When it comes to branding no one ever thinks about who actually uses it. Most simply think of brands as items you pick up while shopping or maybe even the retailer you are shopping in but countries use branding the same way businesses do.
You see a country's "customers" are its investors, tourists, traders, market intermediaries, NGOs, and office-holders in other countries and in multilateral institutions. Their interactions with one another take place in a complex environment, affected by governments, social forces, cultural factors, and markets.
The country must clearly identify its clientele: who are they, what motivates them, what do they do and buy (and how, where and when), what are their decision-making processes and priorities, who influences these and how. It is important to remember that people and institutions buy goods and services to satisfy needs. Nation branding is tantamount to casting the country as the superior if not exclusive answer to those needs it can cater to or even create.
The country's brand manager would do well to analyze the purchasing process: how, when, and where transactions are concluded. Understanding consumption and investment habits and patterns allows for better targeting and education of relevant market segments in order to influence and alter the behavior of target customers. They must also understand the people not only living in the country but visiting it. Understanding their psychology and demographics is crucial.
In this scenario the brand manager must distinguish consumer customers from business customers and from institutional customers. Consumer customers purchase goods and services from the country for their own consumption. Even tourists are consumer customers.
Business customers buy goods and services from the country on behalf of third parties. Tour operators are business customers. Business customers operate on a large scale and are, therefore, less numerous and less dispersed than consumer customers. Consequently, it is easier to foster long-term and close relationships with them. But, being dependent as they are on end-users, theirs is a volatile, demand-driven market. Moreover, business customers are tough negotiators (though some of them seek quality rather than price advantage).
Institutional customers assemble information about the country and analyze it in order to make or to influence political and credit decisions. Banks, governments, NGOs, and lenders evaluate and finance tourism projects based on such data.
To attract these movers and shakers, the country's brand manager must constantly monitor the global economy as well as the economies of the nation's main partners. Everything, from monetary policy to regulatory and fiscal developments affect purchasing and investment decisions.
So the next time you think of branding, take a step back and realize that everyone does it and needs to do it to stay "in business", including who countries.
Good Luck and More Successful Branding
Tuxedo Branding Blog Administrator
Branding 101: Making a Name for Yourself
When it comes to your business there are three different levels of marketing strategy that result in three different sets of results.
1) Advertising – This role is primarily designed to elicit short-term results on a specific campaign or site performance goal.
2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This role is designed for long-term growth by getting search engines to recognize your site and view you as trustworthy and deserving of a high ranking.
3) Branding – This role is also designed for long-term growth, but may have more to do with customer confidence in your product and less to do with driving new traffic to your site.
Let's focus on the third item; "branding". The strategy of branding is to create and develop a confidence in your product and or service in the minds of your customers. It is the branding that creates customer loyalty and that's what has them returning to you.
In fact it is possible to develop a strong brand and customers' will return even if that means paying more with your site. If you develop sound brand strategies a customer will have no problem returning to use your services or buy your product. Customers will pay the extra if for no other reason than they are confident you can and will deliver on your promises. These customers have seen your track record and they are satisfied you will do what you say you will do.
That's the power of a strong brand. But branding is becoming harder to do, but it’s not impossible.
Web site owners who have taken the time to really understand the core of their business begin to gain a clearer picture of how they can take the uniqueness of the business and leverage that special something into a means of branding their company.
This is important because there are businesses that stop at advertising. Other businesses will add an impressive array of SEO strategies that will eventually get them noticed. While both of these are important strategies the miss the mark in defining the difference between businesses that sells a product and THE source for a product or service.
The end goal is to have customers view you as the only reputable seller of whatever product you specialize in.
There are far too many businesses that are content to simply sell a product without ever really making a name for themselves.
Don't be like them. Stand for something. Define what that is and allow it to propel you and your brand. Now go on and take the steps to make a name for yourself?
Tuxedo Branding Blog Administrator
When you are building a brand for your company it must show your mission clearly. Your customers must readily identify your company’s vision in conjunction as the solutions provider to their immediate problems.
So what is the mission and/or vision of your company?
If you are having trouble creating a mission or vision statement, then you will have a problem creating a brand or getting customers. So here are a couple of things to remember about missions and visions.
Many customers do not read into a vision or mission statement too often. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously. Your vision and mission are both a part of the branding process because they define what your company is all about. These two statements need to be believed and practiced by employees and all staff of the company.
And even though your customers haven’t read your mission and/or vision statement, when asked about your company, its products or services their response should almost mimic your statements word for word because your brand reflects the statements in all that it does.
Until next time, successful branding
Tuxedo Branding Blog Admin
Tuxedo Branding's Blog Editor scours the trades looking for tips, tactics and information to help you learn and understand branding, brand marketing and logo design.