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SA loves soccer: Manchester United vs Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge final. Picture: BRAND SA/CHRIS KIRCHHOFF
SA loves soccer: Manchester United vs Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge final. Picture: BRAND SA/CHRIS KIRCHHOFF

Brand South Africa, the agency responsible for the promotion of the country brand, is once again offering to all its stakeholders its free Nation Brand Master Class on how to build a strong country brand.

The class also empowers citizens to understand the country's brand strengths, reputation, image drivers and performance when paired with peer countries.

First launched in 2015, in partnership with the Marketing Association of South Africa and Vega School, the master class is aimed at marketers and communicators, academics, and citizens who travel abroad (NGOs). It includes:

  • an introduction to the nation brand;
  • explaining why countries engage in nation building;
  • SA’s brand positioning, image and reputation;
  • the country's brand competitiveness, assets, identity and brand architecture; and
  • explaining why rallying behind the country's brand is important.

“Our master class is aimed at developing a more formal training framework for those in the public and private sector on how to build a strong nation brand in new and exciting ways,” says Brand South Africa acting CEO Thulisile Manzini.

Manzini adds it is important to educate and guide key stakeholders on the nuances of communicating a nation brand on multiple platforms concurrently. This is how successful country brand campaigns such as Incredible India, Discover America and Australia Unlimited have been so effective in building cohesive brands.

As far as SA's brand is concerned, the perception in the global market is changing quickly. We remain in the top five tourism destinations around the world. South Africans are playing their part on the global stage in various industries and in sport. A popular travel website with more than 1.5m readers has recently voted the South African accent (specifically Afrikaans) as the second sexiest in the world.

In terms of Brand SA's annual International Investor Perceptions research, findings from the past three years indicate that despite the country's reputation taking significant strain between 2016 and 2017, according to the 2018 results, the reputation of the nation brand as investment destination has improved. This also coincides with the year that President Ramaphosa took office, and made investment, particularly foreign direct investment, a priority of his administration.

"These are just a few of the highlights of what the in-depth master class covers," says Manzini. "This master class not only demonstrates that all South Africans have a role to play in building our national brand, but also empowers them to know how to promote the country brand. We encourage all those interested to be good patriots and contact us for more information."

For more information, visit the Brand South Africa website or like the Facebook page and follow the conversation on Instagram and Twitter for regular updates.

This article was paid for by Brand South Africa.