Since 2012, Filipe Roquette has been a key figure for Bloom Consulting. Not only is he a Nation and Place Branding specialist, but his extensive business background has contributed to the company’s growth and development. Additionally, Filipe’s creative and global expertise as well as his profound knowledge of AI have brought diverse ideas and opportunities to our team.

Professionally, Filipe is passionate and a great leader; personally, he is charismatic and enthusiastic. In this interview, Filipe dives deeper into his experience as a Nation and Place Branding expert, while also exploring a bit more about his personal life and how he transitioned from working in the architecture industry to becoming a partner at Bloom Consulting.

If your family asked you what you do at work, how would you explain Nation and Place Branding to them in simple terms?

It’s never an easy answer… but this is how I try to do it:

Just as every person has a unique personality and qualities that differentiate them from others, the same goes for places such as cities or countries. My job is just about that, bringing out and showcasing their uniqueness and defining qualities to the world.

By doing this, a specific place can attract more tourists, convince more companies to set up there, and get new people to come and start their life there. This makes the place more vibrant and dynamic, contributes to the local economy, and improves the lives of local people.

So, my job as a Place Brand Consultant is to help places grow and evolve, making them more attractive to investors, tourists, and residents by developing a strong and positive Brand. But more importantly, creating a bigger sense of pride and belonging for the local population and facilitating a discernible impact on the local economy.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started your career in Nation and Place Branding?

Sure, I started my professional career when I was still in university. At the time, I greatly marvelled at the wonders of CGI and 3D. Before I knew it, I had started my first company; it was a 3D visualisation company through which I had the chance to collaborate with some of the most renowned architects in the world, visualizing and developing remarkable solutions for places.

Afterwards, I started some other companies, including advertising content creation, game development, among others. Managing these companies and their teams allowed me to develop various skills and helped me achieve a deep understanding of the power of communication and the ability to create compelling narratives.

One day (more than 15 years ago), I met José Filipe Torres, and I started to get acquainted with Nation and Place Branding. It was through our discussions that I was completely drawn to it, especially the way in which we can impact and change a place and truly have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Back then, I realized that I could use my skills and experience to help places grow and evolve and realized that Place Branding was a great way to do just that.

It has been more than a decade since José extended the invitation for me to join Bloom Consulting, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and adapt my skills to the dynamic fields of Place Branding and Placemaking. Collaborating with José and the rest of the brilliant team at Bloom Consulting has been an exceptional experience, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of such a pioneering and forward-thinking company.

Today, Place Branding is my life, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Managing Partner and Nation and Place Branding director at Bloom Consulting?

As a partner at Bloom Consulting, there are several aspects that I particularly like. Firstly, the opportunity to work alongside such a talented team has been priceless. Collaborating with people who constantly push the boundaries has helped me to expand my knowledge and grow in the field of Place Branding. Additionally, being part of such a pioneering company has challenged me to be even more innovative and creative in my work.

I have to mention that I really love the way our work makes a real impact on the world, helping places to reach their full potential and creating a better future for the people who live there.

Finally, I appreciate the sense of responsibility that comes with the partner role. It’s rewarding to contribute to the company’s success and to be part of a team that is so dedicated to making a positive impact.

How do you ensure that your team members (or yourself) remain motivated and enthusiastic about their (your) work?

Motivation is essential for any team to succeed, especially in the demanding field of Nation and Place Branding. Although here at Bloom Consulting it is impossible not to get excited about the incredible projects we always have in hand or the global studies we carry out, we feel it is essential to ensure that our team members remain motivated about their work by fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning.

One way we achieve this is by encouraging team members to take ownership of their projects and tasks, giving them the freedom to explore new ideas and solutions. Additionally, we promote cross-functional collaboration, allowing team members from different departments to work together on projects and share their expertise.

We also prioritize ongoing learning and development by attending conferences, workshops, and training sessions. This not only helps the team stay up to date with the latest industry trends and best practices, but also keeps them engaged and motivated.

