South Africa: Nation Branding As a Catalyst for Global Competitiveness


The significance of South Africa's reputation and brand positioning amid global uncertainty

It is often asked if people are brands and whether or not they should register themselves or their names as trademarks to be protected against ethical abuse or appropriation by others for commercial and other benefits that might lead to loss by the rightful owner. The same question can be asked of other things, including countries. Are they brands and, should they be treated as such? If yes, what would that mean, practically? Do perceptions about countries matter and is a country brand reputation important? If yes, why would this be the case?

The answers to these questions are not straight forward; they form combinations of yes and no, but perhaps mostly yes. Yes, features in all situations where brands compete against other brands for any form of attention and benefit. In truth, all people compete against others for jobs, business, project opportunities, etc. But they all sit on a pyramid-like hierarchy that is crowded at the bottom and less crowded as one moves to higher levels of the pyramid. The higher any brand rises on this pyramid the more exposed it becomes and the stiffer the competition...

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