Continuing with the subject of previous posts on the image of a destination, I would like focus on the importance of image for countries.
In a tourist market as competitive as this one, it is necessary to differentiate and position oneself, and this applies no less to countries. From centers or resort complexes to regions or cities, all compete among themselves for the attention of tourists and to be the preferable choice for their products and services, among other things. The image of a tourist destination plays a key role within a marketing strategy because it provides information about how the place is perceived by the tourist. The starting point of any image strategy must be based on an evaluation of what the current perceived image of the place is by tourists.
Countries are adopting promotional techniques based on a brand image, in an effort to differentiate their qualities and underscore the unique character of their product.
- But what is the Country Brand Image (CBI)? What does it entail for a country to have a brand image? The CBI is based on the image of destination, one that builds, changes or protects the international reputation of the country in question and its image abroad. If we ask ourselves, what is the CBI? we could say that it is a symbol of identity, to have a name, a reputation. Country brands join together the characteristics that make them unique. In some cases, it may be a natural feature, such as the pyramids of Egypt, for example; in others, their products are what distinguish them from other nations, such as Russia’s vodka Colombia’s coffee. In conclusion the CBI is an intangible asset that generates a competitive advantage, in addition to being an important factor in a tourist’s choice of destination.
- Why is it important to have a CBI? It is important in order to improve the perception of the country abroad, generating the knowledge and confidence necessary to reach more and better opportunities in the field of tourism. It is an economic source of value differentiation, serving to correct stereotypes and clichés and attracting talent and investment. The main objective of a country brand is to generate a simple, comprehensive and multi-purpose idea that will convey your value proposition efficiently and forcefully.
- Of what use is a Country Brand? To attract new businesses and retain the old, promote improvements internally and increase market acceptance of our products. A Country Brand acts like a banner for exports and promoter of a tourist destination. There are ways to validate a country’s efforts to attract investments, boost exports and promote tourism with a brand conceived especially to meet those ends. In the end, if any brand is to be successful, it must be managed responsibly, constantly and consistently. Creating a Country Brand requires time and commitment.
What Country Brand Image does Spain have?
In the next post we will undertake an extensive analysis of that question.