Nation Branding

The brand of a nation is more and more in focus as the world is going through economic decoupling. Nations are asserting their status as individual entities and politician see value in crafting a status that can be attached to a political career. Also, global travel has brought about awareness that cities and states, countries are more enjoyable to visit and live in when local brands and experiences are available not just the global brands that dominate their main city streets.

Singapore: Uniquely Singapore

The rapid rise of Singapore as a regional powerhouse in Asia in the latter part of the twentieth century brought about opportunities and challenges for the government and associated tourism and trade bodies.Regular surveys revealed that Singapore meant different things to different people. The question was how to address the different perceptions of the visitors (MICE delegates, tourists, stopover visitors) and residents (including new immigrants) and deliver a  ‘Singapore experience’ that could be measured and dd to the Nation State’s brand equity.

A top down mandate was given to brand Singapore with a credible positioning that could differentiate, be relevant and sustainable while appealing to all these groups, dialling up the multi-faceted experience that is Singapore. The resulting brand program was a comprehensive roadmap delivering a brand platform based on visual and verbal brand attributes and an overarching positioning that allowed for the various experiences to leverage the position of the new strapline and brand identity – ‘Uniquely Singapore’. Sub positioning executions used the adjective ‘Uniquely’ for food, for history, for culture for trade, for leisure with multiple colour palettes and designs based on the colours and locales of the city. The brand delivered a strapline, visual and verbal identity, multiple communication messaging ideas and guidelines fo local agencies and promotional bodies to delver a consistent look and feel for the Nation State. Research confirmed a significant improvement in the experience of the multiple visitors and residents felt a new pride in their home.

Croatia: Aligning Values with Politics

Croatia is a country basking in the new light of its European Union status. Tourist levels are high. The economy is growing. Infrastructure projects are bringing a new wealth to the nation. The perception of Croatia by visitors as a happy land replete with natural food and beautiful locations to spend a vacation among friendly people is strong. On closer inspection, however, there is a discontent among Croatian nationals who have seen successive governments come and go among scandals and croneyism. Intent on changing this, the Government asked Brendan McMahon to propose a blueprint for as nation branding approach and to link that to one of the VIP members of the elite in the party. The proposal laid out a roadmap for aligning nation brand values with behaviours and messaging by the party.

Georgia: Natural Brand Power

Georgia is at a crossroads. East meets west in this beautiful country with mountains and beaches, with natural mineral and wine resources. It is linked to Russia and the Middle East and has a special trading relationship with China. At the same time, its status as a European Union member gives it special rights and responsibilities. It manages the oil pipeline from east to west. It is a major strategic point for the One Belt One Road initiative. Brendan McMahon is working with the business community to frame an approach to nation branding to position Georgia for the future as it grows and takes on as new status in this part of the world.