Introduction

A country impacted by armed conflict for more than 50 years needs constant fuel for its international brand campaign to surpass the negative perception of those who have not visited the country and build strong reasons to vanish misconceptions.

Those who work on the construction of an image/brand truly understand the effort and work that lie behind getting it right with your audience, and equally important it's the fact that any small error or negative comment will be enough to destroy what was built. Colombia has inherited 52 years of violence and merciless war derived from an internal conflict and drug trafficking, affecting negatively the perception of Colombia abroad.

After the recent signing of a peace agreement, a new country is rising yet the past still needs to be dealt with and due to unwise media reports, TV shows and documentaries the country's perception is almost the same as it was 20 years ago.

But, how to find meaningful insights within a public where Colombia is well-known for drugs and coffee and where there is a lack of important and authentic national icons? For instance, 87% of the people linked Christ the Redeemer from the Corcovado to Brazil, 67% correctly associated Chichen Itza to Mexico; but important places such as Cartagena, Coffee triangle and Tayrona were weakly associated to Colombia reaching levels of 17%, 26% and 7% respectively. In fact, the three previous country brand campaigns have showed numbers of association as low as 24% (Magical Realism) slightly topped by "The Only Risk is Wanting to Stay" and "Colombia is Passion" with 28% and 38% respectively.1)