LOS ANGELES - Now that Cyprus is in financial difficulty re-branding the holiday destination will not only help the island’s image abroad but will also serve as a catalyst for renewed optimism.
This is what Christos Joannides, a Los Angeles-based American-Cypriot who founded luxury branding agency Flat 6 Concepts, said yesterday.
“I know the power of branding - especially for a country. I have seen the current work and it’s not cutting it,” said Joannides.
“Cyprus is my birthplace after all, and I do want it to thrive and I do believe the Cyprus Tourism Organisation needs a direction by someone who has nothing but the future success of the country at heart. No politics, no nepotism. Just renewed optimism. That’s why,” he added.
Joannides has taken the initiative to create a case study on a complete re-branding effort for Cyprus and its image.
All facets of visual communication are being addressed - from the logo, to a new tagline to marketing campaigns, advertising and online presence.
The 1972-born artist from Nicosia is approaching it much like an Olympic host city - with the introduction of officially licensed products from hats to towels, to bags, to umbrellas, mugs, water bottles all bearing the new branding. And hopefully bringing much needed revenue.
“I feel it’s time for Cyprus to experience its own renaissance” said Joannides who believes the island suffers from “Chartered Packaged Flight Syndrome”.
“That’s where a northern European visitor can buy a ticket with everything included - airfare, accommodation, food, rental car all for one low rate - for a few hundred euros,” he explained.
That works in countries where they have a healthy mix of visitors from both the higher and lower end of the pricing spectrum, he said.
He argued that Cyprus is heavily geared toward the lower end and that is where the point of diminishing returns sets in.
“But if one’s strategy is resorting to being the cheapest, they become vulnerable to anyone that decides to cut their rate. And then what?
“I believe with a new symbol and logo that has authentic meaning and essence, the country will slowly regain its footing in the tourist industry as a sophisticated tourist destination and not a cheap alternative,” he added.
And that, he noted, in turn will help Cypriots see that the future does have a bright light in the end of all of this.