The new reputation and the recovery of the Spanish brand


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Can Spain benefit from the strong position of successful Spanish companies abroad by reinforcing and launching its own brand during the crisis? What tools can be used to achieve this, in what sectors and what would be the basis for the project titled Spain?
In order to reconstruct Spain’s brand abroad, apart from improving the reputation by changing the country’s internal reality, it is necessary to align prestige and recognition achieved by the brands of Spanish companies abroad with the country itself, creating synergies and sharing meanings and values between the two.

But in order to achieve this, it is also necessary to improve the brand of Spain. Only by doing this it will be possible to restore the reputation damaged in the last years due to the economic crisis. Besides, it is important to improve the “hard” aspects of the reputation, such as quality, innovation and productivity – in all these elements Spain still lags behind.

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The new reputation and the recovery of the Spanish brand

  1. 1. InsightsStrategy DocumentsI12/2011BrandThe new ReputationEconomy and the recoveryof the ‘Spain’ brand Spain is a mature country, with a current high risk that it will get through in time but, above all, with an opportunity as a country, an appeal that is presently low. Can reputation become the necessary lever to activate the brand of Spain and overcome the present internal and external loss of confidence in the nation? We can establish the degree of development of a aligns objectives and resources with stakeholder country as a function of the degree of development expectations. A brand is also a dream, an aspiration of its brands, the stronger these are, the stronger to fight for, an idea to create and fill with content in the country brand. In fact, those countries that the minds of interest groups, and Spain as a country have strong businesses and personal brands in has lost this, born originally during the transition other countries are mostly those with a stronger to democracy in the 70s, and must now bring back country brand abroad. to life a new common dream if it wants to recover its brand, according to Javier Rovira, partner and A brand is not only about communication, Director of Know-How Consumering and Professor advertising, promotion and public relations, but at ESIC Business & Marketing School. also, above all, about the associations which citizens, clients, employees and others make from it. Brands Some ideas to define this strategy, move on and make no longer belong to people, countries or companies, way for a new era in the history of Spain include but to their stakeholders, who use, consume and putting an end to the idea of the two conflicting enjoy them. Spains which lingers since the Spanish Civil War – even before then –, mentally abandoning the Current problems with the ‘Spain’ brand paradigms and mentality of the 19th century – also Spain depends 90% on services, especially those before then – and recover that common dream, that related to tourism, but, on the other hand, it is shared ambition which is lacking at this moment. placed 66th on the world ranking for customer orientation. One of the country’s main problems Likewise, it is necessary to deeply reform and reduce today is the lack of a clear and defined strategy that the public administration, eliminate the significantDocument prepared by Corporate Excellence with reference to, among other sources, the intervention of Javier Rovira (partner andDirector of Know-How Consumering and Professor at ESIC Business & Marketing School), Angel Alloza (CEO of Corporate Excellence– Centre for Reputation Leadership) and Borja Puig de la Bellacasa (Managing Director of Bassat Ogilvy PR in Spain) during theconference “How to build a country brand” organized by ESIC Business School in Madrid in October 2011.
  2. 2. The new Reputation black market in the Spanish economy that still by the Reputation Institute in the ‘Reputation ofEconomy and the exists and retrieve a truly single market, regardless Spain in the world in 2010’. The reputation of arecovery of the‘Spain’ brand of the logical cultural and historical differences that country has a direct relationship with the supportive enrich the entire country, as proposed by Rovira. behavior towards it, a good country reputation leads to a greater intention to visit it, buy its products or Finally, the ESIC Professor considers that the services, invest, study, live and work in that country, transparency needed to explain the current situation as we have already mentioned. to citizens and markets (Spain will maintain, as will other countries, a Welfare State that is possible and not one that was desirable until recently) is also Spain’s reputation abroad 2010 essential, as well as reflecting deeply about human capital and talent (both from a lack of resources Attribute Position perspective due to unstoppable ageing, as from its Leisure and entertainment 3th own management, the redistribution of time and labor, education and training, etc). Lifestyle 6th Culture 7th A new, more competitive DNA Natural environment 11th Spain is underdeveloped – as well as in talent Global commitment 14th management – in terms of technological Social welfare 15th development and in its practical application. Its competitive profile is undefined and, in any case, Political and institutional 16th‘A country high risk. environment brand Brand and recognized companies 17th It is possible that the country has been left half-way is also a though its political transition, but especially so in Quality of products and services 18th Technology 20th dream, an its economic transition from an agricultural model and subsequently industrial, to one of services aspiration from the 80s with strong de-industrialization and Source: Institute of Intangible Analysis, fight for, disinvestment from land, but also with a lack of commitment towards high value professional an idea to services and the industry of the future, based on And positive behavior has an influence on elements of the economy, such as a greater number of visitors, create and leading technology applied to telecommunications, more capacity to attract talent or capital, increase in health and energy. This European country needs a fill with new more competitive DNA for its brand, based exports and reduction of the current account trade deficit (the difference between the value of exports content in on thriving companies that will drive innovation, and imports as a result of the balance of trade, etc). equally thriving industries that will clarify the the minds mystery surrounding Spain’s new economic model The reputation of the country brand is a strategic of the and skills that will achieve all this through another key for business excellence, according to Angel route, as well as a truly productive R&D. country’s Alloza, CEO of Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership. A good reputation interest Can reputation be a way to manage this process of generates a feeling that links and makes friends change and lead the ‘Spain’ brand towards more groups.’ advantageous and competitive positions, in terms of abroad (defenders), generates respect, trust, esteem and admiration. A bad reputation, however, innovation, talent and future, bearing in mind the increases the number of enemies (detractors) or, direct relationship of reputation with the medium al least, reduces the number of friends outside and long-term? In what way can the new science the country’s borders. Likewise, reputation is an of reputational management, based on gaining, invaluable tool when it comes to recovering trust investing and developing trust with stakeholders (which is based both on rational and emotional via a direct relationship with them, contribute to aspects), competing in better conditions and pull Spain out of its present situation? finally creating value. Furthermore, the increasing interconnection between the stakeholders of a The Spanish economy of Reputation brand makes reputational management ever more Spain is known for its ‘softer’ variables (leisure, difficult, and adds value to the advice given (positive lifestyle, culture, natural environment), directly or negative) and the influence of third parties in the linked to a country essentially valued as a good behavior of others. place to live, visit, even study, but less so to buy, work and, above all, invest (more related with For this reason, it is essential to analyze the ‘hard’ variables such as the economic environment, origin of the favorable or unfavorable behavior technology and the importance of its companies). towards Spain, a behavior that will then have This is confirmed in the study undertaken by the a clear relationship with decisions of purchase, Institute of Intangibles Analysis and developed recommendation, support, investment or protection Insights 2
  3. 3. The new Reputation Country reputation rankingEconomy and therecovery of the Countries with a similarly‘Spain’ brand valued reputation as Spain 76,3 75,6 75,6 75,3 74,4 73,1 72,2 69,0 68,4 68,0 68,0 67,5 66,2 66,1 65,3 64,9 64,8 62,7 61,8 55,8 55,5 53,5 52,1 51,8 Sweden Canada Australia Switzerland Norway Finland Denmark Austria Holland Belgium Germany Spain Japan Ireland United Kingdom Italy Greece France Portugal Singapore Brasil USA. Poland India‘Curiously, Spain’s reputation Countries in the Top 5 abroad, Source: Institute of Intangible Analysis, 2010. despite current at times of crisis such as now. The reputation of a Puig de la Bellacasa, Managing Director of Bassat circums- country, as with a company, is based on the direct experience that stakeholders have of it (what the Ogilvy PR in Spain. In his opinion, the public- private collaboration will be key in making Spain tances, is country does and the experience it generates), a common territory that must be supported andbetter than what the country communicates (what it says of itself) and what others say about that country (third defended abroad. The role of the Government is essential when building and rebuilding a what is party opinion). The greater the recommendation, country’s reputation. perceived the greater the reputation, is always a directly proportional relationship. To achieve this, it is important to listen to what is internally being said about your country, how they see you, by Curiously, Spain’s reputation abroad, despite current circumstances, is better than what is perceived analyze and correctly identify the true problems and plan a decisive and ambitious strategy, at the same Spaniards internally by Spaniards themselves. Spain’s general time suitable and adapted to different territories them- evaluation is placed – according to the 2010 Reputation Institute report mentioned before – and fields. Because one cannot develop the same country brand strategy for Spain in Africa, Asia or selves.’ above those of the US, Japan or the UK. Latin America, where perceptions are very different, as indicated in several studies. On the other hand, there is also a relationship between the improvement in reputation of a In Puig de la Bellacasa’s view, we must move on country and the improvement of its international from the Spain of the Black (the Black Legend), companies. Reputation is a non-financial indicator which we recently thought we had left behind but linked to the creation – or destruction– of which has returned due to the crisis, towards the economic, but also social value. It is the territory of Spain of the Red (the shirt color of the national competitiveness in which a long-term vision, based soccer team), the joint successes, the team work and on a transversal focus without silos, is allowed to common effort. improve the ratio by which countries are compared and assessed within the global environment in which we find ourselves. Conclusion: public-private collaboration to improve reputation And in order to navigate with success in the new reputation economy, it is essential to involve the public area in this joint task, according to Borja Insights 3
  4. 4. ©2011, Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation LeadershipBusiness foundation created by large companies to professionalize the management of intangible assets and contribute to the developmentof strong brands, with good reputation and able to compete in the global market. Its mission is to be the driver which leads and consolidatesthe professional management of reputation as a strategic resource that guides and creates value for companies throughout the world.Legal NoticeThis document is property of the Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership and has as its objective to share businessknowledge about Brand, Reputation, Communication and Public Affairs Management.This document is directed exclusively towards its addressee and contains confidential information, subject to professional secrecy, whosedisclosure, copy or non-authorized use is against the Law. If you receive this document by mistake, let us know immediately and erase itwithout keeping a copy.Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is the owner of all the intellectual property rights of the images, texts, designsand any other content or elements of this product and has the necessary permission for its use, and therefore, its copy, distribution, publicrelease or transformation is prohibited, without express authorization from the owner.