Thursday, 19 July 2012

Not So Serious About Nation Branding ?

I was doing some research on the topic of Nation Branding and I came across a very interesting page. It had a list of all the slogans of country tourism. Slogans that establishes an identity or position of the country in the minds of the customers (tourists). I came across the following list :
  1. Abu Dhabi, UAE – A Destination of Distinction 
  2. Australia – There’s nothing like Australia 
  3. Bhutan – Bhutan, happiness is a place 
  4. Brazil – Sensational Brazil 
  5. Brunei – A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures 
  6. California, USA – Find Yourself Here 
  7. Canada – Keep exploring 
  8. Dubai – Definitely Dubai 
  9. Egypt – Where it all begins 
  10. Greece – Greece, the true experience 
  11. Hawaii, USA – The Islands of Aloha 
  12. Hongkong – Asia’s Word City 
  13. India – Incredible India 
  14. Indonesia – Wonderful Indonesia 
  15. Israel – Come find the Israel in you 
  16. Japan – Endless Discovery 
  17. Korea – Korea, Be Inspired 
  18. Laos – Simply Beautiful 
  19. Macau – Touching Moments Experience Macau 
  20. Malaysia – Truly Asia 
  21. Maldives – Always Natural 
  22. Mexico – The Place You Thought You Knew 
  23. Nepal – Naturally Nepal. Once is not enough. 
  24. New York, USA – I love New York 
  25. New Zealand – 100% New Zealand. 100% Pure You 
  26. Peru – Peru. Live the legend 
  27. Philippines – It’s more fun in the Philippines 
  28. Qatar – As Independent as you are 
  29. Singapore – Your Singapore 
  30. South Africa – It’s Possible 
  31. Switzerland – Get natural 
  32. Taiwan – The Heart of Asia 
  33. Thailand – Amazing Thailand, Always Amazes You. 
  34. Vietnam – Timeless charm
There are a total of 34 countries in the list. I got this list in a matter of minutes on the internet. I will not be surprised to find many more if i spend a day and systematically track down more slogans of more countries . My question is , What is the power of a brand if I ( the customer ) need to 'Track' down their slogans? The entire point of a brand is to enable the country to reach to its customers (tourists). There is simply not enough aggression seen in this industry. Perhaps it is seen as a small contributing factor to the economy of a country.

Is it really a small industry with low potential ? I fail to see it that way. Lets take Malaysia for example. It was one of the first country to actually advertise for its tourism on international television. It did this to escape the reliability it had for being dependent of exports. It wanted to diversify its economy and become more independent and strengthen its economy. Well Malaysia did for sure pick up the right industry for its self.

With aggressive advertising and making the slogan famous around the world and also setting a very noticeable position in the minds of the customer (tourist) , Malaysia managed to make tourism a 7% contribute to its GDP. In the yer 2001 Malaysia had 17.5 Million International Tourist Visits , France had 79.1 Million visits , Spain had 58.5 Million Visits , USA had 51.1 Million visits and Italy had 41.1 Million visits. Now in the year 2010 , Malaysia had 24.58 Million International Tourist Visits , France had 76.8 Million Visits , Spain had 52.68 Million Visits , USA had 59.75 Million Visits and Italy had 43.63 Million visits. Did you notice the percentage change ? Here it is:

  1. France : -2.3% (NEGATIVE) 
  2. Spain : -5.82% (NEGATIVE) 
  3. USA : 8.65% (POSITIVE) 
  4. Italy : 2.53% (POSITIVE) 
  5. Malaysia : 40.45% (POSITIVE) 

Malaysia grew nearly 4.5 Times more than USA from 2007 to 2010. Well many will say that there is a difference of 35Million between both the countries , USA leading , however that is not the point. The point is that the efforts of Malaysia to make such a drastic increase in its International Tourist Visits was remarkable with a 40.45% increase. Tourism Malaysia now has 34 overseas and 11 marketing representative offices. As of 2011 Malaysia ranks 9th in the most visited countries list.

Could this be possible without Malaysia realizing the importance of aggression in Nation Branding ?

Do leave comments below. Just click on comments. Then add comments.

Cheers ,
Until next blog post.

- Anant Agnihotri

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