Rebuilding Brand America: What We Must Do to Restore Our Reputation and Safeguard the Future of American Business Abroad

By Dick Martin | Go to book overview
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INTRODUCTION:
THE ANTI-AMERICAN CENTURY

“The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 sharply punctuated the end of the American century. Indeed, the era we are now entering may well come to be recalled as ‘the anti-American century.’”1

—Ivan Krastev, research director, Remarque Institute, New York University

THE WORLD, WE’RE TOLD, IS FLAT. IT’S ALSO TIPPING, AND NOT in America’s favor. Pollsters tell us that United States’ foreign policy— especially in the Middle East—accounts for 35 percent of anti-American feelings around the world.2 Whether the true proportion is 35 percent or 75 percent is small comfort for U.S.headquartered businesses, which once happily rode on America’s coattails but have grown tired of recent bumps. The question businesses should be asking is how much blame they share for the balance of the ill feeling and whether they are somehow contributing to the tilt.

Those are the issues explored in this book, along with best practices in dealing with them. But first, I should make it clear that I am neither a foreign policy expert nor an economist; I spent most of my career in the worlds of advertising, public relations, and brand management. This book starts from the premise that America is a “brand,” not in the sense that the name itself has commercial value (though it does), but because the notion of America occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of people around the world. American businesses share that space and, if it has become a bit shabby and less welcoming

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