Finally, we make sure to recognize and celebrate the successes of our team members, both big and small, to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Only then we can deliver the best results to our clients.

Can you share with us your most memorable project or experience while working at Bloom Consulting?

One of my most memorable projects at Bloom Consulting has to be the Idanha-a-Nova Place Brand Strategy. This project was particularly significant because it demonstrated that even the smallest place can successfully create a strong Place Brand. Idanha-a-Nova is a rural town with a population of just 8,000 people, which had been facing a population decline for the past 50 years.

Through our Place Branding efforts, we were able to help Idanha-a-Nova reverse its population decline and start growing again. The town became more attractive to both businesses and residents, leading to an influx of talent and investment. It was incredible to see the positive impact that our work had on this community over the last 10 years.

The success of this project was recognized by the City Nation Place awards in London, where it received an honorable mention. This was a tremendous achievement for our team and further validated the effectiveness of our approach to Place Branding.

Overall, this project has left a lasting impression on me and is a testament to the power of Place Branding to transform even the smallest of communities.

Which City Brand or Country Brand would you love to work with in the future, and why?

As you can understand, I would love to contribute to the development of my Nation Brand, Portugal, and help to establish it as an even more attractive place to live, visit, and invest in. While Portugal is generally perceived positively by tourists and investors, I still think that it has a long way to go in terms of a Nation Brand Strategy that fully showcases the country’s unique features and advantages.

One of the main challenges that Portugal faces is the issue of over-tourism, particularly in urban destinations like Lisbon or Porto. This has resulted in a lack of balance between tourism and the needs of residents, leading to difficulties in finding affordable housing in major cities. Consequently, developing a sustainable tourism strategy that balances the needs of visitors and residents is a critical task for place branding experts.

I believe we could make a significant contribution to shaping Portugal’s Nation Brand Strategy. By leveraging our expertise, creativity, and local knowledge, I would love to help Portugal establish a clear and compelling brand that showcases its unique culture, natural beauty, and welcoming people.

Working with the Portugal Nation Brand would be an exciting challenge for me.

How do you balance the need for creativity with the need for practicality in Nation and Place Branding?

Balancing creativity with practicality is a crucial aspect of Nation and Place Branding. On one hand, creativity is essential for creating a distinctive and memorable brand that stands out in a crowded marketplace. On the other hand, practicality is crucial to ensure that the brand can be implemented effectively and sustainably over time.

To strike a balance between creativity and practicality, Nation and Place Branding professionals should start by understanding the specific needs and goals of their clients or destinations. They should then work to develop creative concepts and ideas that align with those needs while also being practical and feasible.

It’s also essential to involve stakeholders in the branding process, including local residents, businesses, and government officials. By gathering input from a variety of perspectives, Nation and Place Branding professionals can ensure that their creative concepts are grounded in the practical realities of the place they are branding.

Finally, it’s essential to continually evaluate and refine the branding strategy over time. By measuring the effectiveness of the brand and making adjustments as necessary, Nation and Place Branding professionals can ensure that the brand remains both creative and practical over the long term.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work, and how do you balance your personal and professional life?

I place a great deal of importance on achieving a healthy work-life balance, and this means that I make a conscious effort to pursue hobbies and interests outside of work. Spending quality time with my family is always a top priority for me, whether we’re exploring the outdoors or simply enjoying a quiet night watching a movie. Being there for them whenever they need me is crucial.

In my free time, I love to paint and photograph, hobbies that allows me to unwind and express myself. I’m always looking to learn new things and challenge myself, so I enjoy taking on new projects or learning new skills whenever I can.

Sailing is another activity that I find particularly enjoyable. There’s something truly exhilarating about being out on the open ocean and seeing destinations from a different perspective. Overall, I believe that pursuing these interests and activities is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and staying energized and inspired in both my personal and professional life.