Bhutan has a new brand and tagline, BHUTAN: Believe
Believe is about more than just tourism. It is about transforming the nation as a whole.
Bhutan has a new tagline: Believe.
Introduced by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), this new brand is the product of careful thought and thorough research. An international team of experts participated in the branding process. They spent a month immersed in Bhutanese culture where they visited sites, interviewed travellers, pinpointed challenges and opportunities, and conducted discovery sessions.
The previous brand was represented by the national flower, the blue poppy, paired with the tagline “Happiness Is a Place”, which was to promote the country to the outside world.
Why replace the old brand?
As the team explored the guiding principles for the rebranding, they discovered that they were really rebranding the whole nation, not just their image as a tourist destination.
Now, their intention is to rope in Bhutanese from every walk of life to live up to the spirit of the new brand. They hope to inspire every Bhutanese to believe that Bhutan can transform and reach new heights.
“Every Bhutanese has a role to play,” Dorji Dhradhul, Director General of Tourism Council Bhutan remarked in an interview with Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS). “For example, each Bhutanese has to face our challenges, starting with waste management. The country is full of trash; there are many campaigns and efforts to clean the place, but the next day, the area returns to how it was before. Something so simple as taking ownership of one’s own trash is a stepping stone towards achieving Bhutan’s aspirations.”
But first, they wish to invest in their people. As the country is a young nation where the median age is 26.5 years old, the focus is on the youth. The government plans to engage the young Bhutanese in nation-building by creating more opportunities for them.
The rationale behind the tagline “Believe”
Bhutan has been undergoing transformation, with tourism reshaping as part of the larger national metamorphosis. “Believe” is the outcome of that process.
There are five themes to the new brand:
- Believe in the future
- Believe in self
- Believe in good values
- Believe in the work
- Believe in the nation
The difference between “Believe” and the earlier tagline is authenticity. With “happiness is a place”, they suggest that when visitors come to Bhutan, they would be happy. However, the reality is that this is not really guaranteed. The concept is abstract. On the other hand, “Believe” is holistic and realistic.
Bhutan as a tourist destination
Tourism has been a lucrative industry for a long time and has contributed significantly to the nation’s GDP. Now, Bhutan hopes to rebrand its tourism industry with three new strategies:
- Enhancements to its sustainable development policies
- Infrastructure upgrades
- Elevation of the guest experience
Bhutan has always intended to adhere to its High Value, Low Volume tourism policy, but it has lost its plot over the years. Now, they return to the essence of the policy.
As such, the Bhutanese government recently raised the Sustainable Development Fees (SDF) from 65USD to 200USD. It is going to be an uphill task convincing tourists that Bhutan is worth 200USD a night. Nonetheless, Bhutan welcomes visitors who are mindful, conscious, and who wish to be a part of Bhutan’s transformation. In fact, a big part of this transformation is to enhance the visitors’ experience, hence the Kingdom hopes to attract those who appreciate that the money collected will be reinvested in the people, supporting Bhutan’s economic, social, environmental, and cultural development.
For instance, there will be infrastructure upgrades and increased efforts in sustainability projects, not to mention free healthcare and education for all.
The pandemic has caused a tectonic shift in the way people view the world. Hopefully, this has caused the public to reconsider what is truly important in life. “Please have faith in us if you are searching for a greater purpose, seeking a spiritual encounter, or prioritising values over everything else,” said Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering.
The aesthetics of the campaign
Here is a list of things we can look forward to from the designs of the campaign:
- A bold, confident logotype
- Contemporary, clear thinking
- Traditional, warm feelings
- A responsive, functional design
- A tagline that defines
Expect auspicious designs — beasts from Buddhist mythology — in bold hues. The primary colours are yellow and orange of the Bhutanese national flag, emerald green of the mountains, and blue of clear skies and the national flower, the blue poppy. Traditional motifs will also be abundant.
Bhutan has taken big strides in their expression of self. We wait in anticipation for the greatness in store for them.
Check out this e-flip book about the new Bhutan brand, manifesto, brand colour palates, and symbols of BHUTAN: Believe.