Future Brand research revealed a situation where respondents ranked a city highly based on a perception of a brand. Based on such ranking, the positive respondents ranking a city also express high likelihood that they visit the city in reference and further do business with it as opposed to other countries on the list. This implies that people have strong perceptions across six dimensions associated with status as well as experience. Subsequently, they perceive a city equally strong by virtue if aspects associated with quality of life, business and values similar to their perception and attitude towards culture, history and tourism among other aspects associated with a city.
According to the modest research findings, strong nation or city brand creates a measurable competitive advantage through increased visitation, investments and advocacy besides having increased consumer preference for both products and services. This therefore means that it is preferential to manage a city identity as well as reputation as a corporate or a consumer brand. This aspect boosts the capacity of the individual city to attract high level of visitation through elaborate scheme of international relations.
In this regard, Japan is credited with overtaking Switzerland with clear cross-cutting element of ‘uniqueness’. Majority of the viewers also cites the city’s prominence and association with the modest technology, education, art, health as well as heritage and culture as a source of critical nation brand. Indeed, Japan presents a case of a city that has been advancing steadily over time to surpass the rest of the world via robotic engineering and technologies. Thus, the city is associated with high expertise in technology, automotives and consumer electronics among others. This also led to the identification of innovations and technological segments as the areas in the city that has exhibited the most rigorous expansion in the city, thus spearheading the growth of other sectors.
City branding campaigns
Prior to July 9th 2006 was characteristic show of the advanced global image growth of Germany. This was a celebration that was carried out for Brand Germany which is credited with an overwhelming success with the latest brand index ranking listing the city at position two of the admired city brand a significant rise from previous position seven. In addition to soccer, the world cup event of 2006 is credited with transforming the city brand from the past image of fun-loving, creative a modern city. Previously, Germany has had been perceived as an effective state but cold and unfriendly to people activities and social-cultural aspects.
This event achieved more than any politician on the land has ever achieved by imbuing the city with a senses of common destiny and pride. For instance, it was historical when the Britains Time on the final day pronounced on its headline news, ‘Never mind the Finals, the true Winners are Germany!’ This was a clear indication of the extent to which the brand Germany had grown within the period of reference. Hardly two years prior to the world cup, the city exhibited a different face from the previously known to have been plagued with self-doubts with its own president claiming it was on the verge on draining into a ‘collective depression’. This phase was gradually disappearing and to date, it is no more of the past outlook.
In return, German has an approximate of 5 million visitors with a relative brand audience of about 750 million people which is a remarkable reach out in the rebranding mechanism for a nation. Before the tournament, German print media were also filled with doubts about possibility of the national team making a win with possible indulgence of Neo-Nazi demonstration. Over the four weeks time, the Word Cup reported virtually no crime or violence thus a sense of comfort and safety for the visitors and the nation at large. Through the nationwide and the global reporting of the world cup eventuality, this experience was extended to the spectators globally and the local precincts with the message of ideal hosting of fan festivals. In fact, the fan festival was one of the mechanisms that further skewed the attention to the Germany brand where fans could also follow match proceedings from gigantic screens. This world Cup event was critical in boosting the German’s brand image which in turn lured the attention of important business partners and investors into the city.
City branding concept examples
In fact, a change in the city’s fans identity also changed dramatically with about 40 percent of the overall attendants of the fan festival comprising of women from different states. Subsequently, the new Bundesliga event in Germany is credited with a spillover effect though about two years ago, the same events witnessed only about 23 percent of visitors comprising of females with the current number of females rising to a third drawn from different parts of the world. Nation Branding, just like personal branding is mainly dependent on the self-image of the main characters, in which case, the citizens often acts as the main characters. The hosting of World Cup games was a medium opportunity for the city to showcase its unknown strength and therefore boost its position as far as international perception is concerned.
The president of the republic of France and his colleague, from Korea has been working on a joint mission to establish a nation’s brand image as well as the challenge of its maintenance. In this contemporary influence of globalization, nation brand is very important than ever before. Indeed, increasing number of governments trying to manipulate the potential of commercial branding approaches towards enhancing their city’s image has increased considerably. In February 2014, the French President, Francois Hollande made a strategic move towards enhancing the image of his city by setting up a Strategic Attractiveness Council for spearheading the city’s branding prospects.
Prior to this development, the Korean Government, in 2009, had established a presidential council for city branding aimed at boosting the city’s exports, promote tourism and inward investment among other benefits. As a critical exchange between nations, Korea and France targets 2015 and 2016 as very crucial years for understanding one another and mutually promoting their respective images. At the individual companies’ level, brand image is defined through established marketing strategies while at the nation level; the nation’s image is mainly forged through a period of time. In fact, nation brand’s definition is derived from history, culture and the economy of a city among other variables.
City Branding Strategies
From instance, the long history of France has been critical in shaping up her image of elegance and quality from which it now boasts of. Indeed, both art and industry are highly related. For instance, in the enlightenment age that led to industrial revolution and the recent information era that led to the development of digital collections through an open system focusing on virtually all fields makes some of the unique exposition of historical advancement that defines individual state image and overall brand. The level of experience that is gathered across different times, combine with open creativity perspectives paved way for France to establish pioneer technologies that include the France high-speed train and the Supersonic plane Concorde among others. More recently, the city has been associated with more successes arising from the more bionic medical research to the digital entertainment scenes encompassing artists that have spearheaded strong revolution across ages. This is often referred to as the, ‘French Touch’.
Research indicates that the opposing traditions in place of modernity are principally irrelevant in the process of developing a nation identity. With regard to Korea, it is credited with implementing a strong and quick modernization from 1970s an aspect that marked the emergence and subsequent revolutionizing of the infrastructure as well as the urban situation of the city. Nevertheless, Korea is currently capable of revisiting and learning from its immense history as well as rich culture. In order to establish and retain their reputation, the two countries’ governments must identify with the importance of dedicated policy towards fostering their respective nation brand’s image which may be done through support on education sector and the boost on individual awareness.
Although Korea is credited with a rich culture and history, it started rising in the global interest segment at around 2000 since when the city joined the group of developed countries in the world. Since then, the city has strengthened its image through a dynamic, innovative and equally successful nation. Indeed, Korea had understood the essence of soft power while the popular nature of K-pop assisted its reputation to grow even more worldwide. Majority of the Korean companies are therefore currently surfing in K-pop wave. Beyond this perspective of K-pop that triggered global sensation of the city, the culture of Korea is also diverse and has been credited with numerous awards such as the Kim Ki-duk’s film Pieta that won a 2013 Golden Lion Award. To this end, Korea depend on its tradition based on technological integration and modernity values to grow and extend its nation brand compared to France that depends on its timeless values.
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