Is ‘The Way,’ a Better Way to Go?

Salomón Shamah, ATP’s Administrator. Image thanks to La Estrella de Panamá.

Another delay poised itself recently in the list of problems to deprive the country from having a brand that allows products and Panamanian services to differentiate themselves from the competition outside the borders.

After having announced 5 months ago that it would buy the slogan “Where the World Meets” from an American company for $120,000, the Government decided on another phrase “The Way.” The Inter Institutional Commission, headed by Panama’s Authority of Tourism (ATP), dismissed it because “Where the World Meets” offered Panama only  partial rights over the phrase.

Salomón Shamah, the ATP’s administrator, indicated that it would not be advisable to buy a slogan that could not be used in its entirety. The phrase “The Way” was designed by the BB & M Advertising Agency which does publicity for the Panama Canal, but now, however, it will be the Panama’s country brand.  “It is decided; the phrase is free for the taking and we are registering it,”  said Shamah.

He has given assurances that this new brand name would not cost the State anything since it was formulated from the studies done two years ago by the consultant David Lightle, who was hired to come up with a design for the country brand. The last two administrations have spent approximately $390,000 in an attempt to provide a brand for Panama without any tangible results, so far.

For those of you who are wondering what a country brand is and what it is good for, the President of the Association of Exporters of Panama, Juan Planells, explains that a country brand is a promotional tool which would allow national products to enter new markets. He pointed out that the lack of a country brand would allow other countries to take advantage of our nationally produced products such as the Mola.

According to the 2011 ranking of FutureBrand, which measured the strength of 113 country brands, Panama is in the 10th position in Latin America and 64th globally. According to FutureBrand Panama stands out as a country suitable for conducting business and for shopping.

Public opinion has tended to frown upon what is viewed as a waste of money and something that could have been left up to a more imaginative competition in a national contest.  The prize money might have gone to more worthy and more creative participants.

Source article thanks to La Prensa.

One thought on “Is ‘The Way,’ a Better Way to Go?

  1. This identity wasn’t made for dsiegners. It was made to excite and to ‘inspire a generation’. Great points in this comment. Let’s not forget who this brand is aimed at. Designers can so easily over-analyse the finer points yet forget the bigger picture.

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