Nation branding

Nation branding

Nation branding is a field of theory and practice which 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."[1]


Nation Branding as a Theory

As a new field, nation branding is still trying to come up with one unified theoretical framework. Many theories have been proposed and are being used. Anholt's Nation Brand Hexagon is one of the most prominent. It consists of a country managing and coordinating the nations brand through the six communication channels:

  • People: Measures the population's reputation for competence, education, openness and friendliness and other qualities, as well as perceived levels of potential hostility and discrimination.
  • Governance: Measures public opinion regarding the level of national government competency and fairness and describes individuals' beliefs about each country's government, as well as its perceived commitment to global issues such as democracy, justice, poverty and the environment.
  • Exports: Determines the public's image of products and services from each country and the extent to which consumers proactively seek or avoid products from each country-of-origin.
  • Tourism: Captures the level of interest in visiting a country and the draw of natural and man-made tourist attractions.
  • Culture & Heritage: Reveals global perceptions of each nation's heritage and appreciation for its contemporary culture, including film, music, art, sport and literature.
  • Investment & Immigration Determines the power to attract people to live, work or study in each country and reveals how people perceive a country's economic and social situation

Nation Branding in Practice

Nation branding appears to be practised by many states, including Canada, the United States, France, United Kingdom (where it is officially referred to as public diplomacy), Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, 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. Programs led by Richard H. Griffiths have been used in Tanzania, Colombia, Guatemala and the US Department of State.

Nation Branding Pioneers

Simon Anholt is credited as a practitioner pioneer in the field. He regularly conducts two global surveys known as the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index and Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index. There is one professional/academic journal in the field, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, published by Palgrave Macmillan and edited by Simon Anholt. Simon Anholt also conducts the Nation Branding Masterclass, a series of one-day events designed to support the more effective stewardship of the national identity.

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 the distinctiveness of local characteristics and competitive advantages.[2]

Influential Publications

Despite the growing practice and recognition of the value of nation branding by more countries, there are only a few books that have been published on the subject. Among them are Brand America by Simon Anholt with Jeremy Hildreth, and Brand Singapore by Koh Buck Song. The first academic textbook on nation branding is 'Nation branding: concept, Issues, Practice' by Keith Dinne. The most prominent academic journal in the field is Palgrave McMillan's 'Place Branding and Public Diplomacy".


Simon Anholt is credited as a pioneer in the field. He regularly conducts two global surveys known as the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index and Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index.

Nation Brands Index

Rank Country NBI 2011[3] Rank NBI 2010[4]
1 United States United States United States
2 Germany Germany Germany
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom France
4 France France United Kingdom
5 Japan Japan Japan
6 Canada Canada Canada
7 Italy Italy Italy
8 Australia Australia Switzerland
9 Switzerland Switzerland Australia
10 Sweden Sweden Sweden

The concept of measuring the global perception of a country in several spheres has been developed by Simon Anholt. A subsequent ranking of nations following his surveys was first released in 2005 known as the Anholt Nation Brands Index and was initially published four times a year.

Since 2008 research activities from GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media and Simon Anholt are joined and resulted in an expanded version of the index which is since then known as the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI).

Published on an annual basis, 20,157 interviews have been conducted with approximately 1,000 interviews per country for the 2008 Index to determine how countries are perceived by others. People over the age of seventeen have been interviewed in twenty core countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Japan, China, India, South Korea, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa. The criteria underlying the NBI ranking are based on his Nation Brand hexagon:People:, Governance: , Exports: , Tourism: , Culture & Heritage: and Investment & Immigration.[5]

