12 December 2010

Branding Greece: is it possible? Part 1 - The theory beyond and the lessons learned

In the following series under the Title "Branding Greece: is it possible?" or "Greece: Rebrand me if you can!", an effort is made to capitalize academic, research and practitioner's knowledge about the topic in order to propose a name and stratedy for the branding of Greece as a nation.

Part 1 - The theory beyond and the lessons learned - introduces the concept of nation branding and reviews relevant theories and researches on the concept, making practical remarks for our brand.

Enjoy the journey!

Definition of Nation branding

Nation branding refers to the practices of “applying branding and marketing communications techniques to promote a nation’s image” (Fan 2006, p. 6). The nation as a brand represents the intangible assets of the country, encompassing various dimensions such as politics, economics, culture, history, social psychology, and technology.
The objective of nation branding is to promote a positive nation-image for the nation and its people, to establish a nation’s brand identity, to increase the export of products, and to attract tourists and foreign direct investment (Anholt 2003; Dinnie 2008; Dzenovska 2004; Florek and Conejo 2006).

Facts from Nation branding researches up to now

1) There are indeed critical factors related to the development of nation brand
Eleven critical factors related to the development of nation brand were identified based on the literature review in country-of-origin, place branding, and nation branding. The determinant variables include cultural orientation of a country (collectivism/individualism), the economic development of a country in terms of GDP per capita, the communication infrastructure of the country, the commercial natural resources of a country, the political policy orientation of a country, the perceived reputable brands of a country, and perceived reputable industries of a country.
Here are major factors that should be identified from Greece and measured as a first step to a brand development:

2) There is a scientific nation brands index- we do not need to invent one.
It is the Anholt-GfK Roper’s nation brands indexSM (NBI). Published on an annual basis, 20,157 interviews have been conducted with approximately 1,000 interviews per country for the 2008 Index to determine how countries are perceived by others.
So Greece has to evaluate its position through time and take prompt but accurate actions for improving its numbers!

3) Nation branding Strategy guidelines from researches up to now
The economic outcome factors of nation branding are:
foreign direct investment and

So Greek ministry is on a good way, they seem to have the right consultants in terms of academic robustness. See Greek ministry strategy here 
They have identified those 3 factors as significant and intent-according their sayings- to coordinate appropriate governmental organizations and ministries for getting better results. Let’s see!

Main strategic points on economic outcome factors of nation branding and their application in the case of Greek nation’s branding follows:

a) Consumers more often prefer foreign products from developed countries than from less developed countries (Agbonifoh and Elimimian 1999).
As a result, Greece should take actions to stimulate their economic development in order to enhance their export performance.

b) Countries with better communication infrastructure attracted more foreign direct investments than those with inferior communication infrastructure.
For those countries like Greece that want to increase their exports, their nation brand managers or policy makers need to pay more attention to communication infrastructure and economic development

c) Country having more reputable industries attracted more foreign direct investments than those with fewer reputable industries.
Thus, building world class product brands and enhancing Communication infrastructure are two critical issues facing developing countries that want to attract foreign investors.

Concluding we can propose that
If Greece wants
to perform more exports should take actions to stimulate its economic development in order to enhance its export performance.
to attract more foreign direct investment, policy makers need to pay additional attention to their communication infrastructure and number of reputable industries
to attract more visitors, nation brand managers or policy makers need to pay more attention to economic development, natural resources, political policies, communication infrastructure and reputable brands since these factors/ resources are significant contributors to tourism performance.

This is the facts and figures and the lessons should be learned!
Next post will concentrate on the concept of Re-branding Greece
giving tangibles advantages and disadvantages on the "Greece Vs Hellas" debate!
Stay tuned!


  1. Should we use the trademark proposed by @mylonas

  2. Panos, my research is still in its infancy, so I can not suggest or reject anything, especially my friend's Thomas interesting approach.
    But if you ask my opinion up to now, I believe that any rebrand strategy or application should come after much research and thought!
    If you have spare time you can read the Part-2 of these posts. http://marketingeorgia.blogspot.com/2011/01/branding-greece-is-it-possible-part-2.html