From 5 to 7 September 2017 the 27th version of the Economic Forum, an international economic conference attended by political and business elites from all over Europe, takes places in Krynica-Zdroj in Poland. Today, six speakers from Portugal, Ukraine, Germany, Moldova, Poland and Switzerland come together at a discussion panel entitled “Fighting Stereotypes – the Influence of the National and Regional Image on Tourism and Economic Development“. Among them is Markus Renner, Managing Partner of Branding-Institute and Co-Chairman of the International Brand & Reputation Community (INBREC). Together they will discuss questions like: How can we diminish negative stereotypes about nationalities? How to use country and regional brands to attract tourists and investors?
A country’s or region’s image is an important element of its economic development – especially when it comes to tourism. In this context, Markus Renner elaborates on the impact of brand and reputation on business results, in general, and the so-called “Country of Origin Effect”. Research shows that consumers’ and other stakeholders’ general perceptions of a country or region combine to create an overall reputation that is also associated with the products and services offered by that particular country or region.
Sometimes, there is a huge gap between the self-perception of a country and its actual reputation hold by various stakeholders. It is very important to close that gap: you can only have sustainable success if you meet the expectations of your key stakeholders such as tourists but also investors and other stakeholders. Poland’s reputation, for example, ranks below average compared to other countries. Countries like Switzerland, Germany and Japan can be found on top of the list thanks to their strong reputation in areas like “quality”, “precision”, “innovation” and “political stability”. Markus Renner explains that a way to actively use the Country of Origin Effect is to adapt a strategy focused on the associations and perceptions of a country or region and use them in your favour: “Country of Origin Branding”.
For more than 25 years, the Economic Forum has been an important debate platform representing civil society, local and regional community circles, political representatives, business world and international experts.
If you are interested in further discussions on country brand and reputation please join Markus Renner’s LinkedIn group Country of Origin Branding (COOB).