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Två kreatörer – Aleksandra Marchenko, Kommunikations- och Branding-strateg på flykt från kriget i Ukraina, och Carin Roeraade, Kreativ Strateg på Story Relations. I den här bloggen får ni ta del av dagboksanteckningar och vårt pågående samtal. Genom flykt och sömnlösa nätter. Om stort, smått, allvarligt och lättsamt. Hur ser en dag ut när du är på flykt? Hur bygger man ett eget bombskydd och, framför allt, ett nytt liv i ett okänt land?

Publicerad 13 juli 2023

Branding Ukrainians – We Work As Hard As We Fight

I was moderating a discussion about brand Ukraine and investments to Ukraine at a conference in Berlin. According to “the book”, Ukraine doesn’t meet investors’ requirements because it’s unsafe, unstable and is still at war. The annual researches (by Ipsos and Brand Finance) say that Ukraine is mostly associated with the war which makes people abroad express their solidarity, donate, make friends with Ukrainians but not necessarily make business with them. I read, listen and want to scream. 

When sitting at the bomb shelters Ukrainians work, they work even in between the military shifts. When coming abroad and struggling but finding a job Ukrainians deliver. McKinsey data from May this year says, “Ninety percent of companies that suffered physical damage to facilities remained open (or reopened quickly). Many of these companies had to close, relocate, or find work-arounds for parts of their operations, but the company operations overall remained up and running”. 

Ukraine is brave and resilient and so are Ukrainians. Many people in the world would share this statement if asked what they think about Ukraine. In the past 500+ days it has turned from the country “somewhere in Europe” to a country that most people know, foreigners and the media keep their eyes on. 

Only along with fighting against the terrorist state, Ukrainians also progress. Designer duo Ksenia and Anton know under the label KSENIASCHNEIDER has recently launched collaboration with Adidas Originals. At the beginning of the war the brand had to relocate and finally flee the country.
TIME featured Ukrainian human augmentation startup
Esper Bionics on the cover as one of the best inventions of 2022.

Coming back to the risks foreign investors consider before entering the Ukrainian market. I am sure if a missile hits a plant that foreign investor builds in Ukraine and thus creates several dozens of jobs to the local community, Ukrainians will fundraise to rebuild it and will actually do the work by themselves. Just check Repair Together

So how do we build the image of Ukrainians, an unstoppable, progressive and life loving nation? Right after finishing this post I will start an article about Beauty Volunteers. A group of makeup artists, manicure and brows specialists, hair stylists who travel around the country gifting their services to the internally displaced people who live in the shelters and wounded soldiers in the hospitals. They do it for more than a year and never stop, even in summer heat or winter blackouts. Some of them lost their relatives at war. Would any investor from abroad make a deal with them? 

I know it’s not correct to end the post with an open question. But this is actually an open question. How can we build an alternative image of Ukraine and Ukrainians while Russian missiles still hit Ukrainian ground and make the major news?


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