Nation branding aims to measure, build and manage the reputation of countries (closely related to place branding). Some approaches applied, such as an increasing importance on the symbolic value of products, have led countries to emphasise their distinctive characteristics. The branding and image of a nation-state "and the successful transference of this image to its exports - is just as important as what they actually produce and sell." This is also referred to as country-of-origin effect. Nation branding is still a developing field in which scholars continue their search for a unified theoretical framework. Many governments have resource dedicated to Nation Branding. Their aim is to improve their country's standing, as the image and reputation of a nation can dramatically influence its success in attracting tourism receipts and investment capital; in exports; in attracting a talented and creative workforce and in its cultural and political influence in the world.
Nation branding in practice
Nation branding appears to be practiced by many countries, including the United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom (where it is officially referred to as public diplomacy), Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Israel and most Western European countries. An early example of this was the Cool Britannia approach of the early days of the New Labour government (following the Britain (TM) pamphlet by Demos's Mark Leonard), though this has since been replaced by a more credible Public Diplomacy Board. There is increasing interest in the concept from poorer states on the grounds that an enhanced image might create more favorable conditions for foreign direct investment, tourism, trade and even political relations with other states. Developing nations such as Tanzania and Colombia are creating smaller nation branding programs aimed at increased overall image and with the case of Colombia, changing international perception.
Nation branding in academia
Nation Branding can be approached in academics as a field in social sciences, political sciences, humanities, communication, marketing and international relations. Scholars such as Evan H. Potter at the University of Ottawa have conceptualized nation brands as a form of national soft power. All efforts by government (at any level) to support the nation brand - either directly or indirectly - becomes public diplomacy.
Anti-globalisation proponents often claim that globalisation diminishes and threatens local diversity, but there is evidence that in order to compete against the backdrop of global cultural homogeneity, nations strive to accentuate and promote local distinctiveness as a competitive advantage.
Nation Brands Index
The concept of measuring global perceptions of countries across several dimensions (culture, governance, people, exports, tourism, investment and immigration) was developed by Simon Anholt. His original survey, the Anholt Nation Brands Index, was launched in 2005 and fielded four times a year.
Futurebrand Country Brand Index
Futurebrand publishes the Country Brand Index every year, which includes an overall ranking of the 75 countries, rankings by dimension, complete perception dashboards for the top five country brands, regional leaders and averages and 'ones to watch' for the future.
Monocle Soft Power Survey
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- "GERMANY KNOCKS USA OFF BEST NATION TOP SPOT AFTER 5 YEARS". Press Releases. GfK Custom Research North America. 12 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "US VOTED TOP COUNTRY FOR ATTRACTING TALENT AND INVESTMENT – BUT WITH A REDUCING LEAD". Press Releases. GfK Custom Research North America. 14 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Two-Thirds of Nations Experience Reputation Decline in 2012 Nation Brands Index". Press Releases. GfK Custom Research North America. Oct 23, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Nation Brands Index 2011 released
- Nation Brands Index 2010 released
- Andrew Stevens (June 8, 2011) "The Singapore brand offers a thoroughly modern city" City Mayors Foundation.
- Anholt, Simon (2003) Brand New Justice: the upside of global branding, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.
- Chan, Rachel (April 20, 2011) Review of Brand Singapore by Koh Buck Song at University of Southern California Center on public diplomacy at the Annenberg School.
- Clay Risen (Dec 11, 2005) "Branding Nations", New York Times.
- Council on Foreign Relations (November 9, 2007) Backgrounder on Nation Branding.
- Fan, Y. (2006) "Nation branding: what is being branded?" Journal of Vacation Marketing 12(1): 5-14.
- Gubel, Peter (May 29, 2005) article in Time Magazine.
- Johansson, Johny K. (2004) In Your Face: How American Marketing Fuels Anti-Americanism, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times/Prentice-Hall.
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- Weiner, Eric (January 11, 2006) Feature of National Public Radio's "Day to Day",