I just read this article on advertising the Nigerian brand. Though it is 3 years old, it really addresses the current feelings people are having about the rebranding issue-
"What we need to ask ourselves is simple: what is the current image perception of Nigeria? (How do people outside of our country see us – rightly or wrongly)? What problem has that created for us in economic and political terms? And finally, how do we solve the problem?The solution is not always a one minus one equals zero solution.If for instance Nigeria is noted for corruption, violent crimes, political turmoil and poor infrastructure, the advertising idea should not necessarily be around the inspector general of police announcing to the world that Nigeria is now a corruption-free, crime-free state. The better approach would be ignoring the negative and focusing on our strong points. In any case, whatever the IG says would be purely political and would never be credible in the international media. This means that having identified our current international image, we should determine our desired brand image. What do we want the rest of the world to believe about Nigeria?
What may be more pertinent to us economically may in fact be projecting ourselves as an accommodating people, open to foreigners, welcoming investors, friendly to the international community. A simple television commercial showing happy, friendly, and cultured men, women and children would do the job. If we flog this idea well enough, international perception of Nigeria as a friendly nation will overshadow any other negative image being peddled in the world media. Brands have their strengths. They have their unique selling points. When you say Ariel, you think of tough stains.When you say Maggi, you think of great taste. When you say Bagco, you think of super sack. Nations should have their selling points as well. When you say Brazil, what comes to your mind? Soccer. When you say Japan, what image crops up? Technology and cars. When you say Nigeria, what should come to mind?"
By Paul Ugoagwu
He went on to talk about how we must also do ourselves a favour by fixing our roads, improving our standard of living, and so on. If only the people on top would listen. On our part (individually) we are ready to "represent", shey? The full article can be read at http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/columnists/commercialbreak/commercial-august17-2006.htm