Rank Cult./her. Brand 2008 Score
1 France France 71.4
2 Italy Italy 70.9
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom 69.0
4 Germany Germany
5 United States United States
6 Spain Spain
7 Russia Russia
8 Japan Japan
9 China PR China
10 Brazil Brazil
11 Australia Australia
12 Canada Canada
13 Sweden Sweden
14 Netherlands Netherlands
15 Austria Austria
Rank People Brand 2008 Score
1 Canada Canada 70.1
2 Australia Australia 68.9
3 Italy Italy 67.7
4 Sweden Sweden
5 Switzerland Switzerland
6 United Kingdom United Kingdom
7 Germany Germany
8 Japan Japan
9 Spain Spain
10 New Zealand New Zealand
11 France France
12 Netherlands Netherlands
13 United States United States
14 Norway Norway
- Scotland Scotland
Rank Export Brand 2008 Score
1 Japan Japan 77.0
2 United States United States 74.8
3 Germany Germany 72.7
4 United Kingdom United Kingdom
5 France France
6 Canada Canada
7 Switzerland Switzerland
8 Sweden Sweden
9 Italy Italy
10 Australia Australia
11 Netherlands Netherlands
12 Spain Spain
13 Norway Norway
14 Denmark Denmark
15 Finland Finland
Rank Tourism Brand 2008 Score
1 Italy Italy 77.2
2 France France 75.9
3 Spain Spain 73.3
4 United Kingdom United Kingdom
5 Australia Australia
6 United States United States
7 Canada Canada
8 Japan Japan
8 Switzerland Switzerland
10 Germany Germany
10 Egypt Egypt
- Scotland Scotland
13 Brazil Brazil
14 Sweden Sweden
15 Austria Austria
Rank Governance Brand 2008 Score
1 Switzerland Switzerland 67.3
2 Canada Canada 67.2
3 Sweden Sweden 66.5
4 Germany Germany
5 Australia Australia
6 Norway Norway
7 Netherlands Netherlands
7 Denmark Denmark
9 United Kingdom United Kingdom
10 France France
11 Finland Finland
12 New Zealand New Zealand
13 Austria Austria
14 Chile Chile
15 Belgium Belgium
Rank Immi./ Inv. Brand 2008 Score
1 Canada Canada 62.3
2 United Kingdom United Kingdom 62.1
2 United States United States 62.1
4 Switzerland Switzerland
5 Germany Germany
6 France France
7 Australia Australia
8 Sweden Sweden
9 Italy Italy
10 Japan Japan
11 Netherlands Netherlands
12 Spain Spain
13 Denmark Denmark
14 Norway Norway
15 New Zealand New Zealand


  1. ^ True, Jacqui (2006). "Globalisation and Identity". In Raymond Miller. Globalisation and Identity. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-19-558492-9. 
  2. ^ True, Jacqui (2006). "Globalisation and Identity". In Raymond Miller. Globalisation and Identity. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. pp. 73–74. ISBN 978-0-19-558492-9. 
  3. ^ Nation Brands Index 2011 released
  4. ^ Nation Brands Index 2010 released
  5. ^ Nation Brands Index Site for information about Simon Anholt, Retrieved 2008, 07-05.

