Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in International Business

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Marketing

Advisor

Rapert, Molly

Abstract

“As travelers, business leaders, employees, parents and consumers, we make decisions related to countries every day: how we describe our identity, where we choose to live, who and where we buy our products from, where we educate our children, where we set up our companies and where we go on holiday…Every time we make a decision informed by an association with a place, it creates the future” (Country Brand Index). For the past eight years, FutureBrand has released a Country Brand Index Report that polls thousands of people worldwide to gather their perceptions of countries and rank the countries according to the varying associations people have. It can be said that countries are as much a brand as BMW sports cars are a brand, Prada handbags are a brand and Lindt Chocolates are a brand. What is unique about each of these brands though is that each is generally associated with a country. The general population may hear “BMW” and immediately think of Germany and the high quality cars they produce. A similar reaction with Prada handbags, knowing that they are made in Italy which is a country known for its fine leather products, and of course Lindt chocolates which come from Switzerland, a country that has made a name for itself in the chocolate market. Countries can make or break their reputation not only by the associations that people have with the products that they are known for, but also by factors such as economic and political stability, standard of living, and characteristics of their citizens and how outsiders view the country based on these factors. As FutureBrand recognizes, “travelers, business leaders, employees, parents and consumers” all make decisions related to countries every day, generally based on their perception of the country. The insight that comes from evaluating a country’s perceptions is not only valuable to the everyday consumer, but also to someone who might be seeking new business ventures in a country. It is key to understand how the rest of the world sees a country, because the perceptions an individual has will affect their interaction with the country, from buying products from it to actually visiting it.

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