France and its territories
In this framework, the position of France, its image and its reputation were central. De facto, by asking “What is the interest of France in the world economic competition?”, Philippe Lentschener (President of the governmental mission of France trademark and President of McCann Worldgroup France) showed the essential need to enhance the “France trademark”, which public authorities have not appropriate yet. According to him, three specific characteristics of the national economy have to be valued: “the love of gestures and know-how; the capacity to think and initiate; the art of surprise”. However, he underlined one of the major weaknesses of our country: the lack of links between industrial thinking and the design of objects.
At the scale of the company, the Armor-Lux’s example has helped to understand how an authentic and strong attachment to a territory – Brittany here – provides the means to strengthen its influence. Remember, Armor-Lux was chosen by Arnaud Montebourg, wearing a smock on the front page of the Parisien Magazine, in order to defend the “Made in France”.
At the scale of local authorities, the work realized par students of the Political Institute of Paris and presented by Nicolas Bordas (TBWA/Europe) and David Jobin (Agence Royalties) put forward the preponderant impact of the choice, unthought by the politics, of the names of French regions, which will merge in a few months.
Outside our boundaries, Albanian, Belgian and Moroccan examples, presented during the Reputation War conference, showed how initiatives from the Government, a TV channel or a bank can, each singularly, act on a country’s reputation.
Those different interventions highlighted the importance to think its influence before decisions are taken, to be able to control its reputation. The features put forward by a Government, a local authority or a company can’t be the result of coincidence or a fleeting buzz.
They have to be accompanied by a methodical process of monitoring and analysis. Only this preliminary work, supplemented by the production and dissemination of meaningful knowledge to stakeholders, are likely to act sustainably on the reputation of an actor attached to a territory.