14 January 2009 11 Comments

National Branding:why the fuss?

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

brand-flagA strong brand is a rich brand and richness implies a complex and satisfying mix of many different elements, but these do little to diminish its equity’.-Simon Anholt

From the research available, the brand equity of the USA appears to have significant portion of negative elements like drugs, teenage pregnancy, abuses among others. But these negative elements have not diminished her strong brand status and richness. If in doubt, look at yearly green card seekers. Brazil on the other hand has a stint of pollution, overpopulation, poverty, drugs, and lawlessness. These countries from branding point of view are still strong because of application of branding principles. Simon Anholt says ‘when dealing with youth, the suggestion of risk is highly attractive. These are consumers after all, who wish to challenge and be challenged’. In terms of national branding, Nigeria has great potentials that can be positioned; it is just that we have chosen to ignore them and magnified the negatives. Like an African adage says ‘it is the owner of the calabash that calls it dirt parkers before others use it for that purpose’. Nigerian media have called it calabash, the youth has called Nigeria a calabash and we have all amplified the negative elements over the positive ones. Hence we are where we are today.

My questions today are many, and I hope I get an answer from someone out there. Why the fuss over Nigeria if strong brands, rich brands have complexities-both positive and negatives? Why have Nigerians at all strata refused to make decisions to brand this country well? Why are we damaging our own strategy-if we have one at all? Why is the leadership not committed to corporate Nigeria branding? Why are the followers not making demands on leadership by doing it right? Indonesia has started with ‘honesty shops’. What will be our own strategy? Please, someone let me have your opinion please. I am doing my part. Can I count on you too?

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