What comes to your mind when you think about Switzerland? What if you hear someone talking about Hawaii, the city of Paris or Tokyo? If you are a gourmand, you should have certain associations when you hear Bordeaux – and you don’t need to be tech-savvy to have an idea what Silicon Valley is about. The role of nation and destination brands is growing. And more and more nations and destinations – cities, regions, and states – understand that they need a professional and structured approach to define their brands. They make use of Nation Branding resp. Destination Branding.
In our view Nation Branding and Destination Branding have to follow the same strategic thinking and development process that we apply to corporate brands. Actually, the professional approach is even more appropriate as in this specific case a brand is in public domain. Even if a destination brand may be dedicated to serving only one goal – e.g. to stimulate incoming tourism – it is important to analyze the complete setting of relevant stakeholders, to understand the political, social and cultural context the brand is embedded in. Otherwise there is a risk of developing brands that are unrelated to reality – and non-authenticity bears the risk of reputational damages.
Context of Nation Branding and Destination Branding
The environment by which a Nation or Destination Brand is surrounded is usually even more complex than the corporate world. The goals associated, e.g. enhancing foreign investment, tourism, trade and even relations with other nations, political institutions and NGOs usually attract a broad set of stakeholders – and “stake-seekers”. In addition, the strategic process needs an understanding of political institutions and processes in order to assure that the brand is both accepted and assimilated by a broad majority of relevant stakeholders. At the same time it has to be manageable in terms of active communication – which means keeping it lean and smart for implementation.
We offer the complete strategic process in developing Nation and Destination brands. This includes analysis to assess the status of a brand, working papers to kick-off projects and generate stakeholder engagement, and moderation and assistance of brand development processes. We help to identify the proper service provider to communicate the brands and we also assist in developing the adequate measurement tools to track the success of the brand after roll-out.
If you want to learn more about Nation Branding and Destination Branding or our other services, please do not hesitate to contact us.