Guaging the Power of A Nation’s Brand – Top Six Indicators
‘Nation brand’ is the new buzzword in the branding industry. Thanks to the advances in communications and information technology as well as the media saturated age in which we live, driven in part by globalisation, nations are beginning to see their national brand as an asset. According to Simon Anholt, the leading proponent of nation brand theory, ‘every place on earth now wants to enhance, reverse or otherwise manage its brand image and international reputation’. For Simon Anholt, “nation brand is essentially a country’s image and reputation, its core values and essence. Each nation has its own distinctiveness – what makes them stand out in the global community.
Anholt identifies six main indicators which provides a useful instrument by which to systematically gauge the strength of a nation’s brand:
- TOURISM PROMOTION activity that countries pursue. This is manifested in people’s first hand experience of visiting the country as tourists or business travellers.
- EXPORTS: These are powerful ambassadors of each country’s image (only where their country or origin is explicit). For. E.g.: Nike – America; VW – Germany); Sony – Japan; Switzerland – Swiss Watch. (If nobody knows where a product comes from, it can’t affect his or her feelings about that country).For example, differing cultural and economic products are often associated with and tied to a nation – Swiss watches, Japanese technology, Chinese culture, Italian cars and cuisine, French wine, Brazilian football and Jamaican reggae, rum and Red Stripe beer, and, one can now say – Jamaican Sprinters.
- GOVERNANCE: This refers to policy decisions of the government, whether its domestic policy reported in the global media, or foreign policy, which directly affects overseas populations.
- PEOPLE: The citizens of the country, iconic and high profile leaders, media and sport stars, as well as the population in general, how they behave abroad. (I will add to this how they behave at home, which is reported in the international media); and how they treat visitors to their countries.
- CULTURE AND HERITAGE: These refer to cultural exchange and activities – a world tour by a sports team, or a famous musician, work of authors, poets and filmmakers.
- INVESTMENT AND IMMIGRATION – This refers to how the country solicits inward investment, recruit foreign talent; how immigrant populations position themselves overseas; what image do they portray of their homeland.