Branding countries

Tony Blair recently established a Public Diplomacy Strategy Board, an outgrowth of his earlier ”Cool Britannia” campaign, to improve perceptions of the country abroad. And in November, the Persian Gulf state of Oman signed a contract with the marketing firm Landor Associates to develop and sell ”Brand Oman.”

”All nations need to compete for a share of the world’s attention and wealth, and that development is as much a matter of positioning as anything else,” Anholt wrote in 2003, ”so it makes perfect sense for governments to do everything possible to ensure consistency of behavior in every area.” He even recommends that countries appoint Cabinet-level branding ministers. ”I’ve visited a great many countries where they have ministers for things that are far less important than branding,” he says.

Read more here.  Here is the excellent Grant McCracken on Nike’s recent "curation" branding.  Alex Wipperfurth’s new Brand Hijack argues that if you are marketing your brand, you must understand how your customers (and others) will take over and control the process.  If you don’t believe him, just ask Kazakhstan

Addendum: Speaking of branding, Yana is in the running for "Neighborhoodies of the Week" (individually customized T-shirts), please vote for her.  It takes but a second, she is second from the left (with the "Do You Hate Me? T-shirt), click here to vote.


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