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Nation branding and country image: Opportunities and limitations of a media-centric approach Keith Dinnie Temple University, Tokyo, Japan.

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Presentation on theme: "Nation branding and country image: Opportunities and limitations of a media-centric approach Keith Dinnie Temple University, Tokyo, Japan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nation branding and country image: Opportunities and limitations of a media-centric approach Keith Dinnie Temple University, Tokyo, Japan

2 2

3 3 Nations have always competed with each other  The shifting balance between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power  Investment attraction  Export promotion  Tourism

4 4 Many countries do not know what to do  The use of brand management techniques is relatively new  Many governments are not familiar with these techniques  Every country should develop its own original nation branding strategy

5 5 A blind faith in the power of advertising  Much public money is spent on expensive advertising campaigns  However, very little evaluation is made of the effectiveness of these ad campaigns

6 6 Public relations consultancies  Generate positive media coverage  Develop ongoing relationships with journalists and editors  But reality must underpin the spin

7 7 A more balanced approach is required  A media-centric approach operates via: –Paid-for advertising in relevant media –News management through PR officers and/or consultants  However, the range of nation branding tools extends far beyond a media-centric approach

8 8 Complementary nation branding tools and techniques  Activation of diaspora networks  Improved coordination between different stakeholder groups  Cultural diplomacy  Increasing the entrepreneurialism of Embassy networks

9 9 Key concepts in nation branding  Identity versus image  The identity-image gap  The facets of nation-brand identity  Deconstructing nation-brand image  Positioning the nation-brand

10 10 3 key elements of branding theory  Brand identity  Brand image  Brand positioning

11 11 Identity versus image  A simple but robust perspective: –Identity refers to what something truly is, its essence –Image refers to how something is perceived  There is frequently a gap between these two states

12 12 The identity-image gap  This tends to be a negative factor  Many nations struggle with the frustration of not being perceived correctly by the rest of the world  Stereotypes and clichés can dominate perceptions of some nations

13 13 Would you allow this man to brand your nation?

14 14 Nation branding attempts to reduce the identity-image gap  By identifying prejudices and misperceptions  By enabling nations to dismantle and oppose the negative forces that could: –Hold back the nation’s economic development –Damage the nation’s standing in the world community

15 15 Constructing the nation-brand narrative  Narrative identity theory  Imaginative & creative input in brand identity development  Poets, novelists, and other creative writers could play a significant role in enhancing their nation’s reputation

16 16 The facets of nation-brand identity  Nation-brand identity is built upon a limited range of all the constituent parts of national identity  External audiences are unwilling to process huge amounts of information about a country’s history, culture, society

17 17 Deconstructing nation-brand image  The mental representations (images) that people have of countries can derive from various influencing factors  Nations have varying degrees of control over these influencing factors

18 18 Image-formation factors COUNTRY IMAGE Personal experience Word of mouth National stereotypes Politics Sports performances Export brands Behaviour of citizens Nation-brand campaigns

19 19 Assessing brand image via brand personification  ‘Brand personification’ is a qualitative research technique  The question: “If brand X were a person, what kind of person would it be?”  Product brands have been using this technique for years – there is no reason why it could not be applied to nation-brands

20 20 Perceptions of Brand Spain amongst Japanese students aged “If Spain was a person, what kind of person would it be?”

21 21 “Spain is a cheerful girl, she always smiles for everyone, she makes everyone happy.”

22 22 “Passionate dancer. It is because the image of Spain is passion.”

23 23 “A girl, aged 25 years old. Beautiful and sexy. Likes dancing and singing. She has 5 boy friends who are waiting for the day they can date her.”

24 24 “Man, 30 years old, wears red clothes. He is confident in himself.”

25 25 “A man in his middle age drinking and singing every day, all day long.”

26 26 Perceptions of Brand Portugal amongst Japanese students aged “If Portugal was a person, what kind of person would it be?”

27 27 “A young very ambitious woman.”

28 28 “Spain’s younger sister, but a bit more calm.”

29 29 “Mysterious”

30 30 “Thoughtful person who likes to communicate with others.”

31 31 “Male. Quiet and a big guy. In his 40s. Wise man. Has a wife. The wife is very beautiful. Has few friends but very close.”

