The “Summit on the future of philately”, held by the American Philatelic Society in October at its headquarters in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, was one of the most important philatelic events of the year. Its comprehensive report posted on the Society’s website (www.stamps.org) was dominated by three magical words, three key words that ought to be addressed quite seriously by organised philately: “Rebranding”, “Technology” and “Partnerships”. As far as technology and partnerships are concerned, we might say that they stand as permanent objectives by the Hellenic Philatelic Society and -whenever feasible- they are observed. However, the science of communication has recently introduced the term “Rebranding” which focuses directly to the heart of the problem.
In an inspiring lecture in Thessaloniki, entitled “Rebranding Greece” (see YouTube, 2011), the speaker, Peter Economides, had argued that a country, in this case Greece, by analogy with consumer products, is itself a brand, quite a strong brand indeed. Stretching it a bit further, we might say that philately is also a brand. The brand is not exactly the identity, or the image, or the feeling or the concept; it is all of these together, it is the impression that anyone receives on hearing the word.
Branding, respectively, is the brand management process. Here in Greece, this process has been taken care of in several occasions, either organized or casually, by knowledgeable or unknowledgeable individuals, by accredited or non-accredited groups etc. Nevertheless, judging from the results, the overall management of the brand philately to date could be considered discouraging to say the least.
The survival of philately in our country is in need of a serious relaunching of the management of this highly valuable brand, i.e. of a properly designed “Rebranding”. The responsibility falls on everyone’s shoulders: The philatelic societies, the Federation, the stamp dealers, the Hellenic Post Philatelic Bureau. Shall we undertake the task?