Subject and purpose of work: The study systematizes concepts and terms related to country branding such as nation branding, state branding, place branding, destination branding, location branding, territory branding, and region branding as well as exploring the similarities and differences among these expressions.
Materials and methods: First of all, the study reviews relevant literature. In this context it also analyzes the most relevant country case study articles with titles that may include country branding or related terms in many forms.
Results: At the end of the study, a summary table systematizing the terminology of the topic is included, which is a novel approach to the subject. The practical significance of the study becomes clear if organizations involved in the development of country brands consider the abovementioned theoretical framework while developing their own strategies.
Conclusions: As a result of the systematization, country branding will be more consciously used in the subchapters of strategic materials discussing how to increase country competitiveness.
Estonia held the presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months from 1 July to 31 December 2017. This was a great opportunity to strengthen and shape the country image, also known as the country brand. They do have something to build on: there have been very few countries in recent years and decades where country branding was so conscious. It was a brave choice: in the early 2000s, they decided that they would become E-Estonia. This is not just a means to communicate but also involves policies and tangible developments regarding electronics, IT, and brand new technologies in order to build the most advanced digital society of Europe and the world.
But how did this appear during the EU Presidency and how are Estonian citizens involved in branding? This rather lengthy case study explores the concept as a good practice, also setting an example for other countries.