I was just doing some revisions for a colleague on the topic of tourism marketing. I talk alot about the communication of “message” from a cultural psychology point of view, and it was very interesting to look at branding models and how they relate to communication and perception. One of the points that struck my eye was how brand policy aims at reducing the gap between brand identity (the concept the company wants to communicate through the brand) and brand image (the perception of the brand in the public/target market). This is a question highly adapted to the realm of cultural psychology. When you’re sitting in linguistics class, or when your listening to any of us go on and on and on about “culture”, we’re talking about factors that influence psychological associations of cultural objects. “Mum” is a cultural object, for example. So is, “art”. So are brands. This has become increasingly important as western society has come to express itself (partially) in terms of brands. This form of expression differs greatly from country to country and region to region as our “cultural objects”, participatory learning and interaction with our communities change. It is useful to remember that the cultural communication of identity is closely applicable to the analsyis of the brand identity-image gap. What makes the difference is cultural learning. For example, in tourism, the British went through a phase of dominating the Spanish Costa Brava. Within a very short period of time in the late 1960’s (partially in response to things like the Second Battle of Hastings), British tourists learned to take advantage of cheap flights and holiday packages offered by the Spanish tourist structures. It was a new and popular way of consuming tourism for the working and lower middle class and soon entered popular British cultural media through song and film. For the Adriatic, perhaps we should look more at the Germans. In fact, toursim operates on this form of cultural communication – creating messages about territorial identity that can be consumed, but also adapt to the participation of the tourist. Another example of the DYNAMIC nature of cultural communication and learning.