What are you doing, Malcolm?

I’m currently contributing to the latest nation brand strategies of Bloom Consulting, but more specifically I’m covering exporting and inward investment. Recently, I worked on Bloom Consulting’s proposals for a Nation Brand strategy for a country in the Middle East and a major real estate development in Lisbon, Portugal. 

Describe your typical workday.

Typically, my days as President of Bloom Consulting consist of different kinds of work. I contribute to existing contracts and recent proposals, while holding conversations with fellow senior partners on managing the business. Moreover, I reserve a part of my day for developing ideas and drafting new articles for our Bloom Consulting Journal and often share my thoughts on Twitter to alert followers about good practices and the latest innovations in Nation and Place Branding. Lately, I’ve been developing ideas for my new blog on The Place Brand Observer on the importance of Nation and Place Brands to adopt policies, measures and actions to mitigate the impact of the climate emergency.

What do you like most about Place Branding?

What I like most about working as a Nation and Place Brand Strategist is the opportunity to positively support communities, businesses, organisations and governments to help people in different countries, regions, cities and towns to clarify what’s important about their place. By knowing what Nation or Place Brands have to offer and what it means for those who live, work and study there, as well as the rest of the world, we can recommend the best way to improve that offer and strengthen the Nation or Place Brand. In doing so, I have learned that I can build my knowledge of the field with every project and assignment – how to improve our offer as a company and deepen my understanding of this great undertaking, Nation and Place Branding.

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

Nation and Place Branding is very much so a specialist and young field of consulting that is focused on places which I’ve helped to develop since 2002. As a Nation and Place Brand Strategist I help places to obtain clarity on what I term as “their future purpose”. This means that I provide guidance in terms of how a place can improve their offer for its citizens, businesses and organisations (and collectively for the rest of the world) and what kind of place they would like to become in the future. So, I believe that what I do is important and worthwhile, it’s my current “calling” and vocation, not just a job.

Which Nation or Place Brand do you appreciate the most?

For me, it is Essential Costa Rica. It has led the way in terms of the Nation Branding practice by developing and implementing a “complete country” approach to its Nation Brand strategy through the proactive involvement of its citizens, communities, businesses, organisations, institutions and its national, regional and local governments. I also like that the country has recognised the need to go beyond an agreed and comprehensive brand strategy to further tackle detailed planning of its implementation; who would implement it, how it would be financed, managed and evaluated on its country impact and international reputation. Essential Costa Rica was duly recognised for its tremendous work in November 2019, being crowned Place Brand of the Year at the City Nation Place Global event in London. I should, however, come clean about this choice because in a small way I contributed to the country’s thinking about its brand development and likewise, I learned a great deal myself on how to successfully get a brand implemented. So, “Mil Gracias” Costa Rica, Daniel Valverde and colleagues for this opportunity.