Kalea Group is a consultancy specialized in the Spain Brand (Marca España). Therefore, today we chat with our CEO, Fran González, about the opportunities of the Spain Brand for the world, a seal of unparalleled quality of history, culture, and very soon, innovation.
Question: What is the Spain Brand for you?
Fran González: The Spain Brand is culture, history, gastronomy, sport, quality of life, happiness… It may sound like a cliché, or you might think that the same could be said of many countries, but there is one fact that gives me the reason: In 2019, before the Pandemic, Spain was the second country in the world that received the most foreign tourists (83 million), already very close to France, which is the first. The current figures invite us to think that it is recovering.
The Spain Brand is history and culture, and I am convinced that very soon it will also be synonymous with innovation. All this makes our country a unique place, which means that more and more people are interested in knowing a lifestyle admired by everyone.
Why does Kalea Group promote the Spain Brand?
Not only the fact of being Spanish makes us promote the Spain Brand. We do it because we believe in what it represents and we feel identified. We have Kalea Group team members in different countries who agree with this thinking and philosophy.
What opportunities does the Spain Brand have for Kalea Group?
Just naming the Spain Brand already generates expectation. We have an inexhaustible list of ambassadors of incalculable value and level: Cervantes, Gaudí, Ferrán Adriá, Dabiz Muñoz, José Andrés, Rafa Nadal, Pau Gasol, Alejandro Sanz, Rosalía, Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz…
In addition, we have been able to give value to our history by maintaining our folklore and tradition, through internationally recognized festivals such as the April Fair, Holy Week, San Fermines, etc.
We are aware that there is a lot of work to be done, a lot of market in which to penetrate and settle. Above all, we want to promote other Spain Brand sectors that must have their leading role at a time when innovation, research, and the energy transition are so necessary. Spanish scientists are at the forefront of research on important diseases that in a few years will bear fruit if they are given the necessary financial support. The same happens with the implementation of renewables in our territory: highly qualified engineers, a unique geographical location, climatic richness… Spain has everything to become a benchmark as an innovative and sustainable country.
What does Kalea Group do for the Spain Brand?
At Kalea we know the potential of the Spain Brand and we analyze the best way to reach the target country. We understand that knowing the Spain Brand is as important as knowing the country where you want to penetrate, since neither the strategies nor the interests are the same in all countries. In addition to the linguistic or cultural barriers that may exist, we must bear in mind that we can find sectors with many limitations depending on the country’s regulations. For this reason, prior work is important: knowing where we want to go and what we want to do in order to later draw up a development plan, always looking at the long term.
Why do you think that in China the Spain Brand attracts so much?
In the almost 10 years that we have been in China, we have seen that culturally we have many things in which we are similar, and that generates confidence in the Chinese businessman, manager or political representative, as we have been able to verify in our relations with different sectors of the Asian giant.
Before Spain was not seen as a modern and technologically leading country, but that has now changed. Spain is the first car manufacturer in Europe and tenth in the world, for example. And in the coming years it will become the European headquarters for many multinational technology companies, thanks to the talent, training and creativity of our workers.
Likewise, in China they admire that Spain is a country rich in culture, gastronomy, good weather, very safe… As they say, in such a small area there is great diversity that makes us privileged.
This passion of China for Spain has been proven by Kalea Sport & Entertainment in the world of sports…
Indeed. In 2019 we held the Ningbo International Tournament there, a tournament that undoubtedly served the Spanish National Team to become World Champion in China days later, and for the Chinese to feel a special connection with our national team.
Now, its viewers enjoy the entire acb, thanks to our agreement with the Spanish league and Bilibili. And soon academies of this same brand will open in a country, China, in which basketball is the number one sport, but which looks with great interest at the development of Spanish training that has made us a world power in this sport.
Let us not forget that when the Chinese Government established the plan for the development and promotion of football in the country, we were pioneers, both in training in China by sending Spanish coaches there, and in training in Spain bringing young Chinese talents to train in teams Spanish professionals.
What can the Spain Brand bring to the world?
Our country ranks 11th out of 100 in the ranking of the most valued country-brands, according to the Brand Finance Nations 2019, climbing 6 positions with respect to the previous assessment. This indicates that we are increasingly better positioned and better valued, thanks to everything we are.
We have great companies developing business all over the world, being praised and respected. We are becoming the technological and financial center of Europe, to the detriment of the United Kingdom, which is seen as a great business opportunity for foreign investors. In addition to the world-renowned Spanish cultural heritage, we enjoy gastronomic prestige because we are one of the countries with the most Michelin stars. In Spain, several of the best sports competitions in the world are held, which are a benchmark and a model to “copy” for the rest of the countries. Our lifestyle makes us one of the countries with the highest life expectancy… And so on, a long etcetera.
Is the Spain Brand fashionable?
Well I don’t know if it’s a fad. What I do know is that the time has come to get rid of complexes and be aware of the true potential we have, of which we should feel proud and share it with the rest of the world.
Before Spain was sold as a place of “sun and beach”. Now it is much more, and even that part, that of “sun and beach” tourism, has been renewed: it is now a professionalized sector with quality standards much higher than those of many countries. As we have said before, we cannot forget that we are at the forefront in niches such as renewable energy, science, sustainability, gastronomy, etc. The Spain Brand is a seal of unrivaled quality.