Our journey on Country Branding has been a progressive one for sure. And now, we at a juncture where we are called to look a little deeper. Let us pause for a moment to examine ourselves here and see where we stand in the arena of branding. Do we see ourselves and branding as one, inseparable unit? Or is the very idea of branding still a foreign thought to us? It is time to embrace the ‘How’…
”How do we make something like branding a natural element to us?”
The answer is via culture, of course! Culture encompasses a set of ideas, beliefs and ways of behaving for a particular organization or group of people. By inculcating the Culture of Branding, Malaysians will ensure that branding practices are a part of them as breathing. Embracing such a culture can never lead the people astray from their ongoing mission of branding – and branding intrinsically, naturally and thoroughly!
“There are many ‘gods’.”
Everyone has a belief. And every religion has a god. See how devoted such disciples are to their beliefs… In fact, I was recently in Bali, Indonesia, and I observed an entire culture formed and shaped by what the people believed. It was a unique experience for me. The locals there placed holy markers or idols in every building, home and office and even made regular offerings along the streets. I even spotted such designated areas at the airport and modern business centres. No matter how archaic or how modern the structure, the same due respect is given. The devotees had a deep sense of reverence for their beliefs. I thought to myself how awesome it would be if branding were to become such a culture – entrenched in the very souls of our people!
“Diving deeper into the ocean of brand consciousness…”
Devotees are loyal to their ideology. In the same way, a social activist is faithful to his or her cause. For a family, its members are proud of the ancestral name and will uphold loyalty to honour the family name or clan. There is a deep sense of respect in such culture. When we think about it, it is actually not dissimilar when one is committed to one’s work. One will do whatever it takes to evolve the brand and embrace the lifestyle of the vocation. It becomes part of the job culture. Embracing the Culture of Branding is just like that; the results of which will flow into the hub of our nation in this manner:
Culture – Conscious – Cognisance – Concentration – Contribution
“Embracing the ‘Culture of Branding’ for Country Branding.”
Possessing the same type of mentality, a citizen’s culture is geared towards promoting Country Branding. He or she will place emphasis the corporate brand, which in this case in the nation of Malaysia. A citizen is Committed to the country brand. A citizen will Sacrifice and Glorify the brand – signifying Dedication and granting Destination unto to the brand.
“It is important to assimilate branding as part of our culture.”
Why is it so vital that we absorb the Culture of Branding? It is like the air that we inhale – invisible, yet a component part of our survival. Always remember, it is the brand that puts food on the table. It is the brand that receives and generates income for our livelihood. It is the brand that gives us the standard of living. Essentially, it is the brand that is the great giver of life.
A corresponding analogy of the Culture of Branding can be seen is as follows:
Devotees » Religion » God
Activist » Social cause » Human rights
Politician » Party » Ideology
Family » Forefathers/Ancestors » Heritage/Lineage/Descendants
Citizens » Serve to better their nation/Patriotism » Country
“Why is Japan the third largest economy in the world?”
The Japanese are apt role models that we can emulate. Work is their ‘god’. Work is their culture and lifestyle. That is why they are so committed to it. Their culture; in fact their very lives and family as a whole, revolves around their vocation, company, corporation and country. And the best way how we can propagate epitomic Country Branding together is by assimilating the same tenacity via the Culture of Branding. Let us as a nation be a cultured people – and let that culture be Country Branding.