School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2013
Thesis number: 13288
Measuring country image -case: The country image of Cyprus in Finland
Author: Leino, Helena
Title: Measuring country image -case: The country image of Cyprus in Finland
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainvälinen kauppa; international trade; imago; image; identiteetti; identity; maa; land; valtio; states; brandit; brands; Kypros; Cyprus; Suomi; Finland
Pages: 155
Key terms: country image; country equity; country branding; place branding; nation brands index; brand; branding; brand associations; national identity
Abstract This study investigates the concept of country image in general and in particular the methods available for measuring country image focusing on those within the field of country branding. The objective of this study was to measure the perceptions and the prevailing associations of the country image of Cyprus in Finland. The empirical study was based on a single case study approach, using a concurrent mixed method research design combining both quantitative and qualitative research methods to collect primary data. Firstly, the perceptions of the country image of Cyprus in Finland were measured through an online survey based on the acknowledged Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index using a convenience sample of the Finnish population. Secondly, drawing on the qualitative research technique used in traditional branding literature to identify possible brand associations, this study used the free elicitation procedure to obtain the prevailing associations of the perceived country image of Cyprus in Finland. This was done through an open-ended association question incorporated into the survey conducted, as well as through six individual interviews. The analysis of the data was performed through qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods, while the results were merged together to provide an overall interpretation. The findings suggest that Cyprus has a diffused image in Finland, with tourism and the political situation of the country constructing the strongest elements of its image. More emphasis is needed to promote the unique characteristics of the tourism image of Cyprus as well as further promotional efforts are necessary to enhance the country’s exports and contemporary cultural outputs in Finland. As to the theoretical findings, the study found that the conducted quantitative and qualitative empirical research produced similar results. However, the addition of the qualitative research gave extra insight, allowing the researcher to capture what specific elements of the dimensions of country image respondents found particularly relevant for Cyprus. These types of findings would not have been possible to obtain solely through the likert-scale statements in the survey, which do not reveal whether or not the respondent finds the issue being asked relevant for the country or not. Moreover, the free elicitation results produced strong associations with other countries in the neighbouring region of Cyprus. This indicated that there may be a need for an extra country image dimension in addition to the six dimensions developed by the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index. Therefore, the qualitative research techniques used in this study brought wider results than what would have been obtained through just the survey. Keywords Country image, country equity, country branding, place branding, nation brands index, brand, branding, brand associations, national identity
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.