‘Scotland the brand’ must not forget its rich heritage With Tartan Week taking place in New York, there is a debate going on in Scotland about the national brand, sparked off by accusations that the US-based Scottish Fest is twee and irrelevant.
Scotland offers powerful emotive associations based on its heritage, celebrated the world over through Burns Suppers. Our brand is built on pride, passion and enterprise, and tartan, kilts, whisky and rugged landscapes should be celebrated, not derided.
However, Scotland the brand must evolve. It is important to develop our strengths in a contemporary context. Dressed to Kilt does this superbly. Another example would be an innovation like Lightweight Medical’s baby incubator. We know the power of a brand derives from a mix of function and emotion, therefore it is our heritage, culture and inventions which form the basis of Scotland the brand.
Our brand is hugely positive overseas, so it’s wise to see ourselves as others see us and not become self-absorbed in trying to change for change’s sake.
Susanna Freedman, Managing director, Tsuko, Edinburgh EH7 6AJ