Identity, image and brand: A conceptual framework
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The following paper originally constituted the first half of a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts. Together with the follow-up paper, to appear in the upcoming issue of this journal, this paper introduces and discusses a conceptual framework for the analysis of nation images and applies it to a case study. In this first paper, it is argued that globalised media and the growing importance of a nation's reputation for economic progress are increasingly driving nations to manage their image. In this context, the concepts of nation image and nation image management (NIM) and their relationship to the media are examined. It is found that the existing concepts on nation image and NIM can be put together into a conceptual framework that may function as an analytical tool for future case studies. In this regard, another finding shows that there is a differentiation to be made between a nation's actual image and the image it believes to have. The importance of this differentiation will be discussed in the follow-up paper titled ‘The Borat Effect’, which, using the conceptual framework, delivers a detailed analysis of Kazakhstan's image troubles caused by Sacha Baron Cohen's ‘mockumentary’.
Keywordsnation image management branding conceptual framework
This paper is the first of a two-part series adapted from an MA dissertation written in autumn 2008. In order to fit the format of this journal two stand-alone parts have been created, which will appear in consecutive issues. The first paper constitutes the theoretical and conceptual part, while the second is an application of theory and concept to a case study.
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