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Title: Branding Pakistan as a “Sufi” country: The role of religion in developing a nation's brand
Authors: Yousaf, Salman 
Li, Huaibin 
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Emerald Publishing
Source: Yousaf, S., & Huaibin, L. (2014). Branding Pakistan as a “Sufi” country: The role of religion in developing a nation's brand. Journal of Place Management and Development, 7(1), 90-104.
Journal: Journal of Place Management and Development 
Abstract: Purpose: This paper seeks to explore the influential role of religion in developing a nations brand and discusses the possibility of re-positioning the brand Pakistan as a “Sufi country” that is coherent with the cultural values and social realities of the country.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper follows a case study approach in delineating the image problem encountered by Pakistan and describing how governments in Pakistan related country branding efforts with the religious sentiments to foster their motives. This paper also follows an inductive approach in making a theoretical explanation about promoting Pakistan's image as a “Sufi country”.
Findings: The negative image of Pakistan is gaining worldwide currency due to the absence of proactive management by government and relevant stakeholders. Pakistan as a Sufi brand has a potential to grow into a strong country brand. Branding Pakistan as a Sufi country would not only pave the way for forming a different set of associations that would be positively contradictory to the current militancy and extremism oriented perceptions associated with Pakistan, but it would also benefit her as a tourism destination.
Practical implications: This paper is basically a policy recommendation regarding the reconstruction of brand Pakistan around the Sufi theme that is fairly consistent with the prevailing disposition of Pakistani society, in contrast to the current image of Pakistan cultivated in the World's media as a country with the terrorist roots. With thousands of Sufi Khanqahs, tombs and shrines spread throughout the country conforming to the ancient Islamic architecture with shades of Mughal artifacts presents with a significant ‘spiritual tourism’ opportunity provided with proper management and planning.
Originality/value: The present study makes significant contribution to the theory of nation's branding by discussing the potential role of religion in developing a nation's brand, a topic that hasn't been profoundly inquired. Moreover it discusses the reputation management of a country brand in a crisis, a topic that hasn't been adequately studied.
Description: Please note that preprint copy is not available on WIRE. Please contact to request an electronic copy of this item.
DOI: 10.1108/JPMD-08-2013-0020
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Publications

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