Investments In The Dubai Expo Have A Desirable Impact On Finland’s Country Brand

The brand of Finland was explored among the visitors at Dubai Expo 2020 through the empathy study and analytics, a Finnish science-based innovation. Emotion data was collected in November 2021 from two groups consisting of visitors either entering the pavilion or leaving it after their visit, a total of over 2,000 people.

The study unfolded Finland’s most important brand images. Instead of stereotypical sauna, sisu, and Santa Claus, the top ten factors in both groups included nature, people, education, beauty, culture, and happiness. The images that rose to the strongest elements after visiting the Finland’s pavilion were sustainability, technology, innovations, and caring for people. Also, elements of the pavilion architecture – calmness, design, and atmosphere – added weight. Tourism, snow, and lifestyle lost most importance.

Happiness, the theme of Finland’s pavilion, has been strongly visible. Among the pavilion visitors, it lost some relevance to more concrete things. However, human perspectives, especially caring for people, became more common. For example, maternity support was mentioned several times.

“The study is indicating a clear positive change in the topics we have chosen to emphasize in the Finland pavilion communications. Overall the results are giving a very positive result on the impact of the Finland pavilion,” says Severi Keinälä, Commissioner General of Finland pavilion.

“It’s expected that people visiting the World Expo tend to have positive attitudes toward different countries. But what is more difficult to predict, is how people actually feel, what are the root causes behind their emotions, and how those emotions influence their behavior and engagement. When the goal is to truly understand brands and people, emotions should be noticed and science should be utilized,” says Jaana Haapala, Brand Strategist, Global Customers at NayaDaya Inc.

The method for empathy studies and analytics is based on the scientific theory[1], research[2], and the algorithm[3] that predicts behavior. The science-based model[2] includes ten positive and ten negative emotions and an option of “no emotions”.

The most common experiences toward Finland among the Dubai Expo visitors were positive, engaging emotions: interest, love, joy, admiration, and pleasure. Negative emotions were extremely rare in both groups – signs of disappointment or other negative reactions were close to zero.

“Empathy analytics is about identifying what is significant, how behavior is affected, and where to re-focus efforts. Stepping into the shoes of other people is the best way to build sustainable competitive edge and to improve return on investment. We are delighted to see that the pavilion of Finland at the Dubai Expo has reached its goals very well,” says Timo Järvinen, CEO and Co-founder at NayaDaya Inc.

NayaDaya Inc., the empathy analytics company responsible for the study, is one of the Finland’s In-Cooperation Partners at Dubai World Expo 2020.