Further reading

  • Anholt, Simon with Hildreth, Jeremy. Brand America: The Mother of All Brands. London: Cyan Books, 2004.
  • Anholt, Simon with Hildreth, Jeremy. Brand America : The Making, Unmaking and Remaking of the Greatest National Image of All Time. Marshall Cavendish. 2011. ISBN 978-190-5736-56-0.
  • Koh, Buck Song. Brand Singapore: How Nation Branding Built Asia's Leading Global City. Marshall Cavendish, Singapore. 2011. ISBN 978-981-4328-15-9. [1]
  • Review by Chan, Rachel of Brand Singapore by Koh, Buck Song at University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School. 20 April 2011.
  • Townsend, Jake August 8, 2011 "Branding Peace: Norway's Identity Put to the Test" Huffington Post
  • Olins, Wally. 2002. Branding the nation – the historical context. In Journal of Brand Management, 9(4-5).
  • Fan, Y. 2006. “Nation branding: what is being branded?” Journal of Vacation Marketing, 12:1, 5-14, available at
  • Backgrounder on Nation Branding from Council on Foreign Relations, November 9, 2007
  • Entry on Nation Branding, Center for Media & Democracy's Sourcewatch
  • Nation Branding : San Marino developing into a brand Meike Eitel, Marie Spiekermann, 2005
  • article, Boston Globe, Risen, Clay (March 13, 2005)
  • Feature by Weiner, Eric (January 11, 2006), National Public Radio's "Day to Day",
  • article by Gumbel, Peter Time Magazine, May 29, 2005
  • Article in New York Times - "Branding Nations" by Clay Risen, Dec 11, 2005.
  • Article on Singapore's nation branding - "The Singapore brand offers a thoroughly modern city" by Andrew Stevens, City Mayors Foundation, 8 June 2011. [2]
  • Article on Singapore's nation branding - "Farewell to the 'nanny state' blight" by Koh, Buck Song, The Straits Times, 24 Sept 2011.
  • Rendon, Jim: “When Nations Need a Little Marketing.” New York Times, November 23, 2003.
  • Anholt, Simon. Brand New Justice: the upside of global branding. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 2003.
  • Johansson, Johny K. In Your Face: How American Marketing Fuels Anti-Americanism. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times/Prentice-Hall, 2004.
  • Kotler, Philip; Jatusripitak, Somkid; Maesincee, Suvit: The Marketing of Nations. A Strategic Approach To Building National Wealth. The Free Press, New York, 1997.
  • Melerowicz, Marianna. National Branding in Poland. in: AICELS Law Review - Journal on Central European Law. No.1, Rincon: The American Institute for Central European Legal Studies (AICELS), 2009.
  • Potter, Evan. 2009. Branding Canada: Projecting Canada's Soft Power through Public Diplomacy (Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press).
  • TRUE, Jacqui. 2006. "Globalisation and Identity." In Raymond Miller (ed.) New Zealand Government and Politics (Melbourne: Oxford University Press).

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nation Branding — bezeichnet den Versuch, einem Staat durch Anwendung von Kommunikationstechniken aus der Markentechnik ein mit einer Handelsmarke vergleichbares Image zu verschaffen. Damit soll die Bekanntheit und das Vertrauen in ein Land im Ausland positiv… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nation Brands Index — Nation Branding bezeichnet den Versuch, einem Staat durch Anwendung von Kommunikationstechniken aus der Markentechnik ein mit einer Handelsmarke vergleichbares Image zu verschaffen. Damit soll die Bekanntheit und das Vertrauen in ein Land im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Branding — may refer to:* Livestock branding, the marking of animals to indicate ownership * Human branding, as body modification or punishment * Wood branding, permanently marking, by way of heat, wood (also: plastic, cork, leather, etc.) * Vehicle title… …   Wikipedia

  • Nation Broadcasting Corporation — For the US broadcast television network as the National Broadcasting Company, see NBC. Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Type General partnership Industry Broadcast radio and Television network Founded July 12, 1963 Headqua …   Wikipedia

  • Place branding — (also known as destination branding, place marketing or place promotion) is a relatively new umbrella term encompassing Nation Branding, Region Branding and City Branding. The term was first developed by Philip Kotler, [… …   Wikipedia

  • Foreign branding — is an advertising and marketing term describing the implied cachet or superiority of products and services with foreign or foreign sounding names. Contents 1 Non English brand names in English speaking countries 2 English brand names in non… …   Wikipedia

  • XM Sports Nation — Infobox Radio Station airdate = August 28,2006 name = XM Sports Nation frequency = XM144 website = [ page.jsp?ch=144 XM Sports Nation] area = USA CAN format = Sports Talk and Play by Play owner = XM… …   Wikipedia

  • Newton's Nation — is an annual, gravity fueled, action sports festival. The inaugural Newton s Nation (originally called Newton s Playground) was held in the summer of 2008 at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia. History 2008 Newton s Nation was originally named… …   Wikipedia

  • Brand — For other uses, see Brand (disambiguation). Marque redirects here. For other uses, see Marque (disambiguation). The Coca Cola logo is an example of a widely recognized trademark representing a global brand …   Wikipedia

  • Simon Anholt — is a British government advisor specializing in the field of nation branding. Anholt has advised numerous governments and edits the journal Place Branding and Public Diplomacy .cite news | last =Risen| first =Clay| title =Branding Nations| work… …   Wikipedia