From a country branding and reputation perspective, Latin America is a very interesting region to learn from. In this interview, Lina Maria Echeverri, director of the Country Brand Observatory (Marca País), shares her thoughts on place branding in South America and the reputation of Colombia.
- The country branding of Peru and Costa Rica as good practice examples;
- To what extent a country’s political environment and its business leadership influence the process of constructing a country brand;
- The main purpose and challenges of country brands in Latin America especially;
- The difference between public diplomacy and country branding in terms of purpose;
- The current state of country branding practice in Latin America.
Lina, you recently launched the Country Brand Observatory (Observatorio de Imagen y Marca País). What is this all about?
Since 2008, I have worked on developing a series of investigations and applied research in two main areas: country brand and country image on the American continent. These investigations are linked to existing academic literature on territorial marketing.
In Latin America, and especially in Colombia, studies on country branding are scarce, and very little is being written – or even understood – about the topic.
Furthermore, country brands are being created with no consideration regarding the perception of the audience. There is a strong need to undertake research and investigations that contribute to generating knowledge in this field.