What are you doing, Joao?

Right now, I’m working on the latest revision of a Portuguese Destination Strategic Plan for the U.S. market. It has been a very challenging project, for which we have travelled more than 21,000 km in the U.S. (18 days). We interviewed more than 77 stakeholders and conducted intensive research in Portugal, and the U.S. as well. Simultaneously, I am also preparing some materials for Bloom Consulting ‘s Annual Executive Meeting. All of our teams from the Madrid, London, Sao Paulo and Lisbon offices will gather to take reflect on the previous year, discuss the future of the company, and define the main challenges and goals for 2020.

Describe your typical workday.

My workdays vary with the projects we have at hand. In the recent years, I have been able to participate in the development of several Country, Region and City Brand strategies, which occupies a large portion of my days. However, I also dedicate a lot of time to the production of our Bloom Consulting rankings, preparation of specialized conferences on Place Branding (like City Nation Place, where we play a role as strategic partners) and social responsibility projects. As a result, my days are packed with travelling (even if via video calls) but they are motivated by our projects and I get inspiration from our passionate team.

What do you like most about Place Branding?

What I like most in this field are the lessons we take away from the projects and its impact on communities as small as Idanha-a-Nova (who won “Place Brand of the Year Highly Commended” at the City Nation Place Global Awards) or as big as Australia. Some key takeaways include: the will to innovate, the need to anticipate problems, and maintaining humble with each project. It is also important that we keep an open mind and have pride in the positive results of our strategies.

To what extent do you consider your work to be important for Countries, Regions, and Cities?

Whether it is to attract professionals and families to live and work in a Country, Region or City, increase tourist flow to areas with untapped potential, or drive investment through strategic positioning we see the value of our work through the Place Brands we develop. In addition to the governments and institutions we work with, it is critically important to understand the impact of these strategies on local stakeholders. Most notably, we see the impact in small Regions and Cities because they share their gratitude with us and “wear the shirt” in the implementation of projects.

Which Nation or Place Brand do you appreciate the most?

Each project is different, and I was lucky enough to create great connections with all the Nation and Place Brands I have worked with. This makes it impossible for me to say that I have a favorite one. Idanha-a-Nova was my first project and it was impressive to understand the impact of the strategy, “Restart”, in this Place Brand. And in the Paraguay strategy I learned that despite adversities, a strong and cohesive Country Brand with an efficient management team can succeed.