Brand Jamaica: Engaging Brand Communities in Co-Creating the Nation Brand

Beverley Joseph
Brand Jamaica as a construct is a fairly recent phenomenon, although Jamaica has been promoted as a ‘destination’ since the 1920s, when it was still a colony of Great Britain. This paper follows on Scott and Phillips (2012), “Incorporating Diaspora-Based Communities in Nation Branding: Lessons from the Case of Jamaica”, which concluded that a nation with complex identities, can reconcile multiple images in a collective identity, by leveraging the strength of its brand communities. This Paper will report findings of an initial exploratory survey done at the Fifth Diaspora Conference, in June 2013, to validate claims for the larger study. It aimed to establish the level of knowledge and understanding of the meaning of Brand Jamaica among members, and the Diaspora’s involvement in the process of co-creating the brand, so far. The larger study will, in addition, explore representations of Brand Jamaica, and investigate strategies used to engage brand communities in the search for a common identity. It will compare the perceived brand identity and image across brand communities - Internal, Diaspora and External Stakeholders. This research found that although there has been a concerted effort to communicate with Diaspora communities, there is no clear understanding of the meaning of Brand Jamaica and Diaspora members have not so far been fully integrated into the rebranding effort.

Keywords: Nation branding, Diaspora, identity, image, brand communities, Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC).