Sweden: many strengths, little self-promotion

Sweden should concentrate on strengths, not “fiddle around with slogans and logos”

As a country on the world stage Sweden is much admired, but it seems to lack the ability to promote itself effectively beyond the worlds of diplomacy and economics. The UK and France came top of a recent study called the Soft Power Survey in the magazine Monocle, while the much quieter Sweden came sixth. The survey looked at indicators such as the number of foreign correspondents in the country, film and music, Olympic performance and media exports.
Sweden is cool and advanced in areas like fashion, technology, the environment and its welfare system. It’s also unique as a tourist destination. But too few people around the world are aware of these strengths. “Sweden needs to sell itself more”, Monocle concludes. “A range of Swedish cultural centres promoting the country’s music and arts would be a start.”
The policy advisor and specialist in national identity and reputation Simon Anholt comments: “Sweden is certainly one of the most admired countries on the planet. Fiddling around with slogans and logos does absolutely nothing to affect a country’s image, which is deeply rooted in the global cultural commons.”
The Swedish Wire
[pictured: Moose in winter landscape by Håkan Hjort; copyright Håkan Hjort/Johnér; courtesy Image Bank Sweden]