, Singapore

Singapore is amongst the top 30 nation brands globally. So What?

By Samir Dixit

The “brand” of a country has a direct impact on the wealth of the nation and its ability to compete and grow in the global economy.

A strong nation brand helps in differentiating a nation’s output and gives it a leg up in competing for financing, top talent and tourism. It can be leveraged by sub-brands within a nation, both public and private, to grow GDP and to help develop resiliency in a nation’s industries during a downturn.

It allows for positive connotations from products and services to support one another, easing entry of a nation’s companies into new markets, and allowing for greater ease in developing a breadth of offerings.

The annual nations brand ranking study by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation company shows that a strong “nation brand” can typically improve the GDP of a nation and with a focused “nation brand” strategy, it can increase investment, tourism and exports.

The following 4 drivers comprehensively cover the areas that are uplifted by a well-managed nation brand.

A focused nation brand strategy will have definitive impact on the above 4 key drivers of the economy. The Nation Brand Impact™ framework identifies these 4 value drivers as critical enablers for countries to build and unlock the economic value of their nation brand.

The 4 value drivers each have a crucial role to play in leveraging and improving a Nation’s Brand to grow GDP and are drivers underlying the Top 100 Nation Brands globally.

It is important to further understand and examine a nation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats across industry prior to addressing each of the four stakeholder silo’s

Nation Investment: How the nation brand enables better economic investment in the country

Developing the Nation Investment component of a nation brand allows a country to better attract foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as improve the interest of investors within the nation.

A strong nation brand can help to cut through the information glut that is inherent in the modern business news both locally and internationally. Once established it can help communicate new opportunities for investment and support investor confidence in the value of a nation.

Nation Tourism: How the nation brand enables the country to grow its tourism business

Development of the Nation Tourism driver allows a country to both attract international tourism as well as increase the number of domestic tourism trips.

With international tourism for both conferences and leisure being relatively flexible and discretionary a strong nation brand is crucial in growing a nations market share. Once established it can also help act as a flag carrier of a national brand, projecting a clear image of the nation as a whole.

Nation Product: How the nation brand enables the country to sell its goods & services

Developing the Nation Product component of a nation brand improves both the export potential of a country’s output, as well as helps to reduce imports of goods.

Internally it can drive a increase in employment as consumption flows stay within the economy and externally it can provide markets for producers unconnected from local market moves. Once established it also allows for quicker adoption of a country’s new outputs.

Nation Talent: How the nation brand enables the country to attract and retain skilled people

Development of the Nation Talent component of the nation brand allows a country to both keep their skilled citizens, avoiding ‘brain drain’, as well as attract top talent worldwide.

Communicating and developing opportunities for both internal and external people within a nation will improve innovation and the quality of production of a nation. Once established the brand also allows for the recruitment of specific needed skill sets and experiences.

So what's next:

If Singapore needs to climb the rankings of a nations brand and successfully capitalise upon the 4 Nations Brand Value drivers, then it must develop the capability and tools to implement, measure and monetize a successful “Nations Brand Strategy” roadmap to drive the monetary value of its country brand.

Such tolls will further
o Allows Singapore to see change in the value of their brand over time and in response to adopted branding policies

o Help Singapore with a monetary benchmark and evaluate the return on investment of branding policies

o Allow Singapore to measure the value and ranking growth by industry, analysing which Singapore industries have the strongest reputations in the region and globally.

To develop a “Smart” Singapore brand, Singapore needs to
• Gain insight into audience aspirations and perceptions of a strong and successful nation brand
• Prioritise the Value drivers and audience around which to build its nations brand
• Constantly re-engineer the target scope and competitive advantage of Singapore

Both in the short and the long term, the success of a strong and globally competitive Singapore brand will depend upon a well-coordinated strategy across all the 4 nations brand drivers, complete alignment of all key stakeholders, constant mining and assessment of relevant information, training and advice to its key people responsible for the nation brand development and increase of its nations Brand Value.

This will enable Singapore to maintain the competitiveness as a strong nations brand, grow its brand value and climb the nations brand ranking not just in Asia but globally.

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