With the 2010 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ now less than 500 days away it is an opportune time to ask ourselves if – when the final whistle is blown on July 11 – the president of the world’s largest sports brand, Joseph Blatter, will be able to reiterate his summary of the 2006 event when he stated, â€œThis was the best World Cup of all time. Never before has such an event been presented in such an emotional and global manner.â€?
Dr Nickolaus Eberl thinks so, and he shares his vision as to how this can happen in the latest edition of The Encyclopaedia of Brands & Branding in South Africa. Published late last year by Affinity Publishing, this contains the results of all the major brand marketing research undertaken during the year to provide the standing of over 100 leading brands as well as articles that address issues currently impacting on brands and their relationships with South Africans.
He writes that there were seven key pillars to Germany’s re-branding success:
* Delivering the brand promise
* Having a winning team
* Maximising brand yield
* Ensuring visitor safety
* The invention of â€˜partyotism’
* Client centricity
* Gender equality
â€œApart from soccer, the 2006 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ transformed Brand Germany from the old archetype of the Ruler – effective and efficient, yet cold, unfriendly and sometimes a bully – to the newfound archetype of the Lover – fun-loving, welcoming, modern and creative.
â€œIn a few weeks’ time, it had done something to the German psyche that no politician had ever achieved: it had imbued the nation with a sense of pride and common destiny. On the day after the final, Britain’s Times, not known for being pro-German, ran the headline â€˜Never mind the Finals, the true Winners are Germany’.â€
According to Eberl, South Africa must – and can – grasp the opportunity provided by the 2010 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ to do the same as the Nation Brand Index (Anholt-GMI Q4/2007) ranks the country 29th out of 37 nations (from 22nd place in 2005). This shows, he says, that South Africa’s brand promise â€˜Alive with Possibility’ is not delivered optimally to investors and visitors alike.
â€œWith all the attention focused on stadia construction at the moment, it is crucial to remember that ultimately it is not the packing that creates a lasting impression, but rather the product. Nation branding, much like Personal Branding, is to a large extent dependent upon the self-image of its main character, in the case of nations this being the citizens.
â€œThe 2006 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ boosted the national German psyche and bestowed Germans with the long lost emotion of national pride and self-confidence. For 2010 to do the same for the South African psyche, a national Brand Pride Campaign is required that is aimed at transforming the soul, not the looks, of the country.â€
AUTHOR: Brands & Branding
DATED: 3rd March 2009