What is a Nation Brand?
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Jose Filipe Torres: When I say the name of the country, what pops into your mind? The perceptions and the feelings and the emotions that one has whenever they hear the country name.
That's nation branding. No, it's not a logo. Actually people think that the logo is the brand and it's not because you have great country brands that have no logo. I mean, I ask you what is the logo of France? What is the logo of Japan? You don't know but when I say the names of these countries an emotion, a perception is in your mind and that's the brand, not the logo.
Why is it so important? Because if you don't work and you don't manage your country brand someone else will. And it's very important for countries to work on their reputation, to work on their perception because it has an economic and a social impact on the country.
And so, if your country of origin has a good perception you have a leading edge facing other companies from other countries don't have such a good perception. Because the perception that one has about the country, it influences the willingness of five groups of international stakeholders that are affected by the country brand perception.
It's about trade,... so it helps that perception to export more; attract foreign direct investment; tourism; Talent, which is study, living, work; and prominence. Prominence is just the general reputation.
So the step by step and where you should focus, there's like I would say five major steps:
- The first one is to identify the central idea. So the central idea is what do you want to be perceived for, or actually what can you be perceived for.
- The second thing is stakeholder engagement. Now this is the tricky part, this is the most difficult part, is to have everyone on board.
- Also tricky, but very important is the policy making, so that's the third step. Basically the country brand or the perception is delivered through actions, activities and policies.
- Which then leads into the digital identity. So everything that happens offline immediately happens digitally because that's actually what's going to build the perception of the country.
- And last but not least it's marketing. So that is the last thing that we should do. Last but not least.