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How to sell a country: the booming business of nation branding

By the Guardian

These days, every place in the world wants to market its unique identity – and an industry has sprung up to help put them on the map. By Samanth SubramanianRead full story

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  • Quite the inevitable story of how all entities capture attention in a globalized world. Nations are taking note of this yet-obscure practice of branding; and yet, there is a plethora of midsize organizations toiling away in the US unknowing of what a brand even is. Could governments possibly capture the importance of something the private mid market sector misses?

    More nations must follow suit and illuminate themselves in the minds of both travelers and industries, lest they be cast aside as “insignificant

    Quite the inevitable story of how all entities capture attention in a globalized world. Nations are taking note of this yet-obscure practice of branding; and yet, there is a plethora of midsize organizations toiling away in the US unknowing of what a brand even is. Could governments possibly capture the importance of something the private mid market sector misses?

    More nations must follow suit and illuminate themselves in the minds of both travelers and industries, lest they be cast aside as “insignificant” - which is, of course, a PR problem at its core.

  • It’s one thing if a newly rebranded town or region wants the tourists; what if they don’t? I spent a week on the Crimean coast a decade ago (pre-Putin takeover). It was a beautiful place that didn’t need — nor want — foreign tourists, and I wouldn’t recommend it to most travelers. Is this a missed opportunity for Crimeans? Or maybe it’s just none of our business?

  • Fascinating take on nation marketing.

  • Ken Breen
    Ken BreenDow Jones

    A truly fascinating piece. Propaganda versus branding - and how do you define how people belong to a country? Can democracy be branded? Has Ireland hit the jackpot via Guinness?

  • This is interesting but not surprising to me. Branding is vital to getting anything to stand out and countries using it makes sense. In reality, they are entities just like a large company in the US. If big companies want to survive they have to invest in their brands.

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