Measurement Post in PlaceBrandObserver.com

As of last month, I started contributing to the Place Brand Observer as an Academic Observer. Basically, this is a sixth month journey during which I will blog about current research trends in the field of place branding.

My first post was on my favorite topic: measurement. I am amazed by how little we know about place brand measurement (-actually any kind of strategic communication measurement). More often than not, our ignorance is caused by the fact that we are not sure what we should be measuring.

clip-art-measuring-and-weighing-245067

Yes, I am using a clipart on a blog post. I think it is okay.

Technically social sciences present us a multitude (myriad?) of tools to measure anything we want from public opinion to policy performance. Yet, within the complex structure of social life and communication – in this specific example place branding – it is difficult to isolate the impacts of what we are intentionally doing. Let me present a basic example. Even if we decide place brands mean the associations that come to people’s minds when a place is named, how can we be sure that these associations are the results of our communication (branding) campaigns? These perceptions might be caused by personal experiences, influenced by friends, or completely changed by news.

I wrote about my views on how we can create a better measurement system in my post. You can find the full-text of the post at this link (redirects you to PlaceBrandObserver.com, a free website).

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Passport, Power, and Measurement: Perfect Trio

If you have been on any kind of social media platform during the last couple of weeks, you must have seen the new “Passport Index” that ranks each and every passport in the world according to their power – or according to how many visa-free travel opportunities they provide to their holder. But my own travel experience (and obsession with proper measurement techniques) make me wonder whether “visa-free travel opportunity” is a suitable way to assess the power of a passport. Is there a better way to capture the power of a passport? (Hint: The answer is yes. This is why I am writing this blog post.)

It is visa free, but do you really want to go?

It is visa free, but do you really want to go?

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Measuring the Unmeasurable: Bloom Consulting Tourism Edition

Measurement of place brands is an issue very dear to my heart. Well, at least very dear to my academic schedule. I recently tried to come up with a solution using semantic and social networks (paywall link, free access link). I took another take on the issue, together with my colleagues from Stockholm Programme of Place Branding. We approached from a brand equity understanding to understand the brand of Stockholm (paywall link, free access link). This is why I am quite excited when I see new approaches to measurement practices. Bloom Consulting seems to be developing an intriguing methodology in their measurement practices.

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Measuring Nation/Place Branding: Country Brand Ranking

As you might already know, the question of measurement is yet to be answered in the field of nation/place branding. There are a couple of commercial measurement scales such as The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, and FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index. There are also several academic studies (examples can be found here and here) that work on conceptualizing place brand measurement scales. I have a long-term research project I still work on entitled “Define-Measure-Visualize“.

Your place has six ounces of brand.

Recently, I was introduced to the Country Brand Ranking created by Bloom Consulting. Unlike the other commercial products, CBR focuses on facts and figures through international agencies, and look at the branding messages to rank countries.

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Nation Brands Index 2011, U-S-A!

Today, I went to the press conference organized by the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI) to unveil their latest survey, NBI 2011. With the United States being at the top of the list third year in a row, NBI listed a total of 50 countries’ brands. In the table below, you can see the top 10 countries from 2008 to 2011.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have several doubts about NBI as a robust measurement scale. Below, I’ll try to organize my ideas under three headings:

– What is NBI good for? When should NBI be used?

– Why doesn’t NBI measure ‘nation brands’?

– Why is NBI’s understanding of nation brands incomplete (if not entirely wrong)?

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