Branding is a process by which a pattern or structure is given to a group of individuals and acknowledged as unique, autonomous and reasonably stable over a longer period of time.
When it comes to brand management, the organizational structure aims to optimize brand value on both qualitative and quantitative levels, as well as to keep the brand promise. Branding is a marketing approach that gives your country a face, a voice, an appearance, a personality, and beliefs, allowing a nation to be more relatable to its visitors and other travelers. Above all, having a distinct brand allows a country to target the right audience for economic benefits while leaving a lasting impression.
The definition and significance of 'place' have never been more complex or contested in a world of global trade, communications, tourism and supranational political organizations. However, taking decisions about where to work, study, travel and invest are influenced as much by a country's associations and experiences as by its regulatory, economic and social conditions. The Country Brand Index (CBI) was first published in 2005 and has since evolved to measure the dimension of country of origin (COO) or 'made in,' which is becoming a very important factor in choosing a country as a brand, as well as demonstrating that countries that qualify as brands have a measurable competitive advantage.
In the recent years other cities, islands, and even countries have been aggressively branding themselves in order to develop a resonating identity among stakeholders and build long-term customer connections. Bangladesh as a sovereign nation can have numerous advantages if it is properly branded. The process through which a country asserts a distinct brand positioning in the eyes of its residents, foreign stakeholders and the global customers is known as country branding. To maintain its position, Bangladesh should devote its resources to coordinating and integrating a brand name.
With the term "Nation Branding", we can start representing our national identity as a way to promote a favorable image both internally and outside. It, like any other plan or attempt, can only be successful if all parts of the system, from the government to stakeholders and the people, are involved. However, many issues arise in the course of establishing the strategy at any given level of nation branding. The following are some of the issues that can be solved with the right vision and implementation strategies.
A good country branding strategy results in an unshakeable association of a country with a certain habit, identity, or quality. Take Germany, for example. Precision engineering and great quality are
synonymous with Germany, to the point where German cars like the BMW tout German engineering as one of their unique selling characteristics. Germany ensured that the best engineers were recruited and that the necessary research and development facilities and cutting-edge technology infrastructure were put in place to attain this global brand positioning. The government also helped Germany become a pioneer in precision engineering by providing regulatory support.
The nation of origin of a firm (product/service/brand) has a substantial impact on the company's perceived quality and likability in the eyes of consumers by adding legitimacy, respect and status to its products and services. This is the result of the country of origin (COO) influence. By following the same strategy, we can actually make attempts to introduce our technical and experiential expertise learned from our RMG, leather and SME sectors.
In many circumstances, the country reputation gives credence to the image of a company or product. Some well-known examples include Swiss timepieces, French wine, Danish designs, Thai hospitality, Italian fashion and 100% genuine New Zealand. Country of Origin (COO) has been shown to have a significant impact on customers' readiness to acquire products and the price range they are prepared to explore, according to research. Due to the connotations they create in consumers' minds, the nation of origin alone might be the reason for a product's success or failure when marketed at a given price range.
The COO effect has been seen in a variety of situations all across the world. Because Paris is a synonym of beauty and elegance, several French beauty and designer businesses, such as L'Oreal, L'Occitane en Provence, and Hermès have flourished. AmorePacific, a Korean beauty brand, is realizing its ambition to be the "Asian Beauty Creator" by delivering holistic care through its beauty and wellness products, while Korea cements its position as the model for Asian beauty.
ITC's Export Marketing and Branding (EMB) business help developing-country exporters improve their strategic and operational marketing skills by delivering a full suite of capacity building and
consultancy services to satisfy their marketing and branding demands. By following the same road, Bangladesh's praiseworthy development in the digital era would play a monumental role if they reach the right audiences globally.
Nation branding has grown in popularity in recent years, with an increasing number of countries hiring branding consultants (whether major marketing firms like Interbrand and Saatchi and Saatchi or independent policy advisors), forming branding commissions and developing branding strategies, all to raise their countries' profile and image. Following the footsteps of the corporate world, where 'Brand Value' can account for as much as 40%–60% of a company's value (Jansen 2008: 125), nations are increasingly being lured by the idea of nation branding having a similar impact on national fortunes. Bangladesh, as an emerging national brand among other developing nations, can consider professional approaches for securing an enhanced brand image for the next millennium.
Consumers may want to buy certain branded products because of the brand's reputation and image, and it is hoped that a strong national brand will encourage them to buy products because of their country of origin. By this, consumers who purchased "Made in Bangladesh" products across the globe will entice skilled professionals to seek employment here resulting in the boosting of our country's international status and influence. As an outcome of that "Bangladesh as a global brand" will pave ways for our local products to grow - such as 'cool Britannia,' 'beautiful India' and 'Malaysia Asia', with the competitive advantage making it stand out from the crowd.
Academic curiosity has been kindled in a range of subjects, including business and marketing, economics, sociology, anthropology, communication studies, and, to a lesser extent, politics and
international affairs. According to Kaneva (2011), branding a nation can be divided into three approaches: 'Technical-economic approaches,' which focus on nation branding's relationship to
public diplomacy and are written from the perspective of branding practitioners and marketing scholars seeking to better understand how to use branding to a nation's competitive advantage (e.g. Moilanen and Rainisto 2009); 'political approaches,' which typically focus on nation branding's relationship to public diplomacy and are written from the perspective of branding practitioners and marketing scholars seeking to better understand how to use a brand, where nation branding is frequently linked to reputation and considered as a potential source of soft power (e.g. Moilanen and Rainisto 2009); (e.g. van Ham 2002, 2008).
Company culture and national brands are becoming increasingly interwoven, to the point where some experts believe they are interchangeable. To put it another way, a country's branding and
content marketing tactics are closely related to the culture of the entire nation. It's never a bad idea to take a look back at the corporate culture trends we've seen in the past and anticipate some future
developments. It's worth thinking about how these trends connect with the culture of the people of our country, and how they might affect your country's content marketing strategy and results in the future. Therefore, the tremendous success stories told by international brands operating in Bangladesh can be a pivotal source of inspiration and learning for our country branding.
The country's political leadership is frequently the first point of reference individuals have of a country because their image is construed by the world through the media. They are public personalities who represent a certain set of values, a point of view, or a country. As a result, a leader's influence on the reputation of a country is unavoidable. The country branding process becomes smooth sailing once the political leadership of the country portrays a positive image of the country brand both within and beyond the country. Therefore, our administrative apparatus, as well as missions abroad, should do their best to portray a positive image of our political leaders across the national and global scales.
Climate change's influence on countries, regions and cities is one of the most pressing Place Branding issues currently on the global agenda. This is a problem that must be included in Nation Branding agendas to account for this issue while establishing brand offers and experiences. In our country, citizens, in reality, are the ones who bear the brunt of these natural calamities. Its scope is constantly expanding as a result of human-caused environmental harm.
Stakeholder participation in nation branding is an important part of Bangladesh's branding as a strategy for reaching out to a diverse audience. The historical and cultural heritage, as well as the quality of life, are competitive advantages for a country, region, or city. It also serves to attract financing and investment to help the area's long-term socio-economic growth. As a result, defining the distinctive features that allow the country and its stakeholders to achieve strategic goals remains an ever-evolving predicament for us on this journey.
Professor Md Tareque Aziz, PhD is an academician, columnist and Service Quality Management (SQM) consultant