With a population of just over 1.3 million people, boasting one of the most tech-savvy societies in the world, this small country – at the meeting point of the Baltics, Nordics, Europe and the East – has always punched above its weight. From its rocky beaches and ancient forests to its thriving capital, Estonia merits a place on anyone’s bucket list. With all of this at its disposal, Visit Estonia came to us keen to refocus the way it promoted travel to the country.
Visit Estonia’s mission to encourage visitors by promoting specific destinations kept coming up against the same challenges. People hadn’t heard of them. Many people were unable to place Estonia on a map let alone the places within it. Upon seeing our work for the European Travel Commission, developing the Experience Europe → brand, Visit Estonia knew it needed a similar rethink if it was to turn the tide in its favour.
Following our in-depth audit, where we gathered findings from border surveys and feedback from international markets, we were able to form the basis of our strategic storytelling for Estonia and position it as an experience-first destination.
Our brand strategy was informed by three distinct passion points, providing a tighter focus on what an experience-led approach for Estonia would look like:
Nature: Inspiring experiences and stories framed around human and nature-powered journeys that connect with the outdoors, the local culture, food, and people within rural communities.
Culture: From a quick cultural fix to a voyage of personal discovery, these inspiring experiences and stories are framed around the local cultural scene and lifestyle.
Food: Experiences based around local ingredients, flavours, and dishes. Connecting travellers with a shared passion for food.
It was crucial our strategy worked across each passion point. Through brand workshops with both key markets and local business people within each area, we were able to uncover the commonalities, leveraging the experiences to be dialled up and down depending on the traveller’s interest.
From the long summer nights and the magical fifth season that sits between winter and spring to its fusion of old and new, what became clear was Estonia’s ability to flex both space and time. Speaking to free independent travellers – our key target – it’s not about being fast or slow, it’s about the time Estonia affords you. Whether that’s a weekend spent eating, drinking, and soaking up Tallinn’s buzz, or canoeing along melt waters through centuries-old forests.
With this in mind we crafted Estonia’s story, delivering the following for each passion point:
Manifesto: Capturing the emotional power of each passion and the experiences on offer, speaking directly to the audience profile. Emphasising what makes Estonia unique.
Tone of voice guidelines: Providing a library of guidance on how each passion point should speak to its audiences.
Creative headlines: Delivering a suite of creative messages, showcasing the tone of voice, for use in both present and future campaigns.
Going forward, we will work with Visit Estonia, encouraging every Estonian resident to embrace the harmonised strategy and narrative – from state agencies and representatives to regular citizens – so that everyone understands, loves, and becomes an advocate for Estonia’s new unique vision as a tourist destination.