Ainhoa Arteta (Culture and Communication), Edurne Pasabán (Sport), Pablo Isla (Business Management), the Roca Brothers (Tourism and Gastronomy), the Instituto Valenciano de Infertilidad (Science and Innovation), Cáritas Española (Social Action), Camino de Santiago (Institutional Relations) and Josep Piqué (Extraordinary Accreditation) make up the sixth edition of Spain Brand Honorary Ambassadors, acknowledged on 12 November at a ceremony presided over by the King and Queen of Spain and held at the Ciudad BBVA.
With an emotional speech, Ainhoa Arteta lent her voice to the sixth edition of the Spain Brand Honorary Ambassadors, in the building known as La Vela de la Ciudad BBVA, an initiative of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum (FMRE) in collaboration with the Government Office of the High Commissioner for the Spain Brand to publicly recognise those individuals and institutions that have stood out most for contributing towards enhancing Spain’s image abroad.
During her speech, Ainhoa Arteta pointed out that: “talent is important, that much is clear, but I think I can also say, without any fear of making a mistake, that everyone that has been appointed a Spain Brand Honorary Ambassador here today, or those that have received this honour in previous years, are united above all else by hard work, dedication, a love of our work, commitment and perseverance”. “When we think of a brand,” she added, “we do not only think of a logo, but also about the values associated with that brand. Today we are all here because of a brand: the Spain Brand, so I would like to claim those values for this brand that are linked with sacrifice, and to take a long-term view of results”.
The accreditation ceremony for the sixth edition of Spain Brand Honorary Ambassadors was presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain. Gloria Lomana, Head of Antena 3 Noticias, participated as commentator for the ceremony. The Chairman of BBVA, Francisco González, also took part, along with the Chairman of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum and Freixenet, José Luis Bonet, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, the Government Office of the High Commissioner for the Spain Brand, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros and the vice-chairman for the Brand Forum and chairman of the Panel of Judges for the Spain Brand Honorary Ambassadors, Antonio Abril.
In his speech, the King drew attention to the work carried out by the ambassadors: “Each and every one of the new ambassadors ─ and of you all as a whole ─ have contributed to showing the world the best of our culture, our talent, our capacity and our work as a society. I offer you all our warmest congratulations and our gratitude for accepting this new responsibility on behalf of our nation, our image, and our ability to have a greater, more enhanced presence in the world. You deserve this recognition because you are an example of our way of life; you represent the values that define Spanish society, and because you portray the model of progress and co-existence that the Spanish have been able to build over the last few decades. Because, without any question, the best ambassador of the Spain Brand, the best ambassador of Spain is the Spanish people – the best ambassadors are the Spaniards themselves”.
Leading companies with strong, well-known brands
Francisco González, Chairman of BBVA, also expressed himself in the same vein, explaining how Spain had managed to become “one of the most widely respected countries in the international arena” by overcoming a crisis thanks largely to the “enormous efforts of the Spanish people, their sacrifice and determination to succeed”. The chairman of BBVA also drew attention to the work carried out by companies to promote the country’s brand, since a country’s image, as stated by Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, “is built on a large number of factors: economic, cultural, scientific, business, and social factors, among others”. However, he added: “the country’s image is, above all, the sum of the work done, the combined efforts of the individuals and institutions that form part of it. Without any doubt whatsoever, the key asset of our country’s image are the Spanish people and their talents, which are often hidden from view”.
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, pointed out that Spain is a country we should be proud of and he stressed the need to project the image of Spain abroad in a positive light, since it is hard to project Spain’s image abroad “if we do not believe in ourselves”.
Both top brands and Honorary Ambassadors are required to promote and strengthen Spain’s prestige and to make its image a real factor for competitiveness. It is for this reason that from the Brand Forum, as Antonio Abril explained, “we seek their collaboration in line with our culture of joining forces and harnessing our efforts to achieve an objective that is of interest to one and all: that the image of Spain be a real factor of competitiveness that will enable us to sell our products and services overseas better and in greater numbers, attract investment and tourism and engage and retain talent for our companies and institutions. In short, it is a question of managing to position our country’s image where it will create value and benefit us all”.
José Luis Bonet linked the number of global brands of a country with its degree of competitiveness. “The battle of global competitiveness is based on the construction and launching of an increasingly greater and more powerful number of brands on an international scale that will enable a company’s products and services to be identified and differentiated, customer loyalty to be achieved, and greater added value to be provided. For this reason, Bonet pointed out, “the internationalisation of our brands has very positive effects on economic growth, on the competitiveness of our businesses and our economy, on job creation and, of course, on the country’s image, when this is associated with the image of our most prestigious, sustainable and reliable brands. Hence it is important to support the internationalisation process of Spanish brands and their proliferation. It is no longer a question of selling more abroad, but of selling more effectively and capturing a larger part of the value chain”.