Discuss the importance of a country brand in negotiating a trade agreement? If you were to develop a state brand for Louisiana, what would it be? Explain.
Today I learned about a central and unique marketing trend called "country branding". This concept is new to me and extremely interesting. Country branding is a powerful tool for positioning and competitiveness. It is an effective way method of reaching stakeholders worldwide.
Costa Rica adopted this new marketing trend approximately 3.5 years ago. Costa Rica's country brand is "Essential Costa Rica". It is a government sponsored program that enables Costa Rica to promote itself to the world. It's used to promote exports, agricultural products, technological services, business investments, etc. Costa Rica's country branding program involves application process in which businesses are considered based on their proven commitment to excellence, innovation, sustainability, country origin, and proven progress. They are evaluated based on these 5 core values and granted licenses if they meet the standards or opportunities to improve if they do not.
When negotiating a trade agreement whether it be for products or services, a country branding program is an important benefit to both the seller and the consumer. The seller benefits from a country branding program by carrying the seal of approval or logo that ensures a high level of quality and the consumer benefits by knowing that any investment with the country brand is of top notch quality.
The country brand plays a huge role in trade agreements because the brand directly defines the competitiveness and positioning of a business. Businesses that do not qualify for the brand will not be as competitive and will not gain more marketplace as compared to one that carries the country brand.
If I could create a similar campaign for the State of Louisiana it would be "Passion of Louisiana". This state campaign would promote the pride and passion of our wonderful state. I would implement a similar application system of evaluating core values and categorize businesses by the level of quality they portray.
My state branding system would be first rolled out to the residents of the state of Louisiana. Any gaps would be addressed and the system would need to work internally before I would attempt to roll it out to external stakeholders.
"Passion of Louisiana" would include all of the successful attributes from our current state tourism campaign which is "Louisiana - Pick Your Passion". In addition to a focus on tourism, "Passion of Louisiana" would also focus on promoting products and services created in the state.
Ideally, a successful state branding campaign in Louisiana will set the pace and lead to a country branding for the United States.