Why nation brands matter
A country’s reputation drives political, commercial and economic success.
Businesses are selling their products and services to customers who may
never have set foot in their country. These customers rely, in part, on the
global renown of a country to make their buying decisions.
In the world today, there is intense competition for trade, investment,
tourism, talent and influence. A consistent approach to nation branding can
change how a country is perceived internationally across different sectors.
A unified and strategic representation of Australia’s capabilities will
improve our global competitiveness, leading to more international people
choosing Australia when buying, investing, studying and travelling.
How the world sees us
Nation brands are measured through a number of attributes. These include a
nation’s physical beauty, business environment, contributions to the global
culture, technological standing, and the quality of its workforce. A
nation’s overall rank is a combination of ‘harder’ and ‘softer’ attributes,
for example, technology and physical beauty.
Australia consistently ranks in the top ten in international reputation
Research consistently indicates that Australia is well known for our
‘softer’ attributes including unique flora and fauna, friendly people and
beautiful scenery, however we are less well regarded for ‘harder’
attributes such as capabilities in business and science.
Adding more to our nation's story
While Australia is in the happy position of being liked around the world
for our beauty and friendliness, our industry-focussed strengths are less
recognised globally. To compete in the global marketplace, Australia needs
to be more assertive in reinforcing the attributes that our nation is less
well known for, including technology, science and innovation. These
attributes support the growth of Australian business and the growth of the
Australian economy. Having a richer narrative will help progress
Australia’s reputation from being just decorative to truly respected.
Consistency leads to better recognition
Having a consistent national image will make what Australia stands for and
has to offer more easily recognisable and known.
The current international promotion of Australia is fragmented with a
multitude of competing brands and images, diluting the effectiveness of
individual organisations, products and services. Australian businesses and
organisations have called for more alignment in the way Australia shows up
on the world stage. Several submissions to the Foreign Policy White Paper
called for the government to invest in a stronger nation brand. Industry
Engagement Forums held as part of the Australia’s Nation Brand initiative
also found that lack of alignment and unity is a hindrance when facing the
Australia’s Nation Brand will harmonise how the world sees, hears and
experiences Australia, enhancing the international marketing efforts of all
Australian organisations and industries.
Further reading: nation brand indices
If you are interested in finding out more about how nation brands are
measured, below are some useful links.