Nation branding needs a holistic approach

Building a successful nation brand requires the government, business and civil society to work together in telling a holistic and positive story about South Africa.


By Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa General Manager for Marketing

Building a strong and sustainable nation brand requires more than just an agency to do this. It requires critical stakeholders that are instrumental in the marketing of the country.

In South Africa, Brand South Africa is the custodian of the nation brand. It works with and through stakeholders in fulfilling the mandate given to it. This mandate includes managing the country’s reputation and image, and contributing to social cohesion at home by getting South Africans behind the nation brand through its domestic programme, Play Your Part.

On 24 August 2016, Brand South Africa launches the Nation Brand Forum. It is a gathering of the government, business and civil society with the objective of defining an inspiring narrative that can be used by all stakeholders when marketing South Africa internationally.

The Nation Brand Forum is a proactive marketing programme that will be a flagship initiative for Brand South Africa and will be used to promote a positive nation brand image and reputation.


Brand South Africa understands that countries are built through strong cities and metros and it is for this reason that stakeholder participation consists of communicators and marketers who are responsible for marketing cities.

The nation brand framework will help in training and equipping marketers and communicators from the public as well as the private sector, with the skills needed to profile the unique features of the South African nation brand.

A successful nation brand would be a “cohesive and coherent brand approach when marketing and communicating about the country’s assets”, said Nathan Reddy, a brand specialist who has worked on Brand South Africa’s corporate identity.

“South Africa has so much to offer and if one story is well told, this will build a strong and positive narrative for our country. Inspiring education, inspiring people, inspiring tourism, inspiring democracy, inspiring Constitution are all the good things we need to speak more of. We are an inspiring country. One country, one brand.”

Every South African has a role to play in building a competitive South Africa. Play your part and contact Brand South Africa for more information about the country’s value proposition.