Do nations’ experiences live up to their brands?

Jack Blog

May 4th, 2010 By Jack Morton


The opening of the Shanghai World Expo is a great big multi-billion-dollar reminder that, as my colleague David Zolkwer has often said, countries have “brands” and can create brand experiences—good or bad.

Purely from a design point of view, the hands-down favorite brand experience in Shanghai appears to be Denmark (shown above).

Then there’s the US. I was inspired to hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on last Sunday’s Meet the Press talk about why she’d dedicated so much effort to securing corporate funding for the US Pavilion: in essence, she said 70-100 million people having a great experience that increased understanding is irreplaceable and worth every penny. (Yay, power of brand experiences!)

Coverage so far, however, has not been great (see the Huffington Post, for example). Sadly, there are typos on the US website.

The experience does not live up to the brand.