Saving the Italy brand
27 April 2020 | Written by La redazione
Twelfth episode of "20 minutes from the future" with Martin Lindstrom, author and founder of the Board of Buyology Inc., a world leader in brand and culture transformation. The Times magazine put him on the list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
For the twelfth episode of “20 minutes from the future”, the first held in English, we had the honor of having a special guest: Martin Lindstrom. Essayist and founder of the Board of Buyology Inc., a world leader in brand and culture transformation. The Times magazine put him on the list of the 100 most influential people in the world. With him, together with Cristina Pozzi and Andrea Dusi, respectively CEO and president of Impactscool, we explored the world of marketing, brand reputation and the great challenges that Italy will face due to the health emergency of the new coronavirus.
Saving the Italy brand. One of the sectors that perhaps will suffer the most during and following the coronavirus emergency is tourism. In Italy about 12% of GDP comes from the flows of foreign tourists who visit our country. With the Covid-19 the Italian brand is at risk and it is not easy to predict how long the sector will remain blocked. The risk is that our country will see its name linked to the ongoing pandemic, having been the first, outside of China, to face internal hearths.
A matter of fear. Lindstrom immediately wanted to mark an important difference that underlies the discussion on how to restart Italy after the coronavirus. That between reality and perception: “there is reality and there is perception, and it is on the latter that we must concentrate because we know that today perception is stronger than reality”. Or to put it more concisely “perception becomes reality”. It is from here that we have to start to bring Italy out of the current crisis, and for Lindstrom there are two key points to stress: “Italy is perceived as infected by Covid-19 and the problem is that – explains Lindstrom – this feeds the our fears. Now these are located in an area of the brain called the Amygdala, the center of fear, capable of towering over anything in our mind. This means that no matter what I can say about rational, you will not listen to me and you will remain strongly anchored in what fear tells you to believe in an absolutely irrational way “.
The somatic markers. It is not only the fear of disease that makes us unreasonable and guides our choices and our ability to make decisions but also a second element called “somatic marker”. Hypothesized by the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, a somatic marker is the strong association of a sensation or an event with an emotion: “events so dramatic as to be branded in focus in our brain, remaining stuck there for life. They can only be eliminated with an opposite somatic marker, something equally dramatic, incisive, capable of neutralizing bad memory “.
Lindstrom’s suggestion is to take advantage of celebrities’ ability to lead public opinion, such as “George Clooney, Ophra Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres. It would be necessary to bring all those American celebrities and television presenters to Italy to show their audience how beautiful and safe Italy is “, in addition, to turn the somatic marker upside down it will be necessary to create events that” do the opposite of what Covid-19 is doing, therefore celebrating life, the sense of belonging but also a new lifestyle ”.