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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sometimes

There was an article by Nancy Nassief-Caudeiron pointing out the madness with the vendors on the Bayfront.

The problem with the situation is that the person who is the custodian of the City of Roseau, is more interested in scoring brownie points than facing up to reality.

You have business places with vendors literally in front of their buildings and surrounding their entrances. The vendors have a right to sell their wares, but the City has also a duty to protect the business places and to also setup a proper arcade for use for selling products. The current situation serves noone. It makes the Bayfront uglier and dirtier, and the vendors are no better off for it.

That last part is the real issue. Any discussion which focusses on what the real solution would be is of course a problem. The inability to provide that solution is why Ms Massief-Caudeiron will get dragged into a mini us vs them discussion which has nothing to do with the real problem she highlighted.

So it go...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Let me lay my cards on the table.

I am speaking both personally and also as someone who runs an ad agency. I also have a stake in a realty company so I am not making these comments lightly.

It is time, IMO, for Dominica to rebrand away from the Nature Isle identity.

Over the last umpteen years, the tag has been that Dominica is a step back in time, where nature is preserved for all and sundry to enjoy.

Part of that is true. In successful marketing, when the brand has integrity, ie, where the statements which it conveys have truth behind them, and the experience matches the promise, then you have a true winner.

The issue with the Nature Isle tag is that Dominicans, through no other fault than the pure economic reality of the island, do not live to this Nature philosophy in the main.

SOme people do, but here is the truth. We have a heavy dependence on fossil fuels in our way of life. Our stance on whaling is positioned by the lobbying of the entities in the IWC, and not by a pure nature policy. The amount of junk, especially abandoned metal on the island is a tragedy. On top of that you have no recycling policies to govern our waste, and the use of non recycleable plastic bags and containers for the takeaway food business is almost endemic.

The list is as long as your arm, and you quickly get the sense of the country operating contrary to what it is branded as. The actual nature aspect is inherent in the makeup of the country, ie volcanic, green, raw in terrain, and not by any concerted strategy. As mentioned there are exceptions and Dominicans are hardy people who do love their country, but the economic reality is that we are compromised by the need for currency.

My recommendtation is that we rebrand Dominica as the island of adventure. This fits the rationale for gaining real brand equity because it is 100% true. You may eat in a styrophene container and pass a few spots with random rubbish, but the experience of moving around Dominica and going to all the sights etc is one big adventure.

Every spot has a tricky journey or a story. Every person has some story or angle on things that are happening locally. Our hiking, river and sea bathing, spas, even places where you go to eat food, all give off the feel of an ongoing adventure, where the rules are not the same as everywhere else.

This will fit Dominica perfectly, in a region full of the same tired sun sea and sand formula and with a current brand which doesnt really reflect who we are.

I hope people put their personalities aside and think about it.