Relaunch the national Image with a Nation Branding Campaign
Rome, 29th October 2021
The Country Brand or Made in indicates the set of factors that determine the positioning of a nation regarding its ability to attract flows of people and capital.
The Country brand is also understood as the positioning of the destination in the mind and heart of people and with which they identify themselves.
It represents everything that people associate with history, culture and lifestyle in the country, and can include one or more variables, such as cuisine, fashion, landscapes, monuments or political perception.
Seeing the country as a brand makes it competitive on the global market, and its perception abroad becomes an essential factor for the economy as well. Suffice it to think that people prefer buying products whose country of origin they know. An outstanding example is the Made in Italy itself, one of the most important brands in the world.
A winning communication campaign shall be able to support the country’s exports and the internationalization of the national economic system in the areas of greatest interest requiring a larger promotional effort.
The Country Brand defines the Public Image of a Nation in the World
People who decide to visit a country, as well as those who opt to work , invest capital or live there, do it according to the perception that they have of that place.
In this context, it must be understood that the opinion we have of the country in which we were born and live does not always coincide with the perception and experience of people from other countries or different backgrounds.
To generate a positive sentiment and opinion towards your country, it is necessary to develop a clear identity, build its own image and reputation, share them correctly and, then, consolidate them over time.
The Country Brand is not static and can change even quickly: just think of the effect produced by the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism sector.
Besides the intrinsic strengths of the future tourism offer, much will also depend on the overall scenario of the country: stability, propserity, security, healthiness, ease of access to tourist and para-tourist services.
All factors converge on the country’s identity and, at a later stage, on the logo, namely, the graphic design choosen by the nation to present its offer to the world.
In the immediate future, therefore, all countries will have to move wisely and base each strategic choice on solid foundations, namely the analysis of data that mark market trends.
A smart Country Branding strategy will thus be indispensable, to stand out from the global competition in an incisive way.
The Embassies Pivotal Role in Country Branding
In the immediate future, trust in service providers as guarantors of the safety of places to visit is going to be crucial.
Trust as a common value of tourism: Beconfident was, indeed, also the theme of the 2021 Edition of TTG, Travel Experience International Tourism Fair in Rimini, held from 13th to 15th October, in which Easy Diplomacy took part.
Embassies and Institutions thus play a key role in the economic recovery for their country.
However, precisely for this reason, in a global context in which communication and information are instantaneous and overabundant, Embassies shall pay great attention to the Country Brand to avoid letting the image of their country, in Italy and abroad, be determined by luck, past or present historical and political events, communication campaigns or, even worse, the fake news invading social networks.
Institutions, amongst others, are already the main Promoters of their Country Brand abroad. Indeed, one of their most important tasks is to improve the image and reputation of their country, and to develop projects that can foster its growth.
Embassies, Consulates and Tourism Offices have always been involved in Country Branding through many activities: representative events, B2B, care of Delegations for Official and State Visits, cultural initiatives such as fairs, fashion shows and exhibitions, film festivals or other types of public events. Even the exchange of representative gifts during visits and meetings is, fundamentally, a Country Branding activity.
Becoming aware of your own Country Brand and knowing the public opinion of your country in Italy, Europe and the world, can help make ‘diplomatic activities’ even more effective, or even make the difference.
How do you measure Country Brand?
Country Brand is calculated starting from the Analysis of the Country, aimed at identifying strengths and weaknesses in the public opinion abroad, up to the implemetation of a series of interventions and initiatives aimed at improving and strengtheninig those factors that will be decisive in the identification of the Country Brand.
The country’s identity and the Country Brand shall be developed around the strenghts, while the Institutions shall work on the weaknesses identified.
There are two main Parameters on which the country Brand is calculated: the perception of the country and the tangible data.
Measuring the perception of a country around the the world is undoubtedly complex: it means how people perceive the offer, also known as “made in”, including quality of life, work potential, attractiveness, non-tangible heritage, i.e. traditions and all those experiences that allow visitors to enjoy the cultural heritage that cannot be seen, but which is an integral part of the territory and is abundant in every country.
Perception is measured through surveys:
- among the population of the country of interest, for example Italy. We will ask italians what they think of your country and why, what places they have visited, what their perception of safety and hospitality is, etc;
- among stakeholders, such as banks or credit institutions. Their perception will help assess the prospects for investment and business in the country.
It is necessary to differentiate perception from tangible data, i.g. those quantificable factual data that reveals the actual feasibility of reaching, living or working well in the country.
There are, in fact, favorite destinations with a high Country Brand index in terms of perception, and that represent a dream for many visitors, but they are in fact not easily accessible, having weak internal connections, poor infrastructures, not many hospitals nor schools.
These two parameters, perception and tangible data, give us a precious overall picture of the country, elements on which to work in synergy with the Embassies and all the institutions involved.
Every country can be considered a Brand capable of attracting people, tourists and investors.
To measure this, Easy Diplomacy Professionals will develop an Observatory aimed at identifying those elements of uniqueness and strength around which to develop a clear identity, aligned with the actual reality of the country, and to share it effectively around the world, starting from Italy.
The Country Brand as a Lever for Tourism
Country Brand is a fundamental lever for Tourism and can provide an effective response for the restart of the sector: a close operation of national rebranding may be providential and open the way to various kinds of tourism, more suited to serve the needs of today’s travelers.
From the pilgrimage routes to eco-friendly travel, passing through eco-relax or digital detox vacations, the demand for unique and alternative travel experiences is now a consolidated reality, whether for safety reasons or personal preference.
Therefore, a range of new possibilities is opening up (experiential tourism, sustainable tourism, proximity tourism) for countries that want to undertake a path of tourism promotion of their own Heritage abroad. A heritage that is not limited to the presence of archealogical sites or artistic value, nor does it necessarily require the presence of particularly developed infrastructure.
That is why wild locations surrounded by nature, perhaps even with few connections and limited access to technologies such as Wi-Fi or mobile networks, become long-awaited destinations for a kind of tourism (including luxury tourism) that wants to regain time, silence and contact with nature to practice sports or carry out activities that have a positive impact on the environment and local communities.
Easy Diplomacy’s strategy and solutions are designed with the objective of making the country attractive, interesting, safe, organized and welcoming, in order to be able to “offer” itself to the world as a destination and tourist product.
The Solutions of Easy Diplomacy for Tourism
For this reason, Easy Diplomacy, after analysing the perception of the country in Italy and in collaboration with the Embassies, will develop proposals and contents aimed at building a winning Country Brand for each country in the Tourism sector.
There are apparently simple Solutions, but have an important value both for those who travel and for those who promote the destination. By way of example: Safety&Security paths for a safe stay; personalized awards (for example the pilgrim diploma in the context of religious tourism); exclusive visits to sites that were never made accessible before, involvement of the tourist in initiatives in favor of the local population of the country being visited.
In terms of communication, one of our most interesting initiatives are pilot test trips.
We know that the first visitors to a destination are the most valuable, because they are the first Brand Ambassadors of the country in the world.
It is therefore a matter of discreetly involving small ‘pilot’ groups of paying travelers to field-test the quality of services offered, the professionalism of local operators, the infrastructure and the concrete needs of visitors.
The ‘experiment’ practically involves the participation of ‘discreet’ communicators whose task is to collect the necessary information and document the trips with testimonials, photos and videos that will then be used in the country’s communication and marketing plan.
The Country Brand is a fundamental lever for tourism, but not only for tourism.
A successful Country Brand means investing in the future of your Country.
Today’s event require courage and challenging choices.
We at Easy Diplomacy are ready for the new international challenges.