Fixing Brand USA, whoever wins the Presidential election

There's no doubt that this is the most contentious US Presidential election in living memory. It has drowned out the dramatic decline in perceptions of Brand USA, on which I’m available to contribute expert views on how – regardless of who wins the race – to rebuild enthusiasm for what is still the world’s most influential economy and culture.

Turning around the country’s perceptions in the eyes of international business executives across the world – from pity to positive – requires fundamental changes to the brand promise, with America’s Chief Marketing Officer facing some strategic choices.  On the back of my latest edition of Working with Americans, this turnaround requires:

  • Re-engaging. The America First and Great Again messages may or may not work at home but certainly do not beyond US shores. Combined with travel and student visa bans, the country’s desire for isolation (or self-reliance, depending on your vantage point) has dampened the appetites of long-standing international investors and job creators. The “Open for Business” sign needs to be on global display;
  • Reminding. The noise has overwhelmed the American message that its business culture’s best aspects are still alive and well – innovation, speed, self-reliance and informality to name a few. Its early and recent immigrants create vast economic wealth, welcomed to pursue their American dreams. These points of difference make the US brand unique in the global marketplace and need to be talked back up into the international psyche and image of the country;
  • Renewing. Healing and rebuilding its international business and diplomatic relationships will deliver vast dividends for US business leaders, their companies and its economy following dramatic hits from Covid and dissolved trade agreements. Those same leaders need to project unity and one message, not be disunited. With the UK seeking a renewed Trade Agreement following Brexit, this loyal business ally would be amongst the first to embrace a happier partnership.

Whoever occupies the Oval Office from January 20th should appreciate the large payoff to be had from rebuilding the world’s trust in the US, not least its admired business culture of ingenuity, innovation and reinvention.

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