Week 5

Meeting with Robert Kitt and Kristi Roots from Swedbank.

Things are moving along nicely. We are defining values that are important to Estonia and have taken another step closer to getting our main messages just right. The digital service has been given a more specific form and we will have final wireframes next week. And best of all — photographer Renee Altrov has joined the Estonian Design Team to create a worthy photographic language for Estonia.

This week, we continued to carry out meetings that help us better understand the starting points of Estonia as a brand.

  • August 29. The e-Channels team of EAS. More than 20 different web pages have information concerning various fields of EAS on them. We discussed how to link the EDT’s work with managing and updating these pages, and mapped ways in which information could be presented in a more comprehensive way.
  • August 30. Anna Piperal (e-Estonia Showroom). Showroom is one of the most widely used introductory units of Estonia: last year it was visited by 500 delegations and there have been even more visitors this year, not to mention the numerous presentations abroad. The meeting gave us valuable information on how the Showroom team introduces Estonia, what usually works and what does not, what kind of additional tools they would like to have.
  • August 30. Kaspar Korjus, Katre Kasmel (e-Residency team).This time we talked primarily about the concerns of e-society. It became evident that the digital foundation of Estonia is strong even when compared to other successful e-societies, but there are some shortcomings in the topmost layer, i.e. when it comes to user comfort.
  • August 31. Statistics Estonia. The discussion focused on how we could use statistics concerning Estonia. We will have to wait a bit with automatic interfacing as Statistics Estonia is currently working on their user interface. So far Statistics Estonia has helped us with good advice and their people.
  • September 1. Linnar Viik. An interesting idea was highlighted during the discussion on technological developments, namely that start-ups do not have a nationality, as the cultural background of a person is far more important here than the image of a country. Our people have a big advantage here — their flexibility.
“Successful societies are those where you have to do something in a novel way every day.” — Linnar Viik
  • September 2. Discussion on the terms of reference for the study regarding Estonia’s image and reputation.
  • September 2. Robert Kitt and Kristi Roost (Swedbank). We opened a comparison with Latvia and Lithuania (something that is very characteristic to Estonia and Estonians). Among other things it became apparent that our business culture includes a lot less bureaucracy than that of our southern neighbours. In addition, we assumed that we know how to make limitations work in our favour — our entrepreneurs are forced close together, we do not have mineral resources, but we do have niche economy, speed and flexibility.

Where are we in the process right now?

We have received valuable feedback from our readers as well. For example, someone was curious as to how we came up with the key words for the figures included in the summary of week 3.

In brand creation, it is extremely important to not just provide excellent graphic work, but to understand the core of the brand and word its values and message in a suitable way. To this end, we have met and talked to various opinion leaders, studies the work of the previous EAS brand team, including 100 interviews and the results of 9 workshops. We have used various frameworks to systematize the most important key words. For example, in the case of the image that brought about the aforementioned question, we analysed values related to Estonia on two axes: a person vs territory and internal vs external. And what did we find? We are much more critical towards our people than others, because from the outside we tend to appear innovative, courageous, trustworthy, flexible and solution-oriented. Things are the other way around on the country axis — we value the beauty and clean environment of Estonia highly, whereas Estonia can often seem cold and far away when observed from the outside.

This is one potential description of the current situation. By now, we are more deeply committed to looking into the future and have conceptualised what is meaningful and unique to us — in terms of people, territory and society. We will continue working on this vital aspect in the coming week as well, in order to reach a clear understanding about what our message is. What is important to say when speaking of Estonia? Where do we want Estonia to head? Which words characterise us the best? How can we come together to achieve a greater impact?

Development of a digital environment is conducted in parallel to working on the messages. Our current working version is an approach in which different tools, for example, facts, pictures, logos and graphics depend on context. A great example here might be the tourism sector or foreign investors, Latvia and Japan — messages and necessary tools most certainly depend on both the sector and the target country. We will definitely ask initial feedback from different user groups. We will share that environment here as well, as soon as it has enough strength and content.

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