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Will a new brand improve Grenada’s position within the Investment Migration Industry

Author: Nisha Mc Intyre, MD My Grenada Solutions Inc. 

The Grenada citizenship by investment unit was recently rebranded to the Investment Migration Agency Grenada (IMA Grenada), in a pivotal move to reframe and reposition its global image. But will its rebranding initiative achieve the goals that are critical for Grenada’s programme to become sustainable and successful?

To be fair, one can rightfully call the initiative a branding rather than a rebranding exercise. After all, for its ten-year lifetime, Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Programme existed without a clear identity and message, defaulting to using the country’s Coat of Arms as its visual identity, and to its licensed marketing agents and promoters in general, to create the narrative that has denoted the programme’s global image. In fact, 2024 will go on record as the first year the country allocated a specific budget for marketing. 

The reality is this, in an increasingly competitive market, a strong brand provides the equity needed for any entity to make it through great, and even more so through souring times. Within the Caribbean Citizenship by Investment market, we are feeling the gripe. Winds of change are blowing as we enter deeper into a period of heightened oversight with first nations defining the rules of engagement whilst dangling the carrot of access. As marketing agents, it is easy to blame the idealistic and hypocritical beliefs of these countries, they do exist, but one must not be so self-righteous as to be blinded to the industry’s implicitness in this new dispensation through its allowance of uncensored marketing practices.

Owning the Narrative

The new brand gives the IMA Grenada the opportunity to own its image and take a proactive approach to redefining its positioning internationally. This allows for the curation of a clear and strategic brand message that can be consistently distributed in keeping with the developed brand guidelines. In so doing, reducing the ongoing brand confusion and brand dilution created by varying third-party narratives that dominate the industry. 

In fact, Thomas Anthony, the Chief Executive Officer for IMA Grenada has told My Grenada Solutions Inc. that with the issuance of brand guidelines to agents will eventually come the establishment of penalties for those who operate contra to the guide. Already, an aversion to the use of Grenada’s passport in marketing materials and references to visa-free access to Schengen, the UK, and E2 access has been voiced openly by officials at the Agency. 

Policing the messaging, however, won’t be as simple as issuing penalties. Much of the advertising done within the industry does emanate from entities not licensed for Grenada’s programme. Managing the narrative, therefore, may call for the Agency to look closer at the subagent licenses issued by licensed agents, as well as the affiliations of these agents, particularly when reissuing yearly marketing licenses. It will also call for the Agency’s voice to be loud and dominant in the marketplace.

Timely injection

With the recent decision by Antigua & Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis to standardize elements of their programmes, Grenada’s decision to rebrand couldn’t be timelier. Now, more than ever, Grenada will need a developed identity ripe with unique value propositions that allow it to stand out within the region and apart from the noise of the global industry. With the net minimum investment being standardized, at USD 200,000, the race to the bottom trend of price-based competition experienced since 2017 will soon become a thing of the past and each country will be forced to differentiate based on merit. 

The Grenadian identity, as typified by the red thumbprint, must come to be a respected symbol of a programme working in tandem with its local community, while being responsive to global cues. Through a symbiotic relationship, Grenada’s investment migration programme must develop the socio-economic systems that will curate the desired Grenadian lifestyle that in turn, will validate the positioning of the brand.

The Scope to Change

Associating the operational entity’s name with the investment migration industry and away from the insular notion of citizenship by investment is a commendable first step in changing the public’s perception of Grenada’s programme. As it stands, citizenship by investment programmes is referred to as schemes – a deliberate media positioning that undoubtedly elicits negative connotations in the ill-exposed. A change in the programme’s name is now required. This, however, will require a legislative amendment – one that Grenada’s prime minister, Hon. Dickon Mitchell, has publicly committed to doing swiftly as part of his government’s desire to “protect defend, and grow the investment immigration industry in Grenada.” 

With the shift away from a citizenship-by-investment programme to an investment migration programme comes the opportunity for Grenada to make changes to its structure or add new programmes altogether that fall within the purview of investment migration. This could see the introduction of a residence-by-investment programme that creates a true nexus to Grenada for investors, or even a service-by-investment programme that allows for the provision of on-the-ground skills training for locals by investors. Either way, a change in name supports a growth structure that could appease some of the critics of the existing programme structure, including the same first nations with the carrots. 

Ultimately, the value of this new brand and its impact on the continued growth of Grenada is dependent on the support it receives from Grenada’s government and its people, as well as its management by the Agency. A new name and logo on its own won’t build a strong brand. The Grenadian story that’s told, the storytellers, the channels used to distribute the message, and the volume at which it is told, will create the narrative of this new Grenadian brand. The Agency’s new approach to getting out and being present in the marketplace aligns with the hands-on, robust approach required to proliferate the Grenadian narrative.  

Of course, success in this new dispensation, can’t just be assessed on relative financial performance. The value must be given to the brand’s ability to pull the right agents and ultimately the right investors. Falloff will happen as promoters, whose bottom lines may be affected opt for programmes more akin to their principles and their modus operandi. Should Grenada be concerned about such? Not in the least. At the end of the day, the beauty of a brand is its ability to create identity, define purpose, reduce ambiguity, and ultimately earn buy-in from the right targets. 

For the IMA Grenada, the rebranding could very well be the inflection point that spurred the renaissance of Grenada’s programme, or possibly, the catalyst that initiated its setback. The outcome we curiously anticipate, however, will only be revealed through the visages of time. 


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