Brand Scotland

Nation Branding


Branding a nation is as complex as it gets.

Brand Scotland’s mission was to deliver a strategy that articulates to the world why it is a top contender as a place to live, work, study, invest in, do business with, and visit.

They needed a solution that captured Scotland’s compelling and unique attributes, and expressed that in a coherent brand identity that works for diverse stakeholders across five different, and distinct pillars: living, working, studying, visiting, and doing business.


helleau® hired Dr Keith Dinnie, the world expert on Nation Branding, to adapt our discovery framework to the task. We gathered data from workshops held across Scotland with stakeholders representing each of the 5 pillars.

We then delivered our strategic brand insights report, which set out a clear, coherent set of principles for developing the future brand identity for the nation of Scotland.

What helleau® did

CORE Discovery Workshops
MITS (to analyse)
Strategic Brand Insights Report

Short and Simple®

helleau® believe in working with the best experts for the job. We saw a pivotal role in this brief for world-leading expertise on national branding, and framed a proposal for Brand Scotland which included engaging the services of Dr Keith Dinnie for the project.

We adapted our flexible discovery framework, CORE, and integrated Dr Dinnie’s ICON model to develop a series of stakeholder workshops and 1-2-1 consultations, that were fun, engaging and informative.


CORE works by capturing gut responses and feelings, and then inviting participants to review and discuss what they have expressed, using playful exercises to identify words and ideas that participants relate to and endorse. The ICON model, used to analyse our findings, proposes that best practice in nation branding is characterised by an approach that is integrated, contextualised, organic, and new.


MITS is the framework we have developed to run creative and strategic projects on. Building on our cornerstone of diagnosing before proscribing, it begins with a discovery phase:

Mining – unearths not only requirements, goals and drivers, but also, problems, concerns and obstacles.

Interrogation – where difficult questions are asked of the mined knowledge to decide what is critical, any cross overs or gaps.

Testing – ensuring answers and learnings from the prior phase are applicable, workable and yield reasonable answers.

Simplifying – taking all the prior experience, knowledge and testing to distil a pure and succinct truth.


We then delivered our strategic brand insights report, in a beautifully handbound limited edition set of books.

The report set out a clear, coherent set of principles for developing the future brand identity for the nation of Scotland, giving an overall picture of a nation we can all be proud of.

solid foundation

As we look to the development of an enduring brand identity for Scotland, it’s important that this is built on evidence, on the way Scotland feels and acts, and the way it’s people perceive it.

We brought helleau in to challenge our assumptions, to review the research already conducted and to objectively analyse the values and perceptions of a broad cross-section of stakeholders.

Throughout the process they were flexible and professional, delivering a report that acts as a solid foundation for the next steps of our journey.

Cat LeaverDirector, Brand Scotland

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