Nation Branding Lab


Tag: Place branding

Ido Aharoni on Israel’s Nation Branding

Ido Aharoni, Israel’s Consul General to New York, talks on Knowledge@Wharton about Israel’s nation branding. Watch the full video clip to hear his excellent insights and experience of positioning Israel.

Israel’s brand used to be a producer of conflicts and bad news. When the challenge was defined,  instead of trying to win a debate about an issue, he thought Israel should focus on building a relationship that is meaningful to both the country and consumers by broadening the conversation beyond conflicts and finding ways through research to better communicate Israel’s assets such as creative spirit and innovation.

His long-term effort demonstrates what he believes to take to position a place or a nation: the ability to identify your own competitive edge and to communicate that competitive edge to relevant audience.

During the interview, he names the city of New York, Spain, and Croatia as very successful place positioning efforts. Also, he believes that self-congratulatory messages as one of the least effective strategy in place positioning.

Australia’s ‘EntertaiNation Branding’

If you remember, the film Australia, released back in 2008, was starred not only by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, but also by Australia and its natural environment. The movie was a success in terms of sales and revenue and many nominations and the awards it had won.

It was the result of the close, clever cooperation among the Tourism Australia, Image of Australia Branch under the government,  film director Luhrmann, and the film corporation 20th Century Fox. The movie proves that if a nation’s government works closely with the entertainment industry to brand the nation’s image, it could result in the most visually scintillating projection of the nation’s image.

This campaign titled, “See the Movie, See the Country”, which turned the film into “a real-life travel adventure” shows how popular culture and entertainment can be an important tool for country brand standing.

Official trailor of the film Australia from Youtube

Brand North Korea

If we define branding as the  process of creating a unique name and image of a product in the minds of people, North Korea may have the best nation branding strategies (IN THEIR OWN WAY).

However, having a powerful brand does not imply that the brand is good. North Korea’s brand is powerful because almost everyone associates the country with extremely negative attributes such as poverty, nuclear weapons, lack of human rights, military government, and an insane leader.

To make it short, North Korea has a powerful and bad brand. Being widely known as a nation does not mean it has a good brand just like the way really really bad manufactured products are.

China’s Campaign Lacks Truthfulness

Back in January, I wrote about the nation branding campaign of China in Time Square of NYC. In the article I talked about the possible conflict between China’s current branding strategy and the government’s integrity.

China’s recent diplomacy contradicts its endeavor to re-brand itself with soft-power. It proves that their branding campaign lacks transparency and truthfulness. While China tries to appear to be open, inviting, and friendly on the global stage, its government continues to keep its odd criteria of censorship on the Internet and speech, human rights on its people, and foreign policy on its neighbors.  With these negative attributes, the new image China wants to promote is never attainable.

Below is the link to an article from Human Rights Watch. Australian Prime Minister Gillard expresses her concern over the serious human rights problems in China as she visits the country.

Nation Branding & Investment Expo 2012


Nation Branding & Investment Expo 2012 will be held from 3/6/2011 to 3/8/2011 in Netherland. I learned about this Expo only a few days ago. It sounds like a great chance not only to promote the investment potential of a country but also to improve the international trade relations, especially within the European market.  

NBI Expo, organized by NBI International, is to offer “support and cooperation in the development of export opportunities and inward investment promotion for nations worldwide through consultation and facilitation. ” 

Great opportunity for East Asian countries that are seeking to start to build stronger trade partnerships with European countries.

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