the grass is greener on the internet

Country is not a category
October 8, 2008, 10:12 pm
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I’ve been enjoying the commentary on nation branding by brandsinger – it seems to be an emerging area in the industry with countries like New Zealand going as far as to consult branding agencies.

A number of nation branding rankings have been released recently, some dubiously covering the subject, but all completely disagreeing with each other.

This feels…well, stupid. How do you compare countries anyway? The country I want to live in may not be the country I want to visit, the country I want to do business with, the country I think is the most economically stable or the country that the most people migrate to. I really don’t think you can see ‘country’ as a product category.

Comparing countries and trying to rank them is then like trying to say which mobile phone is the best. Some are pitched for design and ease of use. Others try and pack as many features as possible into as small a package as possible. Then there’s the phones which offer the basic features for a highly competitive price. Can you compare all of these? No. Not unless you do a value judgement on behalf of your audience about which qualities matter the most.


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