32 32 Conceptual model of nation- brand identity and image Nation-brand identity Key components: History Language Territory Political regime Architecture Sport Literature Art Religion Education system Icons Landscape Music Food & drink Folklore Communicators of nation-brand identity Branded exports Sporting achievements The diaspora Marketing communications Brand ambassadors Cultural artefacts Govt foreign policy Tourism experience Prominent personalities Nation-brand image Audiences: Domestic consumers External consumers Domestic firms External firms Inward investors Governments Media

33 33 Positioning the nation-brand  The concept of positioning is a key issue in brand management and strategy  The work of advertising agencies and branding consultancies includes: –Establishing effective positioning platforms –Designing campaigns for successful implementation of the desired positioning

34 34 Positioning defined  “Positioning is the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market” –Kotler & Keller, 2006

35 35 National tourism campaigns often lack distinctive positioning  Such campaigns score low on distinctiveness  They make generic, undifferentiated claims for their sandy beaches, sunshine, etc  Risk of commoditization  Higher-end cultural tourism offers potential for better positioning

36 36 Nation-brand positioning platforms Nation-brandPositioning platform South Africa “Alive with possibility” Bolivia “The authentic still exists” Scotland “The best small country in the world” India “India Shining” Thailand “Amazing Thailand” Malaysia “Truly Asia”

37 37

38 38 The New France – Breaking Through the Perception Barrier  Mr Philippe Favre, French Ambassador for international investment, Chairman and CEO of Invest in France Agency

39 39 Background  Now the world’s 5 th largest economy, France is a modern and dynamic country located at the heart of the largest market in the world – Europe  It has reinvented itself over the past few years: –Significant privatizations & reforms across key sectors to become more internationally competitive –Business formalities have been simplified –First-class infrastructure & talented workforce

40 40 The perception gap  France’s leading edge technology and innovation in healthcare is familiar to investors in China and Japan  However, this is overlooked by companies in the USA and the UK, who are preoccupied with outdated perceptions that go against the modern actuality of France

41 41 Changing the world’s opinion  The French government recognized that correcting the discrepancy between the myth and the reality of France’s image was important for: –The success of its economy –Inward investment levels

42 42 Invest in France Agency (IFA)  Government organization responsible for promoting international investment and helping foreign investors succeed in France  As part of its mission, IFA has helped erase misconceptions about France over the past 3 years with the rollout of an image campaign: –“The New France. Where the smart money goes.”

43 43 Collaborative approach  With a total budget of 35 million Euros, the campaign was developed & run by IFA in collaboration with several French government bodies, including: –UBIFrance, Maison de la France, information service dept, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, French Economic Mission, Sopexa, EDUFrance, Treasury Directorate, etc

44 44 Campaign goals  Raise France’s economic profile among 5 leading target investment countries: –USA, UK, Germany, Japan, China  Improve foreign investor opinions of France  Create solid relationships with foreign investors for long-term dialogue

45 45 Campaign strategy  Focus on boosting visibility & credibility  Tangible facts and testimonials from international corporations already doing business in France  Senior executives from 12 reputable global companies (e.g., FedEx, Toyota, Xerox, GE, Sony) described: –The ease of setting up; the access to qualified talent; the convenience of a central location

46 46 Emphasizing France’s attractiveness  Flexible labor laws  Superior healthcare system  Diverse business clusters  Statistical benchmarks displaying competitiveness in categories such as: –Real-estate costs, employee salaries, tax rates

47 47 High-impact advertisements  Over 185 ads endorsed “The New France” in top economic news publications: –Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Handelsblatt, Nikkei  Billboard ads also appeared at major airports in: –USA, UK, Japan, China, and Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris

48 48 Supplementary marcoms tools  Sector videos  A comprehensive multilingual communications kit  A book available in 5 languages  A microsite,

49 49 Face-to-face contacts  IFA executives met with economic leaders and potential investors at nearly 150 high- profile events during the campaign, including: –World Economic Forum in Davos –Business Week Leadership Forum –Fortune Innovation Forum

50 50 Campaign results  61% of respondents in USA and UK said it made them view France in a new light  40,000 new jobs created in France in 2006 from foreign investment projects, a 33% increase over 2005

51 51 Conclusions  Media strategy needs to be balanced by face-to-face contacts  Allocate resources to building long term relationships with investors and other target audiences  Develop a collaborative approach between different Government Ministries and Departments

52 52 The FIST (fully inclusive stakeholder) approach Government Public sector organizations Tourism board Inward investment agency Economic development agency Private sector organizations Trade associations Chambers of commerce PSC brands Citizens Not-for-profit organizations Diaspora

53 53 Thank you for your attention END


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