CRITICAL STUDY TOWARDS BRANDING SWITZERLAND
INTRODUCTION This is a critical study about evaluating the strategies of branding Switzerland. Firstly, the paper provides a comprehensive literature review around nation branding area. In the second part, a case study about branding Switzerland will be presented. Within the case study part: positioning the image of Switzerland along with main aspects and practical strategies in branding Switzerland will be covered. In the third part, Dordevic’s six dimensions of a nation brand will be explained and the overall strategies will be criticised by integrating Dordevic’s six dimensions into Switzerland. The paper will conclude with propounding suggestions towards the weakest dimension of branding Switzerland that is; culture and heritage.
1. LITERATURE REVIEW Fan (2010) defines the nation branding as an integrated mixture of export, place, political and cultural branding. All those components gather around and generate a nation brand. According to him, approaching a nation brand as visual symbol, strapline is the easiest on the contrary deriving a soft power and national identity is the hardest components as they are aimed to be branded. Widler (2007) argues that the preaching of nation branding has to entirely review the construct of the nation. Therefore, the extent of nation branding strategies should be determined by the nation branders. Widler (2007) also claims citizens have to be promoted to participate within the nation branding process. Thus, the practical focused and innovative ideas of citizens have to be taken into consideration in order to promote an effective strategy. 1
Szondi (2010) argues that the importance of public relations (PR) is neglected by scholars. He suggests that PR could be adapted to nation branding in various ways. PR could provide a decent context for nation branding attempts. In addition to traditional PR, Szondi (2010) further propose that online nation brand community means in social network sites and blogs are rapidly growing. Thus, countries attach more importance to their country domains on websites - ‘nation name.com’- in order to establish tighter relationships with global online communities through this websites. Lee (2010) propounds that hosting big international organisations brings advantages to the images of nation brands. Thus, depending upon the study, Lee (2010) revealed that China enhanced its brand image in terms of ‘functional, emotional and self-expressive areas’ (p.224) after 2008 Beijing Olympics in Hong Kong. Hence, when important international events crisis is managed cleverly nation brands can enhance their image quality and in turn take advantage of that in a long-run. Aveline (2006) asserts that post-national loyalties’ symbolisation in politics is significantly influenced by branding nations. When European Union is evaluated this effect could be seen more concretely. Aveline (2006) further presents that post-national environment turns out to be a gradual and meshwork medium which was placed in a European publicity context. Thus, political symbolisation has strong inter-relations with nation branding in European Union that leads post-national environment to be perceived differently in the light of that symbolism. Papadopoulos and Heslop (2002) remark on the significance of consumers’ inferences towards nation brands. They suggest that unless a nation branding strategy is efficiently operated its very likely for consumers to move on deriving negative stereotypes about the country. Therefore, since country image stands for a vital position in attracting consumers,
nation branding strategies should be intense and strong in order to avoid brutal inferences that might be pasted upon the country’s image. From a different perspective, Bui and Perez (2010) suggest that tourism organizations need to educate local tourism employees to promote customer satisfaction and contribute to the overall nation branding image....
References: Anholt, S. (2005), ‘Anholt Nation Brands Index: How Does the World See America?’ Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 45, Issue 3, pp. 296-304 Aveline, J. (2006), ‘Branding Europe? Branding, design and post-national loyalties’, Place Branding, Vol. 2, 4, pp. 334–340 Bui, T.L.H. and Perez, G.S.A. (2010), ‘Destination Branding: The Comparative Case Study of Guam and Vietnam’, Journal of International Business Research, Vol. 9, Special Issue 2, pp. 95-111 Cooper, A.F. and Momani, B. (2009), ‘The challenge of re-branding countries in the Gulf and Middle East: Opportunities’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 5, 2, pp. 103–117 Dordevic, B. (2008), ‘Corporate Strategic Branding: How Country and Corporate Brands Come Together’, Ekonomski Anali / Economic Annals, Vol. 53, Issue 177, pp. 59-88 Fan, Y. (2010), ‘Branding the nation: Towards a better understanding’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 6, 2, pp. 97–103 Lee, A.L. (2010), ‘Did the Olympics help the nation branding of China? Comparing public perception of China with the Olympics’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 6, 3, pp. 207–227 Marat, E. (2009), ‘Nation Branding in Central Asia: A New Campaign to Present Ideas about the State and the Nation’, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 61, No. 7, pp. 1123–1136 Papadopoulos, N. and Heslop, L. (2002), ‘Country Equity and Country Branding: Problems and Prospects’, Brand Management, Vol.9, No.4-5, pp. 294-314 Szondi, G. (2010), ‘From image management to relationship building: A public relations approach to nation branding, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 6, 4, pp. 333–343 Widler, J. (2007), ‘Nation branding: With pride against prejudice’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 3, 2, pp. 144–150
Image Switzerland (2010), ‘Image Schweiz’, Retrieved March, 15, 2011, from: http://www.image-schweiz.ch/index.php?id=10&L=1 Interbrand (2009), ‘The most valuable brands of Switzerland’, Retrieved March, 23, 2011, from: http://www.interbrand.com/en/Default.aspx Nation Branding (2010), ‘Nation Branding: Everything about Nation Branding and Country Brands’, Retrieved March, 20, 2011, from: http://nation-branding.info/ Slater, J. (2008), ‘Switzerland looks to its reputation’,Retrieved March, 24, 2011, from: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/index/Switzerland_looks_to_its_reputation.html?cid=1005774 As only mentioned in text: www.swissworld.org
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