The Red Jacket is a Latvia movement that supports local brands. Hence, what they do is to promote the exportation of the best Latvian brands. Since the country is branding thanks to its brands, The Red Jackets promote exporting companies to set Latvian brands as a synonym of quality and value. This community was born from the partnership of governmental, non-governmental, and private sector, such as Gateway Baltic, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eko Investors, the Latvian Guarantee Agency Ltd., Hipotēku banka [Mortgage Bank], as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economics and others, aim to explore the essence of Latvian’s exporting brands. This intention contribute to the process Latvia is facing now, promoting the country’s image around the world in order to help to the development of those companies and their exportation as well. As The Red Jacket’s founder, Inese Andersone, states “Our actions make our image. The image of Latvia consists of Latvian companies and enterprising people. The way we want to see the image of Latvia in foreign countries depends from us – our actions and how we can tell it further”. The movement or community was created in 2013 and it’s co–authors are: director of international business consultancy «GatewayBaltic» Inese Andersone, brands’ nest «MATKA» brand creator Inese Apse–Apsīte and advertising agency’s «DDB Latvia» managing director Andris Rubīns, as well as Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and public relations company «MRS Grupa».
Hence, their mission goes beyond supporting brands and promoting Latvian companies’ exportations. Their intention is to create a platform where exporting brands find out the unified and inspiring message that boost their exports, creating in this way a more recognizable and stronger brands’ image as well as Latvia’s image. The platform they have designed includes the essential instruments such as books or web platforms where the communication and education are the essential process that make the movement come true. This valuable tool, as it is described in its official website, create and add value for exporting companies. Hence, this resource is conceived as an “…education resource that helps to improve the existing export markets and get new ones.” In other words, companies that belong to The Red Jacket community are synonym of Latvian highest quality brands.
For some people, the name is attractive but ambiguous because it is not an acronym, neither a Latvian national emblem. According to what have been told, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, a Latvian former, was in a significant meeting of presidents and she was the only female president. She wore a red bright costume as long as her colleagues wore dark suits. This story inspired Gateway Baltic, MATKA and DDB as co-authors to create the name and identity for the “The Red Jackets”
There were several criteria for selecting the 25 best exporting brands of Latvia. Some of those criteria are: the company export products or services at a total of at least 500 thousand, the brand has been created in Latvia, the company’s website is available in at least two foreign languages and the website is clearly present the brand’s story and mission After reaching 100 potential winners, the project’s co–authors together with partners of the movement selected 25 best exporting brands of Latvia that each received a red jacket .Those are: «airBaltic», «Biosan», «DEAC», «Dobeles dzirnavnieks», «Evopipes», «Grindeks», «Hanzas elektronika», «Latvijas Balzams», «Latvijas Dzelzceļš», «Latvijas Finieris», «Lauma Fabrics», «Lauma Lingerie», «Livonia Print», «Madara Cosmetics», «New Rosme», «NP Foods», «PAA», «PET Baltija»,«Primekss», «SAF Tehnika», «Stenders», «Tilde», «UPB», «Valmieras Stikla šķiedra» un «Valpro». Nevertheless, there are some companies that despite the fact they do not export at 500 thousand, they have potential to reach the amount rather soon. They are called “Rising Stars” and this is a cathegory that also rewards these young entrepreneurs. Last year almost all of them were design brands such as «Blindsave», «Brain Games», «Kukuu», «Munio Candela», «Pompidoo», «Cube systems», «Positivus», «Pure Chocolate», «Utha», «Vendon» and «Very Berry».
To sum up, “The Red Jackets” main goal is to create a selection of Latvia’s most powerful export brands and to find out what Latvia’s export image is currently like. Also, the movement does not focus on best export brands only, this community also has a basic target, creating a unified, appealing, and understandable story about Latvia as a country of origin. For instance, where they come from, what the values make them different from others. As a result, communication become the same, values and qualities will be unified. So that, companies will perceive themselves as part of a community that cares for the country’s image and reputation. And, as a result, they will be encouraged about exports.