For today’s interview with nation branding and public diplomacy expert Dr Nancy Snow we take you to Japan, a country with a rich history, culture and cuisine. Professor Snow offers intriguing insights into the Japanese society, its lack of nation brand storytellers and the opportunities – and challenges – of the 2020 Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo.
- The effect of politics on nation branding;
- What it takes for nation branding to be successful;
- The role of storytelling in building nation brands;
- Five tips how nation branders can “do it right”;
- The brand image and perceptions of Japan.
Nancy, do you remember the first time you heard about public diplomacy and nation branding? What got you interested?
It begins with living abroad right out of my homogeneous scholarly environment in the South. I graduated in political science from a public university, Clemson University, where most of the students were from the state of South Carolina. I left immediately for Europe to spend a year as a Fulbright student in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Living abroad for an extended period forces you to consider how your home country and native identity are perceived.
Over time I became interested in the origins of person-to-person sponsored exchange, since the Fulbright had become so meaningful to me. That led to my doctoral dissertation, “Fulbright Scholars as Cultural Mediators.” I had found my calling. Once I landed my first job out of my doctoral program, namely the U.S. Information Agency, there was no going back.