The branding of Serbia has been going through a very long series of false starts and misfires for as long as I have known about it. I was involved in an early post-transition project in 2004 and 2005, but the branding initiative was ultimately shelved because no one could address the elephant in the conference room:
What is Serbia’s brand?
There are many schools of thought and many able practitioners of “nation branding” available for people seeking to answer this question. One group thinks that national products should take the fore, associating a country with what it produces. The examples of this kind of branding are many. Italy for example could be linked with pasta, coffee, design, fashion, or ice cream. But does this capture the essence?
A glittering star dressed to look undressed and singing someone else’s songs may become a YouTube or Vine sensation overnight. She may go viral. She may have a million views and a million followers. But is she famous?
The kind of fame that is useful in personal branding is the kind that endures. It is not about getting people to look but rather it is about engaging a very wide audience consistently. Woody Allen is famous for a lot of things, but the main reason is that he has consistently delivered quality films for nearly 50 years. He gained attention early because of his talent and (it must be said) hard work. Woody Allen’s goal was not to become famous – he wanted to make films.