Branding "nation brand"
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As a consequence of global interaction, real time news availability, consumer generated media and content, countries have become increasingly aware of their image internally and internationally. In response to this awareness, some countries have adopted advertising and marketing practices to manage their country image. A review of the literature shows that there is much room for growth on nation brand research. For example, contemporary empirical research on national character is limited in that the research tends to incorporate human personality traits to define the brand or character of countries. Since the research tradition in national character roots itself in the early to mid-20th century around the same time that human personality research is beginning to flourish, there is no surprise for the influence of using human personality traits to describe nations. Unfortunately, a nation brand is more complex than what can be explained by human personality traits. Another example of limitations in the literature are the many case studies of branding nations that do not provide sufficient empirical methods to analyze the nation brands. Contributing to this problem is the lack of consistent usage of a standard term to refer to the concept of a nation brand. To this end, this dissertation first makes an argument as to why nation brand is the appropriate name for this stream of research. Thereafter, the research and approach presented provides a definition of the nation brand hypothetical construct and investigates the underlying dimensions of that construct. This dissertation is comprised of three studies using one survey in each of them. The first two surveys are used to generate a list of stimulus countries and a list of country attributes that are used in the third survey. Qualitative analyses are applied in the first two surveys, and exploratory factor analysis is used in the third survey. The results show a reliable and interpretable 3-factor model. Conceding sampling issues and cautioning the reader to consider the results with care, the findings herein can serve as a springboard for future research in this area.