Wally Olins on nation branding

No need to introduce Wally Olins – one of the most-known place branding specialists in the world. He was appointed responsible for positioning London for the 2012 Olympics, and he’s also been to India recently to advise the regional government of Bengal, India.

On a national level, Wally Olins has helped the governments of Poland, Spain, Northern Ireland and Lithuania define their country brands. How does one brand a nation?, one journalist asked him concerning his recent trip to India. “It’s much harder than branding a cellphone or a motor car,” Olins explained from his house in London. “A product is rationally similar (to another) but emotionally different. Also it’s about profit and pushing up its share margin. It has to be effective immediately.” A nation on the other hand has an audience — both internal and external, he says. “There’s tourism involved as well as investment. You have to gauge if you can be effective over 25 years”, he said.

But images are better than words, so we’ve got this short video clip featuring Wally Olins speaking about country branding and how new countries use branding to develop an idea of who they are as a nation and express that idea, both inside and outside the country.