were added, which introduce specific sectors:
We created videos introducing Estonian export, industry and the electronics industry. The selection of photos was supplemented with images depicting technology, e-Estonia, education, data processing, conferences and nature.
As a completely new type of content, we released four sound clips, which can be used for sound design for videos introducing Estonia or as jingles.
We also uploaded a presentation introducing Estonia as a tourist destination. The e-Estonia and Estonian business environment presentations are now a available in five more languages. In addition, new presentations were created which give an overview of sector specific messages: why create trade relationships with Estonia, why invest in Estonia, and why visit Estonia. The presentation template was also updated, with basic and advanced versions now available.
Our designers created new map and data embassy illustrations and 24 new icons.
We added wall prints to our print materials and also updated the existing materials.
For print we added our recommendations regarding paper types.
So that even place-holder texts would be on-brand, we released the Estonian ipsum generator.
And finally, all Brand Estonia colours got Estonian names, which makes referring to them easier.
The refreshed e-Estonia Briefing Centre was opened last year. The goal of the centre is to introduce and educate the global policy makers, CEOs, investors and the international media about the success story of e-Estonia. To inspire them and to connect them with leading IT companies in Estonia.
International House of Estonia completed its first year of offering its services to foreign top experts and their spouses.
The TV program “This is America & the World” visited Estonia in the summer of 2019 to film a for part series “Estonia Today”. Throughout the show our core messages are prominently communicated: digital society, clean environment, and independent minds. One of the episodes is an interview with the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid.
At the election of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council in New York, Estonia received a mandate to become a member for the 2020-2021 term. The candidacy campaign was announced in 2017 at the New York Estonian House by the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid.
The visual language of the campaign was developed by Jan Tomson (Estonian Design Team) in collaboration with the campaign team at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based on the brand Estonia visual language and materials.
The materials and applications introducing Estonia was used at more than 220 events all over the world in at least 36 different countries. Including 36 trade fairs and 22 e-residency birthday evets.
The tourism campaign #estonianway continued and the recruitment campaign Career Hunt took place.
Different materials and campaigns introducing Estonia won nine awards last year.
“The brand has been very useful for us. In our activities focused on export we always use the Brand Estonia platform and also our main promotional website – e-estoniax.com – is based on it. It is much more effective for us to use Brand Estonia; in that way we will be more recognizable on the international stage.”
ICT Cluster Manager
“For the Study in Estonia team Brand Estonia and especially the toolbox have been of great help creating marketing materials and organising events. The unified approach to country promotion helps to amplify the message and makes the campaigns and initiatives of different fields more effective. For our team the high-quality photo material and the opportunity to use different illustrations is of great help as we can quickly and easily put together campaigns as needed without using ad agency services and additional money resources. At the moment the selection of photos about higher education is very limited, but we hope it will be update with fresh content ;)”
International Brand Manager, Study in Estonia
“In 2019 the Ministry of Rural Affairs organized different promotional projects and B2B travels for the food industry. Our market development support also helps taking part in trade fairs for the food industry.
All these kinds of activities have since 2016 become more and more visible under the wordmark “taste Estonia” and the unified industry message for the food industry. We also have prepared invitations, flyers, photo walls, product catalogues, pins, etc. using the Brand Estonia design language. At the moment we are working on the “taste estonia” web page. Our main print material is already available in six languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, German, Finnish, Swedish, and French.
It is hard to put into words how valuable Brand Estonia has been to us. Actions speak louder than words: “taste estonia” is used in all our activities and also the companies in our sector acknowledge more and more the value of a unified image. The brand has been built by professionals and we have not had to build up a brand from the scratch. The toolbox provides us with a continuous resource for photos, presentations, print materials etc, if we need something we know where to look, which this also means cost-effectiveness.”
Estonian Food PR & Export Projects at Ministry of Rural Affairs