Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Relevance of country/region brands

Did you know that Latin America has had the best 5 years since 1492? The economy is performing as never before, never mind the politics- according to the Opening Plenary at the WEF- Cancun.

And yet, Latin America perhaps may not command the same excitement or mindshare as compared to <say> a China, not withstanding the occasional references to the BRICs (which of course includes Brazil).

Pray why building region/geo/country brand is relevant, one may ask. I think it is relevant because the region would benefit from the "mindshare" of the rest of the world. Whether it be in terms of investment into the region, or global talent considering this as their next opportunity,new technology infusion and general "feel good" in the region – the last one in particular, itself could be a huge galvanizing force-I see this already happening in China and India.

However, what is changing now, that would make regional brands even more relevant, is that going forward, China and india have already changed and are changing the game- when you think of one nation commanding over a billion people, you think huge scale, you think huge markets, and you think huge opportunities. Smaller countries, with their smaller access, have to get together and create larger regional "identities" to compete for the same global mindshare, or they potentially could lose out.

What could be the benefits? I will not list economic benefits because those are perhaps more obvious (taxation, single market, negotiations etc).From a brand perspective, creating a "cool" region/ geo brand is going to give a serious boost up to corporate brands- I know how much easier it has gotten to introduce ourselves and our organization, because of our focus on building the "India" brand, sorta giving ourselves an instant "invitation to join" in any conversation.


chitgo said...
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chitgo said...

True. The sheer geographical size of countries like India & China also create the difficulty for external parties/forces (in the context of brand imagery/awareness) to 'typecast'

When one things Columbia- there's a natural connection to coffee, drugs and salsa. Possibly because of popular perception. What corporate brands probably have to figure out is how to ride on their country's current 'positive perceptions' towards creating a global footprint.

This ofcourse doesn't mean that all the successful companies in Columbia produce coffee beans :)