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Nation-brands of the twenty-first century


Throughout the twentieth century, most of the really successful international brands have come from countries that are successful brands in their own right, and substantial transfer of imagery and brand equity can often be seen to occur between the two.

This paper proposes that a number of ‘emerging’ markets, and especially Brazil, have the potential to produce global brands, for the following reasons:

  • because there is already high recognition of the brand-print of the country itself, which will consequently support the ‘rightness’ and acceptability of relevant commercial brands from that country;

  • because the economic environment is increasingly favouring an export mentality;

  • because certain groups of consumers in other emerging markets might eventually favour brands from emerging or ‘recently-emerged’ markets such as Brazil, in preference to ‘first-world’ nations like USA.

The paper argues that exporting brands, as distinct from commodities, is part of a package of development which, together, can significantly accelerate the process of emergence from the third world. It also proposes that countries like Brazil have a real chance to join the first world ‘club’ of global brand producers in the twenty-first century.

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Correspondence to Simon Anholt.

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1Simon Anholt read Modern Languages at Oxford, and worked as copywriter and international co-ordinator at McCann-Erickson and various other agencies around the world before founding World Writers in 1989. World Writers is the world's only global creative audit, brand naming, multicultural brand thinktank, foreign copywriting and creative consultancy service. Its many clients include Microsoft, Nike, Coca-Cola, American Express, Sony, IBM, Adidas, Visa, Shell, Levi's, British Airways, Nestlé, Häagen-Dazs, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, P&G, Unilever, Mercedes-Benz and Benetton.

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Anholt, S. Nation-brands of the twenty-first century. J Brand Manag 5, 395–406 (1998).

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