Countries / Territories

WEDF 2002 Session 4

  • Executive Forum 2002
    25-28 September
    Montreux, Switzerland

    The Values of National Strategy
    Projecting Value
    Is There a Case for National Branding?

    Friday, 27 September
    Session 4: Projecting Value: Is there a Case for National Branding?

    The Issue:

    National branding can be defined as (1) establishing an image (internally or externally) for a country based on positive national values and perceptions and (2) emphasizing this image when promoting exports, tourism and inward investment.

    The Proposition:

    Due to the potential positive impact of effective national branding, strategy-makers in developing countries should undertake an analysis to determine if national branding would be appropriate and beneficial to their country.

    The first consideration: Why should a country consider national branding? With globalization, an increasing number of products and services can be purchased from a growing number of sources. As a result, many products and services are becoming more and more uniform in quality, design, price etc. Hence, country origin becomes an important factor in the distinction between otherwise fairly similar products and services. National branding is the identification and use of the positive national values when trying to influence international buyers/importers and potential investors.

    The second consideration: How should a country brand itself? Active national branding should be considered when fundamental questions, related to cost/benefit and supply capacity, can be answered positively. There are cases where national branding might not be viable, because products, services and image might sell better without being associated with their country of origin, or because costs are likely to exceed benefits 

    The Recommended Approach

    What does it take to brand a country and what is the process? No two cases of branding are alike, but the following basic decision-making process is suggested:

    • Determine the basis for making the decision and whether branding would result in a competitive advantage.  
    • Conduct research and analysis. 
    • Develop the national brand strategy. 
    • Create a communications strategy. 
    • Implement the programme. 
    • Conduct an evaluation. 
    • Adapt the programme. 

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