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Published in: Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Volume 10, 2014.


Image, brand and reputation are the new capital for nations in the twenty-first century. In this era of the global marketplace, nations, regions and cities are forced to compete with each other for tourists, investment, aid, students, for buyers of their products and services, and for talent. Scholars now agree that nations themselves have become brands, and are now obliged to manage their images in order to influence people’s decision in terms of purchasing, investing and traveling. Nations with unknown or poor reputations, including those enduring prolonged crises are thus likely to suffer marginalization and will not easily witness economic success (Viosca et al; Avraham and Ketter). In this article, I aim to explore the challenges confronting Brand Jamaica. I argue that positive global coverage of Jamaica’s outstanding brand achievements in sports, music and as a premier tourism destination, is being negated by its rival brands – economic instability (debt, poverty unemployment), crime, corruption and perceptions of declining human rights. The consequence is a contradictory, perplexing and problematic public image of Jamaica, with severe consequences for investment, tourism promotion as well as economic and social progress. The article points at the imperative for Jamaican authorities to evaluate the nation’s public image, manage the impact of prolonged crises on its brand and attempt to re-imagine Jamaica, in light of changing fortunes.