At the moment I blogged something here about destination branding, earlier this month, I have to admit I didn’t know anything about the fact that FutureBrand, a leading global brand consultancy, in conjunction with sister company and leading global public relations firm, Weber Shandwick, were about to release first-of-its-kind global survey that identifies countries as brands and suggests the pivotal role that branding could
make in helping countries differentiate themselves.
If a ‘brand’ is defined as an experience, then some of the world’s most powerful and recognizable brands should be countries. The challenge the industry faces is that it must move away from the traditional reactive and tactical marketing approaches and instead, create and deliver an overall brand experience that drives sales and turns visitors into country-brand evangelists
said Rene A. Mack, president of Weber Shandwick’s global travel practice.
Branding a country takes time,commitment and focus. While many of the countries that ranked high have scored well, not all of them have fully crafted their brands as places that differentiate, nor do theystand for something in the hearts and minds of key audiences, expand and drive business opportunities or perpetuate loyalty and preference.
As both tourism and international trade becomes morecluttered and competitive, brand is one of the few ways to truly differentiate. Those countries willing to truly work on brand building will be more likely to enjoy a competitive advantage, higher returns, longer term momentum and stronger advocates.
says the study.
The study has many interesting insights into the travel and destinaiton branding and has as its output an overall top of 2005 destinations: