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 Percept in the News

Why India as a nation needs to be branded?
21 December, 2012

Any entity, large or small, can be branded. Branding is about forming a multi dimensional culture that forms the structure of that identity. Nation branding works as a mechanism for communicating between a nation and the rest of the world. Any brand is only successful if it accurately reflects the truth reflected by the behavior of its people, natural resources, economics, productivity and political culture. A nation needs to have a clear perception of its own soul when it begins a journey to brand itself. It is that soul that we bring to the fore with the brand. It is interesting to know how Somalia’s 500 pirates have more effect on the country’s brand than the 5 million other Somali citizens. Big global brands such as Nike and IKEA are large enough in revenues to surpass the GDP of a small country. However, their brands are managed better than most countries. This is upsetting because powerful country brands that are carefully managed tend to yield massive benefits for tourism, industry, politics and culture. National airlines are often considered as brand ambassadors. Australian airline Strategic Airline emerged as a new brand, appropriately named Air Australia. 

The goal was to bring out the colors and symbols that best describe the country. Sean Cummins, executive director of Cummins Ross the advertising agency responsible for the rebrand, explained in a Flight Centric article, “Green is our key colour with a hint of gold and subtle silver-grey representing gum trees, koalas and grey kangaroos. The Air Australia symbol is a stylized boomerang, the most striking icon of flight in the Australian lexicon. Because of the company’s strong history as a defense force Charter Company we have also incorporated the rising sun, also a strong Australian symbol also found on the Australian Army badge. With a view to be one of the global leaders by 2025, the Indian government has given top priority to branding India. This campaign, created in 2002, has approached increasing tourism and revenue. 

"Brand India" is fast becoming a mantra that is claimed as the benchmark for development in India. The politicians, economists, bureaucrats, policy-makers, industrialists, and even the media are jumping on to the bandwagon, with "Brand India" becoming the ethos of the upwardly mobile middle class. To promote the young, vibrant, and dynamic India on the global stage, the Indian government has roped in popular actor Aamir Khan as its new brand icon (ambassador) to be the pilot of the campaign across the world. Incredible India focuses primarily on its rich and vibrant heritage and culture. The Incredible India campaign has been aggressive especially overseas, and one could easily encounter its advertisement in several mediums such as TIME magazines, buses, and televisions. While in the real world, India has successfully repositioned itself from an impoverished nation to an international hub for IT, its advertising campaign also strengthened its image as an exotic holiday destination. India has proven that it can export a strong nation-brand to the whole world despite legal, human rights and foreign policy challenges. It remains to be seen how India can profile itself further amongst the emerging BRICS nations and rise to become a leader in the Asian public policy competition of the century ahead of us. Recently, Shailendra Singh, Joint Managing Director, Percept Limited has announced a new initiative ‘Made in India’, with the objective of celebrating, promoting and building ‘Brand India’. The initiative of NGO United Welfare Trust, of which Singh is managing trustee, intends to be a platform to unite Indians and get them to ‘Celebrate India’. The focus will be on positive news coming out of India and activities will be targeted at spreading goodwill and inspiration.’ Made in India’ aims to be a 360-degree movement encompassing online, on ground and media activities. The first phase of the venture will engage India through merchandise, knowledge expos, charity dinners, online platforms and a feature film. An ‘iammadeinindia.com’ website, which will offer ‘Breaking Good News’, is scheduled to launch on 1 January 2013.