Destination Branding | Cultivating a Country’s positive Brand Image


Nothing but living color everywhere you least expect it. An otherworldly landscape filled with bears and wolves. Where abundant herds of bison and elk follow the earth’s ancient rhythms. With nothing on the fringe but charming towns full of creature comforts. Nothing will take you so far from home or make you more comfortable in ours. MONTANA

In today’s ever connected world, where anyone anywhere can look up information, news, and images via the internet on virtually any subject imaginable, how would you entice people – make that would-be travelers – to visit a specific destination?

Brands are jostling for our attention, every second of our busy everyday lives. Travel destinations are no different. The basic premise remains the same; how does your brand – be that a product, service, or a travel destination – become THE CHOSEN ONE? How does a country position itself and compete for the tourist dollar – extending well beyond tourism alone – as it also fights for shelf space in the mind of the customer in Travel, Trade, and Investment.

Many countries have resorted to viewing themselves as Brands, positioning themselves uniquely, equipped with multi-million dollar Brand Strategies to create positive perception, through their well executed Ad Campaigns.

Tourism is a global industry and recognized as the largest service industry in the world with the broadest multiplier effect. Little wonder every country is jumping on the bandwagon.

The basic objective is to sell a positive image of a country. No small task, when we know that bad news travels faster than good. Therefore how does that play out on a country like Greece for example? We all know of late Greece has been mired in economic turmoil, spilling out onto the streets in the form of daily labor strikes and street protests. How does this impact its image, long known as among Europe’s most popular holiday destination?


Nothing but a rhythm of life older than drumbeats or campfires. You can’t schedule the moments that change the way you see the world. Here, you come up over a ridge or make the next bend in the river or drive downhill into a cluster of warm lights and there it is: nothing you’ve ever seen before. MONTANA

Positivity is key, and countries have limited power in concealing their troubles at home. And then again, Rome was not built in a day, and it takes years of consistent marketing (make that Brand Building) to create a positive image.

By the same token, today’s travelers are spoiled for choice. With the advent of cheap airline tickets via all the world’s sprouting LCCs (Budget Airlines), any traveler can easily choose to avoid one travel distinction in favor of another.

We all know a picture tells a thousand words, and imagery – especially in communicating travel destinations – play a critical role in Destination Branding.

An image of a country sums up all the feelings and anticipated experience a traveler expects from a destination. It’s a competition for a customers feelings. Establishing an emotional connection is therefore a must.

Here’s a look how some travel destinations are communicating these messages through their campaigns.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

This sums up what I want in life – room to swing my arms and to swing my mind… Where is there more opportunity to enjoy the elemental values of living, bring sun and clean air and space. We have room. We can be neighbors without getting in each other’s hair. We can be individuals.
~ Joseph Kinsey Howard

Inspiration: Rachael Willis’ Blog


About dianhasan

Brand Storyteller, Travel Writer, Speaker, Creative Writer & Thinker - avid observer of randomness in everyday life - Sustainable Business, Eco Matters, Sustainable Urban Issues, Architecture, Heritage Conservation, Innovation & Brand-Strategy, Cross-Cultural Communications, Travel, Tourism & Lifestyle.
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