Grexit, Brexit, Nexit? Our European future is showing more cracks every day. We Europeans all have strong feelings of nationalism for our own country. We are proud to be German, Italian, French or Dutch. But you hardly hear anyone say he is proud to be a European. When I compare this to for example the USA, I’ve never heard an American say he is a proud Idahoan or Oregonian. Of course not, they feel Americans in the first place.

Obviously this difference is not that strange. America has been around for centuries and patriotic feelings take time, maybe generations, to develop. But I think if we want to succeed in our European transition we need to gain some of it in the near future. We need to stop feeling like we are separate islands that accidentally bumped into each other.

Europe is a brand and if they want it to succeed they need a strong message and campaign to bring the message across

Brexit has made something painfully clear, European leaders need to figure out a way to sell Europe to its citizens. This is more of a marketing problem than they are realizing. Europe is a brand and if they want it to succeed they need a strong message and campaign to bring the message across.

Right now Europe is a brand with serious issues. Perception is that it costs too much and doesn’t give us the quality and reward we would expect for that price. On top of that a lot of people don’t seem to know what it is for. A lousy image if Europe would be a shampoo, a soda or an insurance company.

What is the ‘Just do it’ for Europe?

Let’s say there is work to do for the European brand marketers. What is the reason Europeans need to ‘buy’ Europe? Is it prosperity, stability, safety? What is the ‘Just do it’ for Europe? It’s strange that a sports brand is able to give millions of Europeans a strong positive emotion and our European dream is seen as a pain the ass, the spoiled nephew on a birthday party and a headache on a romantic evening.

They need to get this European message across to their target audience. I would advice them to start with a charismatic face people can relate to. Not a grey suit we hardly see in the media and hides in Brussels. But a president that is able to bring a message across. That leaves Brussels on a regular basis to listen to the people. That gives us Europeans the feeling we are heard. And of course someone that is able to explain why tough decisions need to be made.

Europe needs an experienced politician with flair who has time on his hands the next couple of years. A politician who is fired up, ready to go. Hmmmm, let me think…