Nation Brand Builders: Book Review

Nation Brand Builders is the title of a book by José Filipe Torres, CEO of Bloom Consulting, with a foreword by Malcolm Allan. Published in 2019, the book offers an entertaining journey through the sometimes nebulous world of nation and place branding – a personal account based on José’s extensive experience in the field as a consultant to many cities, regions and countries.

One of the things which I like most about this little book (a copy of which found its way from Portugal to my home in Switzerland) is that it is deliberately quirky and based on personal observations and interpretations, which makes it an easy read and also a book which practitioners will be able to relate to. At the same time, it addresses many of the essential topics that place branders face, especially the digital realm and how it affects place brand building.

How to succeed with place branding

Using the examples of Estonia, Sweden, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Barcelona, José Torres proposes the following keys to successful place brand building:

1. Think strategically – the “central idea”

2. Implement a management structure

3. Set up a measurement system

I couldn’t agree more on these three essentials for place branding, and on his observation that many initiatives which come under the umbrella of “place branding” don’t justify the term because they fall short of these three basic components.

The future of nation branding

Managing a place’s digital identity is – in the eyes of the author – the key to successful place branding in the future, which implies changes to the management structure and competencies of place brand teams: “providing support in managing the Digital Identity of Nations and Places, rather than being responsible for implementing the strategy itself.”

José further points out that, “today world citizens interact with countries, cities and regions in a live an digital manner… this behavior will become absolute in the future.”

Bloom Consulting has the right analysis and advisory tools at hand to guide cities, regions and countries into this new era of digital brand building and -management. For more on these, visit the Bloom Consulting company profile, or get in touch if you’d like a personal introduction to José, to see how his team can support your place brand building.

Nation Brand Builders is available via the publisher, UZINA Books for 29€.


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