Australian Government crest

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 trackers:

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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.

how the world sees us

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.

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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 global marketplace.

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.