MARCO, a brand building and reputation management agency, has recently declared the commencement of the second edition of the Country Brand Awards. This notable event will see more than 40 countries competing for the title of the best ‘Country Brand’. The announcement marks a significant moment in the field of international brand management and reputation.

The awards, set to be unveiled on 24 January 2024, aim to evaluate and acknowledge the success of a country’s brand. The event will include two main categories: the Global Awards and the Regional Awards, encompassing Africa, Asia/Middle East/Oceania, Europe, and the Americas. Each category will be further divided into sub-categories, namely ‘Doing Business’ and ‘Doing Tourism’.

Evaluation Methodology and Criteria

The evaluation methodology adopted for the Country Brand Awards rests on two fundamental pillars: the ‘Doing Business’ axis and the ‘Doing Tourism’ axis. The ‘Doing Business’ criterion focuses on a country’s capacity to attract and retain talent, emphasizing living, working, investing, and exporting aspects. In contrast, the ‘Doing Tourism’ axis assesses a country’s ability to attract tourists, taking into account various factors like culture, population, and the influence of iconic companies and brands.

The Jury and Their Expertise

The decision-making process for the awards lies in the hands of a distinguished jury comprised of nine professionals from communications, marketing, and international diplomacy. This jury includes notable figures such as Ángel Bartolomé Muñoz de Luna, Ángel Alloza, Rodrigo Villamizar-Alvargonzález, Paul Holmes, Sylvie Humbert, Pricila Caied, Renato Avanzi, Mário Ferreira, and is chaired by Didier Lagae, Executive Chairman & Founder of MARCO.

Previous Edition Highlights

The inaugural edition of the Country Brand Awards saw South Korea excel in the ‘Doing Business’ category, while the United Arab Emirates gained recognition in ‘Doing Tourism’, specifically for promoting Dubai. New Zealand clinched the title of Best Country Brand for its effective reputation management during the initial phase of the pandemic.

Didier Lagae’s Vision

Commenting on the significance of the awards, Didier Lagae articulated the importance of countries adapting to global challenges like climate change and digitalisation. He highlighted the critical role of information and perception in today’s decision-making processes and emphasised the awards’ objective to recognise the efforts of countries in communicating their image globally.

Implications for B2B Marketing

For businesses in the B2B sector, the Country Brand Awards present insightful perspectives on how countries are perceived globally. This understanding can be pivotal for companies looking to expand or establish new ventures in different countries. The awards provide a valuable framework for assessing potential business environments, considering factors like political stability, cultural appeal, and technological advancements.

Looking Ahead

As we anticipate the results of the Country Brand Awards, set to be announced in January 2024, the focus remains on how countries develop and communicate their brand. This event not only celebrates national achievements but also sets a benchmark for future aspirations in the realms of business and tourism.

The Country Brand Awards, in their second iteration, continue to underscore the importance of a strong national brand in today’s interconnected and competitive global landscape. This initiative by MARCO serves as a testament to the growing relevance of country branding in international relations and global business dynamics.

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