The purpose of this study is to explore the dimensions of nation brand personality (NBP). We do this by examining the dimensions of NBP of nine countries. We examine NBP type based on perceived characteristics and investigate factors influencing perceptions of NBPs. The dimensions of NBP thus uncovered are intended to contribute to the theoretical development of the NBP construct, as well as to provide policymakers with a tool for effective nation brand-building. The intended usefulness of this study is to make a contribution to theory development in nation branding, a field that has been noted by many scholars (Balakrishnan, 2009; Freire, 2005; Hankinson, 2004; Insch and Florek, 2008; Medway and Warnaby, 2008) to lack a substantial theoretical base. Gertner (2011: 96), for example, conducted a review of 212 articles on place marketing and place branding published between 1990 and 2009 and came to the conclusion that the majority of articles were subjective and almost anecdotal, ‘without any theoretical background, testable models or hypotheses’.
In light of the paucity of theoretical work identified by Gertner, our study therefore seeks to build on the small number of previous studies that have addressed the challenge of building theory in the field of nation branding by authors such as Hankinson (2009), d’Astous and Boujbel (2007) and Snowden (2010). Our focus on the dimensions of NBP builds on previous work in the field by d’Astous and Li (2009), who situated their study of brand personality traits in the context of China. Specifically, we focus on the following research questions:
What are the NBP dimensions perceived by consumers in global markets?
How do the dimensions of NBP differ according to dimensions of the nation brand?
This study explores the dimensions of NBP, categorizing dimensions of the nation brand into country for tourism, country for investment, country of origin for products and services, and country for residence. Through controlling these factors, perception differences are investigated according to each dimension. These dimensions reflect the key elements of nation branding, which are discussed in more detail in the following section.
Link: Full Paper (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/crr.2012.22