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BeIT: Di Maio launches extra-ordinary “nation branding” campaign

BeIT: Di Maio launches extra-ordinary “nation branding” campaign
The Italian foreign minister presented a two-phase promotion campaign for Italian export, as the sector rises to record-breaking heights

“Italy is simply extraordinary.” The tagline and core message of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ new pro-export extra-ordinary campaign, carried out in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency, the institutional agency for foreign promotion and the internationalisation of Italian companies.

The project, dubbed beIT, was presented on Monday by Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. It essentially consists in a massive promotion plan for Italy’s industrial and creative excellencies. “We do this through the six values that set us apart,” he quipped; “creativity, passion, heritage, innovation, style and diversity.”

“BeIT is the first ‘nation branding’ campaign ever realised in Italy” continued the minister, adding that it hinges on a new, never-seen-before approach. The campaign is aimed at “who looks from the outside and still doesn’t know us, or knows us superficially” and geared towards allowing them to “understand who we are” as well as “what we produce and what we can do”.

Other than promoting Italy-as-a-brand, beIT will support the internationalisation of the supply chains of the country’s production systems, as well as aid to expand and diversify the foreign markets of reference for small and medium-sized Italian companies.

The operation, which just launched, will carry on until in August 2022 across the digital realm – social media, original content and a shared visual identity for the companies who adhere to the camapign. It comprises two phases: the first, running until March 2022, will centre on horizontal “value marketing,” whereas the second phase will focus on creating “vertical declinations” – i.e. targeted promotion campaigns in the destination markets.

BeIT encompasses 26 countries in Europe, Asia and Northern America – “the reference markets for Italian export and those with high potential for our products,” according to Mr Di Maio – along with €50 million in investments. The endeavour exists alongside the nation’s Export Pact, which entails €5.4 billion for the promotion of Italian industries on the foreign markets.

The government hopes beIT can act as a multiplier of what has been a record-breaking year for Italian export so far. “The value of exports exceeded €377 billion in the first nine months of 2021, with an increase compared to both the same period in 2020 and 2019, the previous best-performing year,” explained the minister.

“Starting today, we have one more tool to enhance the value of our country and support the work of our entrepreneurs. [We aim to] continue to field new opportunities to grow evermore.”

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