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The Balancing Acts of National Image
By Naseem Javed, President, ABC Namebank

The global shifts on image repositioning are causing minor quakes throughout various continents as brand new landscapes are erupting

Who are the new champion nations on the global stage delivering the finest performances and altering the course of branded imagery of goods and services? Where are the old traditional nations and what's happening to them today? The global shifts on image repositioning are causing minor quakes throughout various continents as brand new landscapes are erupting, while previously cherished perceptions are being swept away. The art of detection of these seismic tremors in advance, to pursue the balancing act for creating new imagery and brand positioning has now become a serious science.

Every minute, a brand new venture or major product is being launched with huge fanfare in Asia.
This is how it once was in the US and the West during the e-commerce boom of the nineties. Now as things in North America and Europe begin to cool down, parts of Asia are still thriving on all fronts, leading the charge in industrial and infra-structural growth and a massive consumer revolution. The balancing act of mega image development, whether for a nation, corporation, a brand or any new concept are all being re-evaluated by the global populace.

Americans, though preoccupied with huge domestic problems, must still strive and take a very global view and participate openly in these new, fiercely fought battles for global image supremacy; once reserved for the handful of Western nations.Asia, the world's largest and most populated continent with four billion or 60% of the world's population, with an aggressive manufacturing base and a booming service sector, the market is so large that over the upcoming decade, it could completely redefine the global economic balance.

Despite problems of poverty, the bustling middle classes and the zest of free enterprise and thousands of the top companies of Asia are determined to make their mark. This is further fueled by the global image positioning shifts and the rise in the nation's confidence level, leading them to create brands worth of regional and international appeal. This potent combination has created some great opportunities for the serious players in the arena.

In a recently released business documentary entitled "The Oblivion Syndrome", this message is clearly laid out. This movie can be freely viewed at

The next challenge for the new gatekeeper of the national brands is the streamlining of global marketing and branding tools to achieve stardom in the fastest time, with minimal costs and maximum impact. Such issues have been fine tuned over time by the masters of iconic crafts.

What took centuries for countries to create a status of superiority is now being seriously challenged by the global populace. Booming new economies are redefining themselves under new images through improved performance, claiming high status under the superiority of their new ideas. This whole game of image positioning was once exclusively reserved for the small handful of Western powers. This turbo-charged and hyper-accelerated mode of global image repositioning is causing shifts and creating new chasms of divides among countries. There is a void needing to be filled with new players, new ideas and new global icons.

Then there is the Oblivion Syndrome, where one is convinced that their image positioning and branding identities are charging forward into global stardom, but in reality, are slipping into decreased visibility and an overall loss of sight of the path towards global leadership. In other words, total oblivion.

Out there is an undiscovered universe of a billion customers who don't have a clue who you are, and what you are capable of. As massive global shifts take place, this calls for drastic action. This subject is exclusively for CEO's who can bite the bullet and confront the issue of exactly where their images are headed.

We are not alone, as today, there are some 500 million business names registered in some 250 countries. Of that,1%, or about 5 million names represent some sizeable operations. From that, 5 million or 100,000 names are considered well-known in their relative markets in various countries and regions. Only some 1000 names are recognizable worldwide, while half of that, only 500 names in the world are positioned for Five Star Status.

Today and every single day, one billion dollars are being spent worldwide to promote these hundreds of millions of name identities in attempt to keep them out of oblivion. Despite these massive costs, they will never gain global mindshare no matter how successful the business ideas.

To play this game requires a very deep and precise understanding of the Rules of Engagement. This game plan is not to be simply outsourced for others to experiment with your dreams. The CEO and management teams must develop internal strategies, improve skills and nurture an image leadership culture to tackle all issues.

This way, the process not only stays closely knit, interactive and highly economical, but will also ensure long-term planning with great confidentiality.

The advertising industry that brought color and ideas into our civilization, and touched every aspect of our lives by creating the consumerism and commercialization of concepts is losing its value and power. IBM has recently conducted a study that has predicted the end of advertising, which has led to a global reevaluation of branding strategies.

But is this the new dawn for the advertising industry? What can it do to reenergize itself through metamorphosis and emerge as a brilliant butterfly? As logo centric and slogan happy, campaign blitzes often work as temporary fireworks leaving only smoke when the budgets are over.

For nations seeking sharper image on the global stage they must band their exportable competencies and create the ambassadorial brands that can go out touch the customers of the universe, but they must play these games with great care and with a deeper understanding of creating icons under the established rules of the five star standard. The movie reflects on this critical issues and point to leadership role on global stage.

Naseem Javed, author of Naming for Power and also Domain Wars is recognized as a world authority on Name Identities and Domain Issues and he is the President of ABC Namebank ( ) with offices in New York & Toronto. e-Mail him your URLs or current business names for a complimentary evalution. This analysis is serious business, so please identitfy your job title and background information on your company and the use of that name. All correspondence is confidential. e-mail:

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