Why Dutch Officials Want You to Forget the Country of Holland

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The government has started to rebrand the country as the Netherlands to enhance its image in the face of global competition.

AmsterdamNews.net

Part of the branding campaign includes an updated logo, a “NL” stylized to look like an orange tulip, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The logo replaces the “Holland tulip,” which was created by the tourism board 25 years ago and used to promote the country.

The central government hopes to use the new logo, which debuted in November, for 20 years, the ministry said. The new logo can be used to promote the Netherlands abroad and by cities, universities, sports organizations, companies, cultural institutions and civil society organizations, Ms. de Beer said.

“If we compare our branding to a song," Ms. de Beer said, “this basic narrative provides for the repetitive chorus, to which everyone can add on their own couplet.”

Marketing experts, however, were not convinced that the rebranding was needed.

David Corsun, the director of the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver, said on Sunday that it was always better for a brand to have a cohesive identity. But Dr. Corsun said any confusion caused by the country’s two names was probably not a major hindrance.

“My impression is that maybe more is being made of it than the results will drive,” he said. “I’m disinclined to believe that it’s going to have some earth-shattering results for them, but it seems like it’s going to have a relatively benign to somewhat beneficial outcome for them.”

Allen Adamson, a founder of the branding firm Metaforce and an adjunct professor of branding at New York University, said that the country’s new campaign was irrelevant because, for many people, the two names were interchangeable, so the rebranding wouldn’t affect their behaviors.

It’s an interesting intellectual exercise, he said, but Dutch officials are trying to solve a problem that does not exist.


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