Interview with Marcus Osborne on Country Brands and Nation Branding in Asia

Marcus Osborne of the strategic brand advisory firm Fusionbrand in Malaysia, in this interview looks at (nation) branding practices in Asia and Malaysia and how the Malaysia Airlines’ brand and reputation crisis has become an issue for Brand Malaysia in general.

Learn about:

  • Why lacking data results in guesswork surrounding strategy and other executive decisions;
  • How building a brand can be easier once a CEO understands what a brand is;
  • How place branding is not about being liked, but about being trusted;
  • Which is the most challenging part of building a place brand strategy;
  • Why the old rules of marketing no longer apply.

Marcus, which is the difference between data-driven and creative-driven brand strategies?

This is a really good question and needs to be asked in place branding boardrooms around the world. For decades, information concerning consumers, their purchase criteria and the link between promotion and purchase was either too expensive or too difficult for companies to obtain. And even if data could be obtained, it took weeks or even months for the data to flow from stores and branches or field staff back to headquarters. Often, by the time it got back to HQ, it was too late to make any difference.

As a result, to build brands, companies had to put their faith in creativity, hoping that an innovative image, tagline or promotion would resonate with prospects and boost sales. In the 1960’s to the 1990’s, with few conduits to consumers and limited competition, this type of creative driven branding often worked, especially for many place brands.

Data driven branding on the other hand, gives CEOs and managing directors accountability and ROI-based justification.

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The Editorial Team

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