Branding a Country | The Hidden Opportunities (2)

Branding a Country “2”

The Hidden Opportunities  . . .

By : Bilal Zaiter

European Union

Showing the Non European face !

European Union had some troubles with communicating ” Europe” image to Europeans until it decided to focus more on the cost of “No Europe.”

“We need to be more professional in our use of mass media, providing more faces and images.” Says Margot Wallström, the European commissioner responsible for communicating Europe. And it seems that the EU is doing so good so far.

Romania :

Look for the hidden Attributes and simply reveal them

Romania ? Poverty ? or  Nadia Comaneci? Or ? what triggers your mind first?

“The Spirit of Romania” campaign, aims to show people a different side of Romania, the beauty hidden inside.

UK & Colombia :

Education can promote a country and so can coffee !

These are two very good examples about how a country can rely on certain product or service to promote itself .

January 2000, British Council is leading a joint effort campaign in more than 20 countries, Education , Branding, Research and Public Relations agencies were involved . Objective is to communicate UK as a world class source of education . Results so far are impressive, and the campaign is still running at all levels , exhibitions, website , events and advertising .

But Colombia took another approach. Colombian coffee, is sold under the  image of Juan Valdez with his mule since many years.  Juan Valdez was ‘born’ in 1959 at an  Advertising agency offices. 1981 the image of Juan was incorporated into the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia logo. In 2000 President of Columbia, awarded actor Carlos Sanchez who played Juan Valdez ,the silver cross medal for national merit. Today Colombian coffee are attacking so wildly the USA markets . and even threatening the USA well established brands .

Assia

Standing out of the quality competition market –Be Truly consistent

China : Six Chinese government departments are working to fight an international perception of low quality Chinese . Korea‘s Products had the same quality image for too long, today we can not turn a blind eye to Korean cars winning the best prizes in Canada and USA markets. India, on the other hand is working relentlessly on making its image as the country of leading-edge software .

However, amongst all, Malaysia stood unique enough under its slogan “Malaysia, Truly Asia” In a continent that is cluttered with many others who promise the same [- Hong Kong: “Asia’s World City ” – Singapore: “New Asia” – Indonisia: “Endless Beauty of Diversity.”] . But what helped Maylsia differenitiate iteself is mainly the conistent message since 1999 . The campaign has resulted in increased tourist arrivals.

Syria the Middle East Cultural Hub – Cultural Industries ( For Elaboration refer to cultural industries article & the connectivity article)

Because ” Branding a country ” is rewarding, it needs a lot of accurate planning, extensive coordination, professional implementation, and experts fine-tuning .

Reviewing the international perceptions map with regard to countries’ images prove that Syria’s core potential relies on the ” Cultural ” component . Syria can start working on positioning itself as the “Middle East Cultural Hub”, and ” Cultural Industries ” is the key. Cultural Industries is investments’ magnetic, internal performance leveraging concept, exports generator, and international sincere recognition facilitator. If Syria with all the potential it has right now decided to enter the “cultural industries” market in the region, it will be recognized as a market leader- in the marketing language- however any delay might be accompanied with the risk of being a follower if some neighboring country decided to appropriate the Dream.

Syrian Artists and cultural activists, can act as the brand ambassadors. Every individual success will add value to Brand Syria, and eventually Syria will help its citizens more. This actually remind us of Kennedy’s words “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. Syria’s market share in the region’s tourism was % 5.6 in 1990, and remained so until 2000, but in 2004 it jumped to % 8,4. This is good planning and implementation, but don’t forget, tourism is not everything when talking branding a country, and Tourism is one part of cultural industries when talking ” Syria the Culture”.

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