July 31, 2023 #Image of Chile

Country image, a public-private endeavor

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By Rossana Dresdner C., Executive Director of Fundación Imagen de Chile; and Ignacio Fernández R., Managing Director of ProChile

The strategies and actions of nation branding-a practice undertaken by an increasing number of countries-aim to create or improve a country's image among the citizens and/or decision-makers of other countries. These are ambitious plans with a global rather than sectoral scope that aim to improve the perception of a country as a whole, and depend on coordinated efforts between various sectors. There is no unique formula for success.

In the case of Chile, efforts to build a positive country image are ongoing day after day in a range of different settings, from export businesses to the outstanding participation of Chilean athletes in international competitions and the work of observatories located in the north of the country. These initiatives are led by Fundación Imagen de Chile (FICH) and strengthened through collaboration between the public and private sectors, where ProChile has emerged as a key player.

FICH recently released the results of its Longitudinal Study 2023, an annual assessment that monitors perceptions of Chile in various key markets around the world. In this version of the study, differentiating attributes such as "scientific development" and "sustainability" emerged as the most prominent aspects of the country's positioning. However, another key characteristic whose positioning has been consolidated over the years is the quality of Chile's exports; 47% of respondents highlighted the excellence of Chilean goods that are sold internationally. Our products are renowned for their quality, diversity, and craft production, attributes which have been strengthened over time.

However, to continue building a positive country image, our actions must also support this narrative. As Simon Anholt, creator of the Nation Brands Index said, "countries are judged by what they do and how they behave, not by what they say."

Along those lines, we must continue working with all the tools available to us, showcasing our diverse offering of exports and services at international fairs, implementing digital marketing campaigns, and building strong relationships with foreign press. FICH's international campaigns and the support of ProChile sectoral brands such as Wines of Chile or CinemaChile are excellent examples of how we can strengthen our global presence.

Those of us who are responsible for leading institutions that oversee our country's image must open channels for the participation of representatives from all sectors involved in order to continue building and highlighting our unique identity, and transforming it into a State policy. In this way, everyone who is working to build our country brand will feel a sense of belonging and pride, and use it all of their own initiatives. It is an ambitious plan, but we can't allow ourselves to fall behind.

Building our country image is a collective task that requires cohesion and continuous effort between both the public and private sectors, from technology to culture, and from Arica in the north to the Chilean Antarctic. Only in this way can we transcend our borders and leave a positive global footprint.


Image of Chile