"The European view of mistakes is always interesting to me. It seems to me a disconnect from their appreciation of design. Their lack of creativity and risk tolerance seems to limit their new business development. They play it safe. How you can be creative in an activity without risking mistakes."
That is an interesting take and certainly European nations have had their fair share of problems in history and business. Building a brand does not mean throwing money after expensive campaigns; those will not color people's perceptions. As demonstrated in many of my "Made in Italy" posts, there is true substance and style behind the brand -- even if public policy and internal politics are sometimes fodder for jokes.
So when it comes to brands, Italian companies know how to navigate the global marketplace. There's a new book out that talks about Rebuilding Brand America and how American companies can learn to do just that successfully. Public relations specialist Dick Martin says that:
"Rebuilding Brand America... needs to start with a clear-eyed, unapologetic assessment of how the rest of the world perceives it.
That's the easy part, and much of it has already been done. You can practically Google the results. The harder part is understanding why, without making excuses, discounting the uncomfortable or inconvenient facts, or seeking shelter in bromides like 'it comes with the territory.' Understanding 'why' requires a depth of fluent listening that has never come easy to a people who are so practical and so impatient they want to move immediately to solutions. But it is critical to understanding all the forces tugging and pulling at America's brand."
This country has a tremendous reservoir of talent and experience in global marketing and communications. Think about the professionals working at and for American corporations. Martin is one of them; he worked at AT&T as Vice President of public relations.
It has been demonstrated that improving a company's and brand's reputation begins with substantive and concrete action -- and reputation is good not only for the soul; it's also good for the bottom line. A 5% increase in corporate reputation has been measured to account for a 3% change in market value (data on publicly traded companies, Dr. Terence Flynn, Syracuse University).
This is a call to action for the made in USA and as one of the reviewers says on the site: this is easier said than done. If you were called to action on crafting an integrated communications plan to market brand America abroad, what would it look like?